people2016.04.06 18:11

Revealed: Over half of World Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon National Park and China's Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries are at risk from oil, gas and mining industries


  • Half of world's natural World Heritage sites at risk from industrial activities
  • 114 of 229 sites have oil, gas or mining concessions overlapping them
  • Study shows over 20 per cent of natural World Heritage sites face threats 


Half of the world's natural World Heritage sites are at risk from harmful industrial activities such as mining, dredging or drilling for oil, a report has warned.


Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon National Park in the US and China's Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - home to more than 30 per cent of the world's endangered pandas - are among the 'incredible places' being put at risk, wildlife charity WWF said.


Of 229 natural or mixed World Heritage sites, which have been designated wholly or partly because of their natural formations, habitats for threatened species or their conservation, scientific or aesthetic value, 114 are under threat. 


Scroll down for video 

The report focuses on the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (pictured), home to 1,400 species of wildlife, which it says is threatened by coastal construction 


The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is named as one of the 'incredible places' at risk. The report says it is under threat due to unsustainable water use

The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is named as one of the 'incredible places' at risk. The report says it is under threat due to unsustainable water use


The Blue Hole Natural Monument at Lighthouse Atoll is part of the Belize Barrier Reef and a popular diving site

The Blue Hole Natural Monument at Lighthouse Atoll is part of the Belize Barrier Reef and a popular diving site


Dangers range from oil and gas exploration to mining, illegal logging and unsustainable water use, according to the report for WWF by Dalberg Global Development Advisers.

More than a fifth of natural World Heritage sites are threatened by several different harmful activities, it found.


The study also said more than eleven million people worldwide rely on World Heritage sites for food, water, shelter and medicine, and damaging development could harm them. 


Nine out of 10 (90 per cent) of sites provide jobs and benefits that stretch beyond their borders, and the protected areas help relieve poverty and food insecurity, tackle climate change and promote sustainable use of natural resources, it claims.


WWF is calling on governments to ensure no harmful industrial activities are permitted in World Heritage sites or areas that could affect them, and for businesses to commit to avoid damaging projects.


The Great Barrier Reef is at risk from coal mining activities, the Grand Canyon is threatened by unsustainable water use and the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries is at risk from oil and gas concessions, the report said.


In Europe, the handful of threatened sites include Donana National Park in Spain, home to millions of birds including flamingoes, and the endangered Iberian lynx, where there are plans to reopen a mine that caused environmental disaster in the 1990s.


The report also focuses on the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, home to 1,400 species of wildlife, which it says is threatened by coastal construction, large-scale mangrove clearance, harmful run-off from farming and potential oil exploration. 


The Belize reef is home to three kinds of marine turtles, endangered green turtles, like this one, as well as critically endangered hawksbills and vulnerable loggerheads

The Belize reef is home to three kinds of marine turtles, endangered green turtles, like this one, as well as critically endangered hawksbills and vulnerable loggerheads

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries (pictured) is at risk from oil and gas concessions, the report said.

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries (pictured) is at risk from oil and gas concessions, the report said.

In Europe, the handful of threatened sites include Donana National Park in Spain, home to millions of birds including flamingoes (pictured) 

In Europe, the handful of threatened sites include Donana National Park in Spain, home to millions of birds including flamingoes (pictured) 


Around half of Belize's population, around 190,000 people, are supported by incomes from tourism and fisheries around the reef, and the damaging activities have led to the protected area being listed as World Heritage in danger, the report said.


David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK, said: 'World Heritage sites cover approximately 0.5 per cent of the Earth's surface and include some of the most valuable and unique places on the planet.

'Yet even this small fraction of our planet isn't receiving the protection it deserves.


'These areas contribute to our economies through tourism and natural resources, providing livelihoods for millions of people, while also supporting some of the planet's most valuable ecosystems, so we need to work together now to ensure they are properly protected.'


He added: 'We need to turn away from harmful industrial activities and focus on sustainable alternatives that enhance World Heritage sites, their values and the benefits they provide, especially to local communities.' 


The research, which was produced for WWF by Dalberg the Global Development Advisors, shows that over 20 per cent of natural World Heritage sites now face threats from multiple harmful industrial activities. Pictured: Wolong Nature Reserve in China

The research, which was produced for WWF by Dalberg the Global Development Advisors, shows that over 20 per cent of natural World Heritage sites now face threats from multiple harmful industrial activities. Pictured: Wolong Nature Reserve in China

Iberian lynx are endangered and found only in two places in Spain, including World Heritage site Doñana National Park

Iberian lynx are endangered and found only in two places in Spain, including World Heritage site Doñana National Park



The study follows an announcement earlier this year that Italy plans to slash the number of tourists visiting the Cinque Terre U.N. World Heritage park this summer because the rugged coastal area risks being wrecked by coach parties.


The extreme measures were announced after around 2.5million tourists poured into the picturesque park in northwest Italy last year to visit the five small fishing villages, which are connected by narrow cliff trails.


Residents say day-trippers from cruise ships docking at nearby ports have overwhelmed their communities and the head of the Cinque Terre National Park said no more than 1.5million visitors would be let in this year.


Similarly, the island of Santorini became the latest picturesque tourist hotspot to have its visitor numbers capped when another announcement was made last month.


Following the ticketing system for visitors to the Cinque Terre U.N. World Heritage park, Greece has announced that the number of cruise passengers allowed to disembark at Santorini will be limited to 8,000 per day. It sometimes peaks at 10,000 a day.


Last year, the Greek island was the most popular area in the country to be visited by cruises, with a total of 636 ships docking there.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3524564/World-Heritage-sites-including-Great-Barrier-Reef-Grand-Canyon-National-Park-Belize-Barrier-Reef-risk-industry.html#ixzz452GmADDC 



Posted by 지구와 사람 engi-