Climate activists ask UNESCO to step in to protect key World Heritage Sites at risk from coal development
The activists gathered outside UNESCO headquarters today to shine a light on the Heritage Sites around the world threatened by coal development. They ask that UNESCO step up to be a leader on climate change, by specifically stopping coal developments from ruining Heritage Sites and by calling for governments around the world to fulfil the Paris Agreement. Communities are also calling for many of these sites to be included in the Endangered list. (Footnote 1) “The action comes at a crucial time for the people of Lamu headed to court tomorrow, exercising their legal right to oppose the proposed Lamu coal project. We are calling on UNESCO to prioritise the preservation of invaluable heritage sites and send a strong message to fossil fuel Indus tries.
Climate activists from 350.org created a sombre tableau in front of UNESCO headquarters in Paris today. 10 activists, dressed in black to represent the grim future of whole ecosystems and communities at risk from coal, displayed a banner reading “Protect Culture, Not Coal” and built symbolic charcoal cairns, or stone-made tumulus, used in mountains to help lost travellers find their way back. The petitions were received by Ms Mechtild Rossler, Director of the World Heritage Centre on behalf of UNESCO, with an acknowledgement of the important role played by civil society in raising awareness of these issues. Ms Rossler also confirmed that UNESCO has already recommended that the Sundarbans be placed on the endangered list.