Industrialization and the rise of consumption-driven economies has fueled an unprecedented explosion in human population, which now stands at some 7-plus billion. Along with the material benefits to humans, the overall costs in terms of depletion and degradation of natural resources and critical ecosystems have become increasingly apparent. Terrestrial and marine ecosystems that have evolved over millions of years to support the abundance and diversity of life we know today, from alpine glaciers to tropical forests, grasslands, mangroves and coral reefs, continue to be destroyed at alarming speed, while ecologists warn that a “Sixth Great Extinction” is under way.
Producing the first-ever assessment of the benefits and ecosystem services provided by UNESCO Natural World Heritage sites, “The findings of this report show that Natural World Heritage is much more than a list of iconic sites with outstanding biodiversity and natural beauty. Recognizing their crucial role in supporting our well-being reinforces the need to boost our efforts to conserve these places.”
This short video on Virunga Alliance shows the Economic, Social and Transformative potential of a UNESCO World Heritage site such as Virunga National Park and what it means for local communities.
It also remind us that:
In Virunga: “There are still things to improve, there is still more to do, but up till now, those who have eyes, and who look can see a difference”
Source: Excerpt from Global Warming is Real’s article from Andrew Burger “IUCN: Value of Natural World Heritage Sites Goes Far Beyond Monetary Gain”