Protect world heritage sites to conserve biodiversity: UNESO

UNITED NATIONS - Some of the world’s most iconic natural and cultural sites are also a haven for thousands of endangered species, the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the world body’s Paris-based agency, said Thursday. Although properties protected under the World Heritage Convention make up less than one per cent of the Earth’s surface, they harbour more than 20 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity, new research by UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has revealed. The UN agency has urged the 195 States party to the treaty to step up efforts to conserve them in the face of climate change and the threat of increased species loss. “These 1,157 sites are not only historically and culturally outstanding, they are also critical to the preservation of the diversity of life on Earth, maintaining essential ecosystem services, and addressing climate disruption,” the UNESCO Director General, Audrey Azoulay, said in a statement.

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