Thursday, August 20, 2009

To List or Not to List?

In the words of a UNESCO mission last year, "Commercial interests have driven measures to facilitate large numbers of tourists, compromising the authentic heritage values which attracted visitors to the property in the first place.'' This is most recently seen in the ancient city of Dresden, the site removed from the World Heritage List at this past Conference in Seville, Spain due to the construction of a bridge. Newsweek writer William Underhill reports on the contradiction between the goals of UNESCO and the goals of the country when dealing with World Heritage Sites. Read the full article to understand how UNESCO is working to remedy this situation.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chinese and U.S. World Heritage sites become Sister Parks

The South China Karst World Heritage Site and the U.S. Mammoth Cave National Park World Heritage Site signed a sister park agreement today. The sister park agreement will mark a starting point for environmental cooperation and communication between the two. Both countries have much to offer one another in areas of sustainable development, scientific research, science popularization, and management. This is the second sister park relationship between China and the U.S., with the first being in 2006 between China's Mount Huangshan and U.S.' Yosemite National Park. Keep reading to learn more about the opportunities for cooperation and communication between the newly created China-U.S. sister parks.

Cahokia Mounds in southern Illinois is a UN World Heritage Site

Noted anthropologist Timothy Pauketat has taken to telling the story of Cahokia, an area encompassing the ruins of the cultural center to the people once referred to by historians as the "Mound Builders." Although this story has often been told in passing to students as they learn their American history, it deserves a much closer look. Pauketat does just that and, "provides a compellingly argued and highly engaging account of a lost civilization in America's own backyard," according to Chicago Tribune contributor, Scott Stevens. Read Stevens article to get his complete review of Pauketat's book, "Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City of the Mississippi."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

17 Australian World Heritage areas at risk

An online news source reported that a recent study found that, "seventeen of Australia's iconic World Heritage properties will experience increased risks from climate change." Some of the seventeen at risk sites that are natural are: the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park, Lord Howe Island Group, the Tasmanian Wilderness, and the Greater Blue Mountains. The study places special emphasis on the Great Barrier Reef, which is Australia's largest World Heritage site and the world's largest and most complex coral reef system. The online article summarizes some of the risks and general consensus surrounding the recent study. For further information about the study, read the full report, Implications of climate change for Australia's World Heritage properties: a preliminary assessment

Interior Secretary Travels to North Fork

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited North Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead Rivers in Montana in hopes of some form of designation protecting Glacier National Park and the Flathead Basin from the development of natural resources upstream. Glacier National Park is a peace park with Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and UNESCO is currently researching a possible declaration of the park "in danger," due to environmental degredation when a coal mine and coal-bed methane drilling operation in southeastern British Colombia was proposed in June. Another mining project was introduced at the end of June by Max Resource Group, demonstrating the current environmental concerns of the park. Interior Secretary Salazar is emphasizing international cooperation between the U.S. and Canada to protect the Flathead Water Basin. Read the full article to find more information on the importance and possiblities of the North Fork and the Flathead Basin.