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At-risk UNESCO World Heritage sites


If you can to visit Mariposa Grove in Yosemitethe Kathmandu Valley in Nepalor Pompeii in Italy Today, this is because the sites have been protected saved by conservation measures, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (better known as UNESCO) is the international body that declares endangered areas the highest legal protection in the world. UNESCO strives to ensure that it attracts cultural and natural importance sustainable tourism and protection in the hope that the sites and people living nearby will thrive. As with many other endangered sites, the following 11 places on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are at risk as there are already identified or potential threats such as war, urbanization, human behavior or natural disasters. They are incredibly fascinating and still threatened as the fragile balance between man and heritage is constantly negotiated.

1. Everglades National Park – United States of America

Bald Cypress Trees in a Florida Marsh

Photo: Galyna Andrushko/ Shutterstock

The subtropical Everglades in Florida, is North America's largest designated wilderness area, home to a plethora of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems with more than 20 rare, endangered and endangered species. Florida Panthers, leatherback turtles, and manatees are some of the better known animals that protect "glades," and it's the only place in the world where American crocodiles and American alligators live together. The 1.5 million hectares national park contains both the largest mangrove community and the Sawgrass prairie, making it indispensable for the breeding and migration of waders. The threats to this fascinating reserve include urban development, mercury hunting and poisoning, to name but a few. It is not difficult to visit the park, and there is much to do, such as canoeing, cycling and learning about the practices of the indigenous Miccosukee tribe.

2. Chan Chan Archaeological Zone – Peru

Chan Chan ruins, Trujillo, Peru

Photo: Chris Howey/ Shutterstock

Lies on PeruNorth Pacific Coast, Chan Chan was the capital of the pre-Inca Chimú people who built the largest city in pre-Columbian America out of the sand. The city was divided into nine autonomous citadels. About 2.3 square kilometers remain of a much larger area. Roads, temples, agricultural fields and some big friezes are still there. The threats, however, include the climate, in particular the increasingly volatile effects of El Niño on the grounding structures. Illegal agricultural practices in the nearby river valley also endanger the protection of the site. However, through the collaboration of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture and many experts, UNESCO has helped restore and preserve much of the city. Chan Chan is easy to visit. It takes several hours to wander around the huge site. The attitude of a Peruvian guide contributes to the maintenance of the regional economy and avoids vandalism.

3. Rainforests of the Atsinanana – Madagascar

Portrait of the crowned lemur at the tree in Atsinanana region, Madagascar

Photo: Homo Cosmicos/ Shutterstock

Six national parks form this endangered site along the eastern side of the island of Madagascar. In the last 80 million years, when Madagascar broken off from Africa, plants and animals have developed in isolation, and now live around 85 percent of the fauna and flora in Madagascar nowhere else. Especially the primates are particularly threatened lemurs, Management strategies mitigate threats to biodiversity such as agriculture, gem mining, hunting, bush poaching and deforestation of rare hardwoods. The regulators of UNESCO and Madagascar are working to expand the parks while preserving wildlife corridors between them. Infrastructure and transport on the island are very difficult. Most of the streets of the capital, Antananarivo, are well-trodden dirt roads, and most car rental companies can not hire you without a professional driver. Boat trips are expensive. Many visitors come from the Masoala National Park and hire a local guide – especially if they, like most, want to see an elusive eye.

4. City of Potosí – Bolivia

The church of San Lorenzo is located in Potosi, Bolivia

Photo: saiko3p/ Shutterstock

A more recent place of cultural value, the Bolivians City of Potosí At the end of the 16th century, it was perhaps the largest industrial complex in the world. Potosí was 13,000 feet high and was initially a tiny Andendorf, until Pizarro 1572 went along and discovered the largest silver masses of America. Potosí became the main exporter of precious metals to Spain. Then began the construction of baroque architecture and art in the region. Today, mines, mining infrastructure, Spanish-style churches and breathtaking mountain scenery have been preserved. However, the mining technology of that time has made the mountains geologically unstable, and therefore threatens the city, people's lives, and ecology. UNESCO urges action to strengthen the deterioration. Potosí is tourist friendly with infrastructure and year-round temperate weather. The altitude is a bit strange, so get used to visiting this critically endangered World Heritage Site.

5. Okapi Game Reserve – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Okapi in the Congolese Jingle

Photo: Jiri Hrebicek/ Shutterstock

Okapis look like "Zeers", a fusion of zebras and deer, but they are actually a forest giraffe – and one of the planet's earliest mammals. They are endemic to this eastern sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and they peacefully graze between 7,000 chimpanzees, forest elephants, and the rare bongo and water chevrotain. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve accounts for about 20 percent of the Ituri Forest. The protection of this forest is essential to the well-being of the Efe and Mbuti pygmies, who depend on them for their survival. These crops are involved in the protection and safety of the protected area. Any outsider hunt is prohibited (indigenous hunting is alright), but remains a threat to the ecosystem. Carefully planned paths cross the forest and leave wide corridors, so that the wildlife is safe. The reserve is under attack from militia who have twice blown up the park's headquarters and nearby indigenous villages. Therefore, it is currently not possible to visit the park.

