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Articles on UNESCO World Heritage sites

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Rocca Calascio is a mountaintop fortress in the province of L'Aquila in Italy. It bears witness to the long relationship between humanity and mountains, and how natural landscapes are also culture ones. UNESCO

Earth’s cathedrals: Europe’s mountains are cultural heritage, not just natural heritage

Often thought of as eternal, mountains are vulnerable to climate change and tourism. To protect them, they should be recognised for their cultural values, not just their natural characteristics.
Switzerland’s Great Aletsch Glacier is 23km long and located in the World Heritage site Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. It leads the list of glaciers in the European Alps in terms of length and size, yet since the mid-19th century, it has lost more than 25% of its volume. Jo in Riederalp/Wikipedia

Climate change must be a catalyst for reform of the World Heritage system

Rising temperatures and extreme weather pose an existential threat to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, but widespread discussion is needed for meaningful change.
Chiribiquete National Natural Park and the Serranía de la Lindosa buffer zone feature many flat-topped mountains known as Tepuyes. Unesco

In a Colombian national park, pictographs and pristine nature point the way toward a more hopeful future

Local communities and national authorities are working to develop sustainable tourism in Colombia’s Chiribiquete National Natural Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2018.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial, known as the Genbaku Dome, was one of the few surviving structures after the city was hit by an atomic bomb in 1945. Its ruins bear witness to the 140,000 people who died, and spreads the message of “no more Hiroshimas”. Metrotrekker

To adapt to a changing world, heritage conservation needs to look toward the future

World heritage sites play an essential role in advancing Unesco’s goals, but more foresight is needed to imagine and enable promising strategies that address the needs of future generations.
The Market Gardeners’ District in Bamberg is made up of several hectares of land encircled by densely built small houses of a distinct style. Unesco

Inside Bamberg’s Market Gardeners’ District, where medieval traditions meet a changing world

Urban farming is an ancient tradition in Bamberg, and the gardeners’ district is an integral part of the World Heritage City, growing food, promoting sustainability and fighting climate change.
The UNESCO-recognized Pechersk-Lavra monastic complex dating from the 11th century comprises multiple monastic buildings and bell towers, and its 600-metre network of catacombs contains chapels, relics and tombs of the monks. (Shutterstock)

Ukraine: Heritage buildings, if destroyed, can be rebuilt but never replaced

Lviv is an important Renaissance and baroque urban centre in Eastern Europe, and its two remaining synagogues survived mass destruction in the Second World War.
Water science researcher Callum Fleming in the Wollangambe River, deep within the World Heritage area. Ian Wright

The stunning recovery of a heavily polluted river in the heart of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area

For over 40 years, a coal mine on the outskirts of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area dumped poorly treated wastewater into the Wollangambe River. Finally, it’s on the road to recovery.

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