Most threatened world heritage sites

| July 5, 2013 | 0 Comments
The 300-kilometre Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, covering 96,000 hectares, is the largest reef complex in the northern hemisphere.

The 300-kilometre Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, covering 96,000 hectares, is the largest reef complex in the northern hemisphere.

(1) Timbuktu, Mali
Founded in the 5th Century, Timbuktu reached its economic and cultural peak in the 15th and 16th Centuries, when it was an important centre for the diffusion of Islamic culture through the University of Sankore, parts of which Islamist radicals destroyed during a recent city occupation.

(2) Florida Everglades
Rich in biological and archeological diversity, the Florida Everglades exist at the transition point between temperate and sub-tropical America. But if current trends continue, sooner or later, the region will become part of concrete America.

(3) Cultural Landscape/Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley
Enclosed between the high mountains of the Hindu Kush in the central highlands of Afghanistan, lies the Bamiyan Valley. The region entered public consciousness in March 2001 when the former Taliban rulers of Afghanistan deliberately destroyed two Buddha statues carved into the valley’s rocky cliffs.

Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati monastery in Georgia are good examples of medieval Georgian architecture.

Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati monastery in Georgia are good examples of medieval Georgian architecture.

(4) Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Garamba National Park contains the four largest land mammals in the world: the hippopotamus, the elephant, the giraffe. Above all, it is home to the last 30 remaining white rhinoceroses in the world.

(5) Santa Ana de Coro, Venezuela
Founded by Spanish Conquistadors in 1527, Santa Ana de Coro was the seat of the first Catholic bishop in the New World. It is also considered the first “German” colony in the Americas, because its land was “gifted” to the Spanish crown by a banking family from Augsburg.

(6) Liverpool, Maritime Mercantile City, United Kingdom
An integral player in the historical rise of the British empire and modernity itself, the city and port of Liverpool still reference this past through their architecture and infrastructure. Yet the pressures of development can be unceasing.

The taller of the two Buddhas of Bamiyan in 1976. They were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

The taller of the two Buddhas of Bamiyan in 1976. They were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

(7) Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
Extending from the border with Mexico to the north to near the Guatemalan border to the south, the Belize barrier reef represents the world’s second-largest reef system and the largest reef complex in the northern hemisphere. A significant habitat for countless threatened species, famed marine explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau drew attention to its beautiful features, particularly the Great Blue Hole.

(8) Abu Mena, Egypt
Built in the 3rd Century AD, Abu Mena housed one of the early centres of Christendom. Founded on the tomb of an early Christian martyr and saint, archeological excavations have consequently revealed Abu Mena grew rapidly in the course of the 5th and 6th Centuries as a major pilgrimage site.

(9) Historic Town of Zabid, Yemen
The capital of Yemen between the 13th and 15th Centuries, Zabid was once a major centre of Islamic scholarship and worship. Its architecture, meanwhile, features building traditions dating back to the 7th Century. The unsightly introduction of modern materials is threatening its visual legacy.

The Monastery of Abu Mena, one of the early centres of Christendom in Egypt.

The Monastery of Abu Mena, one of the early centres of Christendom in Egypt.

(10) Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, Kutaisi, Georgia
Both the cathedral and the monastery represent the high mark of Georgian medieval architecture. Ironically, government-sponsored efforts to rebuild parts of the cathedral have, according to UNESCO, undermined the authenticity and integrity of the site.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: ,

Category: Dispatches

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *