The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has proposed to degrade the status of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, recommending its addition to the list of endangered World Heritage sites. The committee said its recommendation is based on the adverse impact of climate change.
Irritated by the decision, Australia said it would challenge UNESCO’s draft recommendation. “For us, being singled out in a way that completely skews the normal process was something we were very strong on. And we argued that we will challenge that decision when it goes to Committee of the Whole later in July,” said the Minister of the Environment. Sussan Ley said, noting that the authorities were “blinded by a sudden and belated decision”.
UNESCO’s proposal also sparked an uproar among representatives of tourism companies, over concerns that the listing of endangered sites could affect the industry.
Here are the other places that risk losing their heritage site status:
UNESCO said the Italian city has been damaged by “overtourism” and recommended adding Venice to its list of endangered heritage.
The UN body has recognized that the number of tourists has “drastically decreased” during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the damage has already been done and called for more sustainable tourism.
The Hungarian city, crossed by the Danube, was put on the endangered species list due to a major renovation of the Buda Castle district. This decision aims to restore the glory of the city before the Second World War.
But UNESCO maintains that the reconstruction flouts international conservation standards and has called for work to be stopped.
The seafaring city of England faced the greatest fury from UNESCO, which recommended removing Liverpool from the World Heritage list altogether.
The reason for this harsh decision is the redevelopment of Liverpool’s historic waterfront and the northern port area. UNESCO criticized the city for not having capped the heights of new buildings.
Tanzania Game Reserve
The granting of exploitation rights inside the Selous Game Reserve put him in hot water with UNESCO. The UN was recently alarmed at the construction of a dam on the Rufiji River, the largest in the country.
Deploring Tanzania’s decision to go ahead with the project, despite the ecological threat to the floodplain, UNESCO says the “exceptional” character of the reserve has suffered “irreversible” damage and has recommended its removal from the World Heritage List.