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Among them: The Grand Canyon, The Matterhorn and the Great Barrier Reef
GENEVA - The Grand Canyon, the Matterhorn and the Great Barrier Reef are competing with 25 other spectacular natural landmarks in the final phase of the global poll to choose the "New 7 Wonders of Nature".
The New 7 Wonders organisation, led by Swiss adventurer Bernard Weber, released its list of finalists on Tuesday. Among them are the Amazon rainforest, the Dead Sea and Ecuador's Galapagos islands.
People can vote by Internet or phone. The winners will be announced in 2011 and share in the glory already enjoyed by the seven man-made wonders chosen two years ago.
Over 1 billion people are expected to vote. Mr Weber said he was happy the nominees included places that lie in more than one country, such as the Dead Sea or the Amazon rainforest, which makes people work together across borders.
Africa, where most people vote by mobile phones, has had the biggest increase in votes over the last few weeks, said Mr Weber.
No Wonder: Niagara Falls will not be among the wonders due to cost concerns.
Niagara Falls will not be among the wonders because United States tourism officials have worries their cash-strapped community might have to pay for costly promotional activities.
Finalists are picked depending on geographical balance, diversity and the importance to human life.
Around 100 million people voted in the selection of the seven man-made wonders in 2007. The winners included the Colosseum, the Great Wall, the Taj Mahal, Petra in Jordan, Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, Machu Picchu and the Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico.
Choosing world wonders has been a continuing fascination, with Unesco constantly updating its list of World Heritage Sites, which now totals 890 places. AGENCIES
From TODAY, World – Thursday, 23-Jul-2009