via email from the ACCSD:

UNESCO puts two sites on endangered list

Saturday, June 27, 2009,

UNESCO puts two sites on endangered list

The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. UNESCO has put two natural sites, a coral reef in Belize and a national park in Colombia, on its list of endangered world heritage. (UNESCO)

MADRID (AFP) – UNESCO has put two natural sites, a coral reef in Belize and a national park in Colombia, on its list of endangered world heritage, a statement issued Saturday said.

The UN cultural agency's World Heritage Committee meeting in Seville, Spain, said human activity, some of it illegal, was to blame.

Mangrove cutting and excessive development is the main problem in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996 as the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, the committee said.

It comprises offshore atolls, hundreds of sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries.

"While requesting stricter control of development on the site, the committee also requested that the moratorium on mangrove cutting on the site which expired in 2008 be reinstated," the committee said.

(the other site is Los Katios National Park in Cololmbia)