UNESCO World Heritage list

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Overview:

According to a study conducted by the UN body, a third of the glaciers on the UNESCO World Heritage list are under threat, regardless of efforts to limit temperature increases.

About UNESCO World Heritage list:

  • The study said it was still possible to save the other two-thirds if the rise in global temperature did not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era.
  • In addition to drastically reduced carbon emissions, the UNESCO is advocating for the creation of a new international fund for glacier monitoring and preservation.
  • Such a fund would support comprehensive research, promote exchange networks between all stakeholders and implement early warning and disaster risk reduction measures, the study said.
  • Half of humanity depends directly or indirectly on glaciers as their water source for domestic use, agriculture, and power.
  • Glaciers are also pillars of biodiversity, feeding many ecosystems.
  • This study highlights the urgent need to cut greenhouse gas emissions and invest in nature-based solutions, which can help mitigate climate change.
  • As many as 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites are home to glaciers, representing almost 10% of the Earth’s total glacierised area.
  • The UNESCO study, in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), showed that these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures.
  • They are currently losing 58 billion tonne of ice every year — equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain — and are responsible for nearly 5% of observed global sea level rise.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • A World Heritage Site (WHS) is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the UNESCO under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.
  • These sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance.
  • The sites, classified as cultural, natural and mixed (meeting both cultural and natural criteria) heritage around the world, are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Source : The Hindu