6 Apr 2016
WORLD HERITAGE SUPPORTS MILLIONS, BUT THREATENED WORLDWIDE
Nearly half of all natural World Heritage sites, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef, are threatened by harmful industrial activities, according to a new WWF report.
These sites provide vital services to people and the environment, but are at risk worldwide from activities including oil and gas exploration, mining and illegal logging.
The report, produced for WWF by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, shows how natural World Heritage sites contribute to economic and social development through the protection of the environment, but also details global failures to protect these areas of outstanding universal value.
According to the study, 114 natural and mixed World Heritage sites out of 229 either have oil, gas or mining concessions overlapping them or are under threat from at least one other harmful industrial activity.
“World Heritage sites should receive the highest levels of protection, yet we are often unable to safeguard even this important fraction of the Earth’s surface,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International. “We all agree that these are some of the most valuable and unique places on the planet, now we need to work together to let these sites provide for the well-being of people and nature.”
More than eleven million people – greater than the population of Portugal – depend on World Heritage sites for food, water, shelter and medicine, and could be negatively affected by the impacts of harmful industrial activities conducted at large-scale.
Read the full story and download the report at www.panda.org