Paris, 19 April 2022 (TDI): 60% of the World Heritage Sites are threatened by climate change events. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) shared these statistics in the report titled “World Heritage forests: Carbon Sinks under pressure.”

They shared the year’s theme on International Day for Monuments and Sites on 18 April 2022. Climate change is the most pressing issue of the 21st century and has threatened cultural and natural heritage sites.

Increased risk of storms, wildfires, bleaching, and floods are results of global temperature rise. Therefore, UNESCO aims to gather and share information on climate practices to protect World Heritage Sites.

According to the report on Marine World Heritage: Custodians of the globe’s blue carbon assets study, marine sites are severely threatened due to climate change.

These sites constitute two-thirds of vital carbon stores and provide 15% of the world’s blue carbon assets. Earlier, UNESCO shared a warning regarding disappearing coral reefs by the end of the century.

Overcoming threats to World Heritage Monuments and Sites

UNESCO is supporting countries in protecting World Heritage Monuments and Sites from the undeniable impacts of climate change. The organization is committed to strengthening the countries’ capacities to recover from climate-induced disasters.

Similarly, the organization aims to harness the potential of culture and climate. The UN agency has shared global assets which require protection and mitigation measures to overcome climate change impacts.

Currently, UNESCO is developing an inclusive policy framework for climate action through culture. The updated policy document on climate action for world heritage supports the global climate agenda.

“Our strengthened collaboration with partners and Member States to address the growing need for enhanced monitoring of the impact of climate change on UNESCO World Heritage through more accurate and relevant data has been critical.

Likewise, our efforts to leverage global platforms, including the Urban Heritage Climate Observatory have been critical,” stated the UN agency.