On the Danger list since 2007, the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands are at risk from increasing tourism
Saving our heritage... from ourselves
25th June, 2009
More sites may be added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in Danger this week, but how effective is this register of global hot spots, and what are the areas that truly deserve international protection?
This week, in the sunny surrounds of Seville, a committee is meeting to discuss two lists. To be added to the first will bring international recognition and tourist income: the World Heritage List celebrates sites – 878 at current count – deemed to have ‘outstanding universal value’. It is unlikely that any government would find anything outstanding about being included on the second.
Compiling the List of World Heritage in Danger is the lesser-known task of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, currently meeting for its 33rd session, its members selected from among the 186 countries that have ratified the 1972 World Heritage Convention. These are heritage sites that require funds, technical support, media attention or special measures to ensure their survival. Natural disasters are the least likely threat; indeed, the problems facing most of the 30 sites currently on the Danger list is a roll-call of humanity’s self-inflicted ills, ancient and modern: war, rampant overdevelopment, manmade climate change.
UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) launchedTo view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
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