Climate change degrading the health of World Heritage Sites

Published on : Tuesday, May 31, 2016

acropolis-greeceAll of the 31 natural and cultural heritage sites from 29 countries across the globe are becoming vulnerable day after day due to the dangerous effects of climate change.



The increasing temperature, rising of the sea water level, intense weather conditions, flood and famine, wildfires all  are the side effects of the climate change, which directly or indirectly affect the structures of the 31 sites like Venice, Galapagos Islands, Stonehenge, Cape Floral Kingdom of S. Africa, the port city of Cartagena in Colombia, Japan’s Shiretoko National Park and so on.



Elisa Tonda, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said, “World governments, the private sector and tourists all need to coordinate their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to protect the world’s most treasured cultural and natural resources from the impact of tourism activities. Policies to decouple tourism from natural resource impacts, carbon emissions and environmental harm will engage a responsible private sector and promote change in tourists’ behaviour to realize the sectors’ potential in some of the world’s most visited places.”



A report prepared by the UNESCO and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) suggested that the most vulnerable sites must be identified as soon as possible and they must be reserved properly to ease the negative effects out.



Mechtild Rössler, Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre commented, “Globally, we need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites. As the report’s findings underscore, achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius is vitally important to protecting our World Heritage for current and future generations.”



The report also pointed out that some of the Easter Island statues are at high risk of disappearing into the sea soon enough. It also informs that many coral reefs in the western Pacific are already suffering coral bleaching.

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