SAVE THE PLANET: Preserve Natural Sites

SAVE THE PLANET: Preserve Natural Sites

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!

Jade Mont started this petition to Philipine Government and

Natural sites are restricted to those natural areas that furnish outstanding examples of Earth’s record of life or its geologic processes, provide excellent examples of ongoing ecological and biological evolutionary processes, contain natural phenomena that are rare, unique, superlative, or of outstanding beauty, or furnish habitats for rare or endangered animals or plants or are sites of exceptional biodiversity (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). It help prevent natural disasters such as floods or landslides (IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Natural World Heritage sites are globally recognized as the most significant protected areas on Earth. These sites provide life-supporting benefits to millions of people – 90% of sites provide jobs, two-thirds are crucial sources of water and abo nion for Conservation of nature. But according to UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the armed conflict and war, earthquakes and other natural disasters, pollution, poaching, uncontrolled urbanization and unchecked tourist development pose major problems to World Natural Sites. Dangers can be ‘ascertained’, referring to specific and proven imminent threats, or ‘potential’, when a property is faced with threats that could have negative effects on its World Heritage values. Furthermore, Natural World Sites are under increasing pressure from climate change, infrastructure development, mining, poaching, and other threats. There are 247 natural World Heritage sites around the globe, including iconic places such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Yellowstone National Park in the United States, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra in Indonesia. Natural World Heritage sites account for 8% of the total surface covered by all 230,000+ protected areas worldwide. Almost every country has signed the World Heritage Convention, committing to the best level of protection for these sites. Yet natural World Heritage sites are under increasing pressure. Invasive species, climate change and the negative impacts of tourism are currently the three most significant threats to natural World Heritage, according to the IUCN World Heritage Outlook, the first ever assessment of all listed natural sites. Climate change is the fastest growing threat to natural World Heritage, with the number of sites highly threatened by climate change almost doubling in the three years between 2014 and 2017. Coral reefs and glaciers are among the most affected ecosystems. In 2016, up to 85% of all reefs surveyed had been impacted by climate change. The Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef on Earth, has suffered widespread bleaching due to the increase in global sea surface temperature. Retreating glaciers threaten the very reason why Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest peak, is on the World Heritage List. Climate change is also by far the largest potential threat to natural World Heritage, meaning more sites will likely suffer impacts in the near future. The protection and management of natural World Heritage are becoming less effective. In 2017, fewer than half (48%) of the sites were assessed as having effective protection and management, down from 54% in 2014. Lack of guarantee for long-term finance is the most challenging aspect of protection and management – an issue assessed as being of concern for 118 natural World Heritage sites (IUCN). Natural sites play an important role, therefore it is important because Natural World Heritage sites provide crucial habitats to many iconic species, as well as protect rare ecological processes and stunning landscapes. They also contribute to economies, climate stability, and human well-being. Two-thirds of natural sites on the World Heritage List are crucial sources of water, and about half help prevent natural disasters such as floods or landslides. Over 90% of listed natural sites create jobs and provide income from tourism and recreation. Forests found in World Heritage sites across the tropical regions store an estimated 5.7 billion tons of carbon – higher forest biomass carbon density on average than the remaining protected area network (IUCN).

In order to protect the world’s natural World Heritage sites from growing threats, investing in their protection and management is key. This is a collective responsibility shared by governments, civil society, local communities, and indigenous peoples. The state of conservation of natural World Heritage sites needs to be closely monitored to identify the most threatened sites, and this is where national and international conservation efforts should focus first. World Heritage sites, as the planet’s most significant protected areas, deserve the best quality management if they are to have a positive outlook. IUCN recommends the adoption of World Heritage-specific targets in the post-2020 agenda of the Convention on Biological Diversity as an effective means to drive biodiversity conservation action. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook also offers a tool for measuring progress over time, as it tracks changes in the sites’ protection and management, threats, and natural values. The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas – the first global standard of practice in area-based conservation – can ensure natural World Heritage sites enjoy internationally benchmarked protection and management. The IUCN Green List can celebrate and share high-quality management and help those World Heritage sites most in need to lift standards. Quantifying the benefits provided by natural World Heritage sites helps justify investing in and conserving them. Many tools for assessing ecosystem services – the benefits provided by nature – now exist. New IUCN guidance helps to select the most appropriate tool according to objectives and resources (IUCN).

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!