World Heritage


The prairie pothole region is home to 50% of North America's waterfowl, but a climate threshold exists where they might not survive a 2°C warming. Photo: USFWS

Half a Degree of Warming Could be the Difference Between Survival and Extinction for Many Species

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

As a conservationist who has been ringing the alarm bells on climate change threats to biodiversity for more than 25 years, I hardly know where to start in responding to the findings of the newest, and most alarming, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of a 1.5°Celsius global warming.  I’m not surprised that the IPPC delivers more bad news after reviewing more than 6,000 recent scientific reports, but I am surprised by just how bad the news is.

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Credit: USFWS
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Aerial view of the great barrier reef in Australia
Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance (Flickr)

Climate Change is the Fastest Growing Threat to World Heritage

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

Nineteen extraordinary places were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list this week, including Buddhist temples in South Korea, the forests and wetlands that form the ancestral home of the Anishinaabeg people in Canada, and the ancient port city of Qalhat in Oman. But amongst all the congratulations and good feeling that comes with adding sites to list of the world’s most important places, there was little or no serious talk about the implications of climate change. Read more >

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An old whaling site on Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Adam Markham

Rapid Warming is Creating a Crisis for Arctic Archaeology

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

There are at least 180,000 archaeological sites in the Arctic. Many are already being lost to climate change – virtually all of them are vulnerable. Read more >

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US Withdrawal from UNESCO Will Undermine Collaboration on Science and Culture

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

The Trump Administration’s war on science has intensified with the announcement that the US is withdrawing from UNESCO, the international organization that works to promote peace & security through international cooperation on education, science and cultural programs.  Read more >

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Panorama of the town of Keswick, nestled between the fells of Skiddaw and Derwent Water in the Lake District, Cumbria, England. Photo: David Iliff CC BY-SA 3.0 (Wikicommons)

New World Heritage Sites Already Under Threat From Climate Change

, deputy director, Climate & Energy Program

At least four of the new World Heritage sites designated by UNESCO at the annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee this week are under serious threat from climate change. Read more >

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