ICUN list - Mount Nimba Nature Reserve
NEWS from the Daily Independent:
Africa Tops List of Endangered World Heritage Sites
Daily Independent (Lagos)
4 August 2010
African heritages comprise 11 out of the 16 listed endangered world heritage sites by the world heritage committee.
At the recently concluded world heritage annual meeting in Brazil, the list of endangered heritages include rainforests of the Atsinanana - Madagascar, Everglades National Park (USA), Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic), Comoé National Park (Cote d'Ivoire), Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Cote d'Ivoire/ Guinée), Virunga National Park (DRC), Kahuzi-Biega National Park(DRC), Garamba National Park (DRC), Salonga National Park(DRC), Okapi Wildlife Reserve(DRC), Simien National Park( Ethiopia) , Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves(Niger), Niokolo-Koba National Park( Senegal), Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India), Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize) and Los Katíos National Park (Colombia).
According to a press release by IUCN media relations officer, Pia Drzewinski, the World Heritage Committee decided to remove the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, despite IUCNÂ´s recommendation to the contrary.
It noted that the Rainforests of Atsinanana are critically important to the survival of Madagascar's unique biodiversity. Over 80 percent of species there are endemic and include rare and threatened lemurs. But since the 2009 political crisis, illegal logging of precious woods has drastically increased and lemur poaching for bush meat, previously unheard of in Madagascar, is developing at a worrying rate, with a reduction in population density of 30 to 75 percent observed in some places.
"The ongoing illegal logging of precious woods in parts of Madagascar is of serious concern and is having serious impacts on endangered lemurs," says Tim Badman, Head of World Heritage at IUCN. "In adding this site to the Danger List, we are calling for international action to halt illegal logging and to also ensure that no illegally logged precious woods from Madagascar enter national markets."
The Everglades National Park, a sanctuary for birds and reptiles and home to 20 rare, endangered and threatened species, has been added to the Danger List upon request by the USA. It had previously been on this List from 1993 until 2007 because of the large amount of water diverted from the Park to nearby cities, which dried out the wetland habitats and caused a 90 percent drop in the population of wetland birds.
"We commend the USA's request to re-inscribe the site on the danger list, and its plans for major infrastructure overhaul to restore the Everglade's fragile wetland ecosystem," says Mariam Kenza Ali, IUCN World Heritage Conservation Officer "It reflects the role of the World Heritage Convention in supporting restoration efforts for the wetland habitats."
The Galapagos Islands, which have been called a unique "living museum and showcase of evolution" were inscribed on the Danger List in 2007 because of threats posed by invasive species, unbridled tourism and overfishing.
"IUCNÂ´s recommendation for the Galapagos was that it should not be removed from the Danger List as there is work still to be done," says Tim Badman, Head of IUCNÂ´s World Heritage Programme. "But we recognize the major efforts of the Ecuadorian government to rectify the situation there."
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