The world is beautiful (if you know where to look). The natural scenes merge with modern architecture, and other man-made features to create a world that the future generations will love to see. Natural ecosystems, fossil sites, reserves, wilderness areas, volcanoes, rivers, mountains, deserts, parks, and landscapes have outstanding resources that everyone has to protect.
Archaeological sites, monuments, rural and urban sites, and so many other areas are now included in the World Heritage List. The diversity of each of these sites makes them unique in a way. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has done its part in protecting the world heritage. It is now up to everyone else to ensure that the world is safe from human destruction.
Why Protect These Heritage Sites?
The heritage sites are always under the threat of destruction. The destruction can be a result of war, pollution, unauthorized buildings, motorways, earthquakes, floods, and so many other natural disasters that can damage the sites.
UNESCO World Heritage has 700 sites on its list of protected areas. At any one time, more than 30 of these sites are facing imminent danger of destruction. Some of these sites have been destroyed and restored. For instance, the Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin, fell to ruins due to a tornado. The palace is now under restoration. The cloisters and palaces of Dubrovnik, Croatia, fell to war even after many years of standing up to earthquakes. As an individual, you can help by notifying the World Heritage Committee of any site that is facing an imminent threat.
How Does the UNESCO Help?
UNESCO protects all sites around the world. Its mandate includes to come in where emergency services are needed and to support States Parties in preserving these sites. They do this in line with the 1972 UNESCO Convention. According to article 5 of the convention, the UNESCO requires each State Party to ensure the preservation of the cultural and natural sites.
States, as such, need to come up with legal, scientific, administrative, technical, and financial measures to keep the sites safe. The task of safeguarding these sites is left to legislators, law enforcement officers, scientists, professionals in different fields, and people of goodwill.
It is up to individuals to call to attention these sites to protect them. For starters, locals (where these sites are) and the relevant authorities must inform tourists of the impact of their actions and their attitude. When the local communities are involved in the protection and preservation of these sites, the process becomes a cinch.
One thing that has affected the natural resources and natural sites is climate change, which comes from human activities. Although entities and companies have come up with measures to reduce climate change, there is still a lot that needs to be done.
Manufacturers are coming up with energy-efficient appliances such as energy-efficient portable inverter generators and other standard household appliances. By reducing energy use on appliances such as generators, companies are able to reduce the carbon footprint and further reduce the effects of global warming. Next time you need to buy a portable generator, you should for energy efficient model or choose one that use renewable energy. You will have helped several sites that are at risk of destruction natural calamities such as tornados.
So many sites are in danger and you can help protect them. By preserving these sites, tourists from all over the world can visit them and learn a thing or two about nature. There are many ways you can help preserve and protect these sites. Below are five ways how:
- Partner with UNESCO
Did you know that you or your organization can be a UNESCO partner and take part in conservation activities, promotion of heritage, sites, mobilization of resources, or support UNESCO financially? There are so many organizations that have partnered with the World Heritage Center. You do not need to have money or a position of influence as long as you have a voice, you can be a partner and help the world. You can even use social media platforms to promote the sites in your neighborhood or state.
- Volunteer or Intern with UNESCO
UNESCO invites volunteers and interns to work in their conservation programs. Regardless of the discipline, you fall in; you can join any of the programs including fieldwork and administrative positions. You do not need any experience as long as you have skills that can help the organization. Your work might even be as interesting as patrolling World Heritage sites in Croatia. You might be in Argentina one day and in Zimbabwe the next. It is all fun.
- Practice Sustainable Tourism
If you decide not to partner, intern, or volunteer with UNESCO, you can practice sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism involves you traveling and respecting the local culture and customs. You need to ensure that you do not damage or litter the sites you visit. Even if the sites you visit are not in the UNESCO World Heritage list, you still need to ensure you do not damage or litter the areas you visit. You should also visit the endangered sites if there is no imminent danger to your wellbeing. By visiting sites that are in danger of destruction, you promote the local economy, and this can help collect funds for the restoration of the sites.
- Join the Conversation
You can help save the world by joining the conversation on social media. You can share news on your social media newsfeed. You will bring attention to the sites, promote tourism, and educate people on the importance of protecting these sites.
- Offer Financial Help
Your donations will go a long way in helping the UNESCO conserve these sites. UNESCO has so many projects and programs that require funding from wellwishers.