UNESCO Wants Close Surveillance Of 4 World Sites
UNESCO committee calls for close surveillance of 4 World Heritage sites
10 July 2008 - Four World Heritage properties, deemed to be under particular stress, will now be put under "reinforced monitoring," the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today.
The World Heritage Committee created the surveillance mechanism last year, and the sites announced today - located in France, Mali, Peru and Uzbekistan - join seven others which are being monitored.
Under this system, the properties can be checked regularly, with experts visiting the sites and reporting their findings to the 21-member Committee, whose annual session in Quebec City, Canada, wraps up today.
The body said it regretted the destruction late last year of the Pertuis Bridge at the Port of the Moon site, added to the World Heritage List in 2007, in Bordeaux, France.
Timbuktu in Mali, which had been on the List since 1988, was de-listed from the list of sites in danger after preservation efforts were improved. But the Committee has voiced concern over new constructions near mosques on the property.
Expressing concern over the governance of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru, the body also noted such problems as deforestation, the risk of landslides and unchecked urban development.
The Committee pointed out that Samarkand in Uzbekistan is threatened by new roads and buildings, urging stepped up monitoring to ensure that development plans do not negatively affect the historic value of the town.
During its meeting, no changes were made by the Committee to the List of World Heritage sites in danger, which contains 30 properties.