Friday, August 27, 2010

A danger list in danger

WHEN an archipelago famed for its flora and fauna is deemed to have escaped from environmental peril, that might sound like good news for anyone with an interest in the fate of life on Earth. But UNESCO’s recent clean bill of health for the Galapagos islands was greeted with dismay by many of the people who care passionately about the place.

The decision to remove the islands from the list of “world heritage sites in danger”—taken at a meeting in Brasília that concluded on August 3rd—was only one of several signs that the UN agency is bending its own rules under pressure from member states. And since UNESCO is supposed to be an unprejudiced protector of the whole world’s built and natural environment, such slipping standards are not merely of concern in remote Pacific islands.

To read more, click here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Galapagos No Longer on List of World Heritage in Danger

The Galapagos Islands have been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, despite IUCN´s strong recommendation to the contrary, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said today.
The Galapagos Islands, which have been called a unique "living museum and showcase of evolution" were inscribed on the Danger List in 2007 because of threats posed by invasive species, unbridled tourism and overfishing.

To read the whole article, click here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

World Heritage Committee inscribes a total of 21 new sites on UNESCO World Heritage List (including one from the United States)

The 34th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Brasilia since 25 July today finished its consideration of nominations for the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.

One of the new areas that became a World Heritage Site is Papahanaumokuakea, a vast and isolated linear cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls, with their surrounding ocean, roughly 250 km to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Archipelago and extending over some 1931 km.

Meeting under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Culture of Brazil, João Luiz da Silva Ferreira, the Committee inscribed 21 new sites, including 15 cultural, 5 natural and 1 mixed properties. Three countries, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Tajikistan, had sites added for the first time. One existing natural site was also recognized for its cultural values and thus becomes a mixed site.
The World Heritage Committee also added four sites to the List of World Heritage in Danger and removed the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) from this List.

For more information, click here.