Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Climate Change Threat To Natural & Cultural Heritage

Nov 7: Cultural and nature-based heritage sites-- from Charles Darwin’s favorite barrier reef in Belize and South Africa’s famous West Coast National Park to 600 year-old Thai ruins and archaeological sites in Scotland -- are increasingly threatened by climate change. These are among the findings from a new report, The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World’s Greatest Challenge, compiled by researchers with the Stockholm Environment Institute with assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). According to the report, some of these priceless treasures are at risk as a result of impacts like rising sea levels, flooding and storms. Others, including mosques, cathedrals, monuments, and artifacts at ancient sites are threatened by changes in historic and local climatic conditions. These in turn may lead to subtle but damaging shifts in moisture levels affecting structures directly, or the chemistry and stability of soils in which they are found.

The findings, were unveiled at the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP12) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 2nd Meeting of the Parties (MOP2) to the Kyoto Protocol taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, and are based on a number of new studies by researchers across the globe including members of the World Heritage Committee linked with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Centre.

Access a lengthy release and links to the complete report and related information (click here). [*Climate]