UNESCO : what is it ?
« UNESCO develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, UNESCO strengthens bonds among cultures. UNESCO’s fosters scientific programs and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. UNESCO stands up for freedom of expression, as a fundamental right and a key condition for democracy and development »
« UNESCO is an Organization for Peace and works to give a human face to globalization. Its actions contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015«
For more information : Official Gateway of UNESCO
UNESCO label permits to protect human inheritage against destruction (for example, Abu Simbel in Egypt) but on the other hand mass tourism is destroying UNESCO sites, victims of their own success.
UNESCO labels distinguish :
- unique natural landscapes : Revillagigedo Archipelago (Mexico), Lout Desert (Iran), Mistaken Point (Canada), Bandiagara Cliffs (Dogon Country), Ha-Long Bay (Viet Nâm), Galápagos Islands, Grand Canyon (USA)
- human buildings : Eiffel Tower (France), Giant Buddha in Leshan (China), petroglyphs in Ennedi Mount (Tchad)
Between protection and destruction :
With the UNESCO list, the host population near by is sure to receive money for this tourism. However the sites are not that sure to be preserved… Angkor Vat, the famous temples of Cambodia are victims of the mass tourism : tourists’ graff on the ancient walls, excessive trampling, degradation of the millenary stones… More than 3000 tourists can daily discover Angkor Vat : none decision was made about how many tourists the site can support.
UNESCO list is a good innovation but without any form of local control, unhappily sites will not survive any longer.