6. Center of Vienna – Austria

Old Hofburg, Vienna, Austria

Photo: LaMiaFotografia/ Shutterstock

You would not think that a city like Vienna – known for its musical culture, architecture and amazing coffee houses – would be on the UNESCO list of endangered World Heritage sites. However, urbanization threatens its cultural heritage, including, but not limited to, its diverse historical architecture, which dates back to the Roman Empire. Urban development plans are in full swing to create a buffer to protect the city from traffic. UNESCO and many other bodies also try to improve the environment. The wealthy city of Vienna has all tourist facilities, from the airport to trains and hotels. However, tourists generally do not know that they are exploring a highly endangered cultural heritage.

7. Tropical rainforest dam of Sumatra – Indonesia

Orangutan in the wild forests of Sumatra

Photo: Shutterstock

The three national parks on almost 9,600 square kilometers, which form the national park Tropical rainforest of Sumatra are home to more than 10,700 plant and animal species. Many of these animals live nowhere else in the world. The gentle, endangered orangutan is probably the best-known endemic species. The site is given the highest level of protection Indonesian Law as well as the support of UNESCO. Deforestation, mining and human intervention continue to threaten the biodiversity and landscape of the park. The United Nations recommends more policing against poaching and other illegal practices, as well as invasive species management. Sumatra's rainforest is breathtaking, but the best spot for orangutans is Bukit Lawang, one of the three parks. Local guides will bring you numerous trekking and nature protection hotels.

8. Rock Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus – Libya

Prehistoric Petroglyphs

Photo: Patrick Poendl/ Shutterstock

This site was a veritable prehistoric art gallery where artists created thousands of pictographs that began 14,000 years ago and lasted 12,000 years. The designs show the changing lifestyles of the people of the Sahara as well as the plants and animals with which they share the land. Colorful designs show everything from the antics of prehistoric musicians to ostriches and giraffes. Tadrart Acacus is also the place of the earliest evidence of milk on ceramics. Looting, vandalism and development are the main threats to the site. The nearest town is the rather remote ghat, Libya, From there you have to drive in a 4×4 vehicle (and ideally a local guide) into the breathtaking Acacus Mountains that form part of the nation's border Algeria,

9. Classical Gardens of Suzhou – China

Zhuozhengyuan park landscape

Photo: Meiqianbao/ Shutterstock

Historic Chinese gardens are known for their beautiful integration of natural elements such as water, rocks and trails to reflect the cultural and intellectual values ​​of the dynasty. Generations of gardeners from Jiangsu Province have preserved the botanical art form for 8000 years. About sixty of the oldest gardens still exist. Thanks to international, national and local efforts, the gardens remain well preserved and are part of the region's identity. Long-term conservation goals include reducing urbanization near the city of Suzhou, in which the protected gardens are concentrated.

Another goal is to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of the region. Sustainable tourism can enhance the local perception of the cultural heritage as valuable and provide a continuous economic incentive. It is not difficult to visit the fascinating city of Suzhou and its many gardens. It lies on the delta of the Yangtze River between Shanghai and Nanjing. High-speed trains run daily, hotels are abundant and guided hikes are readily available. China Jiangsu has a 144-hour visa-free transit transit program, allowing you to explore the gardens for six days.

10. Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley – Afghanistan

Bamian Valley archaeological site

Photo: Vilion Fok/ Shutterstock

Unfortunately, Bamiyan became famous in 2001 when the Taliban destroyed the two colossals Buddha statues that graced his cliffs. The gaping holes in which the statues were located remind visitors of the wickedness of such acts, but the Taliban did not win. The eight designated locations throughout the valley still have much to offer. Monumental Buddhist sanctuaries, monasteries and art from the first to the 13th century abound. Partly because of the protection of UNESCO and cooperation at Community level Bamiyan Valley is comparatively politically stable and could soon be removed from the vulnerable list. Visiting the valley is difficult but possible with the right visa and permits. All-wheel-drive minivans leave Kabul, Afghanistan, early morning for the eight-hour dusty trip, checkpoint for checkpoint. A local guide is necessary.

11. Pre-Hispanic city Uxmal – Mexico

Pyramid of the magician in the ancient Mayan city Uxmal, Mexico

Photo: Aleksandar Todorovic/ Shutterstock

At its height, about 1400, is the wide city of Uxmal in Yucatan, Mexico, about 25,000 Mayan people lived. They built temples like the Magician's Pyramid, which was up to 12 stories high, using three different Mesoamerican architectural styles. The Governor's Palace Temple offers the longest mosaic in the entire Mayan homeland – 320 feet long. UNESCO points out that it protects this Mayan site because it "represents the pinnacle of late Mayan art and architecture" and reveals much about economics, iconography and Maya's understanding of astronomy.

Uxmal has long been difficult to reach and protected from human intervention and activity. Now there is a paved toll road from Playa Carmen directly to the village. Nearby Uxmal there are hotels and restaurants as well as light shows and guided tours that can help maintain the regional economy. However, there are concerns that under-regulated tourism could deplete environmental resources and lead to vandalism and site degradation.

The post 11 amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites in danger of disappearing forever first appeared on Matador Network,

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