Threats to world heritage to be investigated

The World Heritage Committee has agreed to establish an expert working group to look at the impacts of climate change on World Heritage Sites.

This is a great start - but we need to make sure it isn't just a talking shop.

The pathway to the decision

In November 2004 campaigners delivered legal petitions to UNESCO - requesting three sites be put on the World Heritage in Danger List because of climate change.

The three sites are:

  • Everest (Sagarmatha) National Park, Nepal
  • Huascaran National Park, Peru.
  • Belize Barrier Reef.

The impacts of climate change

Mount Everest at risk

Melting glaciers in the Mount Everest National Park and the Huascaran National Park are swelling the glacial lakes - making them increasingly unstable and at risk of catastrophic flooding.

And increased sea temperatures are destroying the fragile coral reef ecosystems in Belize.

Bleached elkhorn and staghorn coral,
Bacalar Chico National Park, Belize

It is vital that the World Heritage Committee takes action to help protect these precious sites.

People power

Citizens and organisations from all round the world have been asking the World Heritage Committee to add these sites to the danger list.

In particular we would like to thank the 1,500 of you who emailed the UK Government from this website in support.

Your actions made the difference

At the meeting it was the UK delegation that took the initiative to set up and host the expert group.

They were supported by the delegations from Portugal, New Zealand, St Lucia and The Netherlands.

The expert group plans to report back to the Committee at its next meeting next year.

Less talking, more action

It is vital that the expert group ensures that action is taken.

With your help, we will keep the pressure on - to remind the expert working group, and the World Heritage Committee, that the world is watching.

Find out more

The organisations leading on each petition are:

  • Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy
  • Foro Ecolgico del Per
  • Pro Public (Friends of the Earth Nepal)

The Climate Justice Programme site contains in depth information on each petition.