The Selous Game Reserve will soon be overwhelmed
Tanzania is a very large country. How big is it? The government is able to set aside a Swiss-sized land as a game reserve. This African version of Switzerland is known as the “Selous Game Reserve” and is no different from ordinary Switzerland, except that there are no alpine mountains but low-lying wetlands; there are no chocolates but elephants, giraffes, rhinos and 12% of Africa. Wild dog.
But the Selous Game Reserve is still so impressive that it was included in the list by UNESCO in 1982 on the grounds that it was one of the last wilderness areas in Africa that were not disturbed by humans. However, according to the “Voice of Germany” report, the Tanzanian government has approved plans to build a hydroelectric power station and flood large areas of the game reserve. They also plan to start logging in Selous, start mining oil and gas, and open uranium mines. The Tanzanian government said that the dam and power generation projects will boost the economy.
Białowweza Forest is becoming a huge wood processing plant
Not long ago, Europe was covered by large jungles, where wolves, bears and evil witches lurked. After the industrial revolution, all the virgin forests were reduced to a few small pieces in an instant. One of them was the Bialowweza Forest in Poland, which was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage List. This is Poland and Belarus. A small part of the history of the border is home to a quarter of the world’s bison. Beginning in 2016, the Polish government began to allow logging into the protected area, leading to what we call “the end of the tree.”
After decades of protection, the government opened up forests to the logging industry, and the then Minister of the Environment, Jan Shishko, tripled the logging ban after logging began.
Finally, the EU intervened and threatened to impose heavy penalties on Poland unless logging was stopped. But this is only temporary. In 2019, according to environmental organizations, Poland plans to start logging again.
The ancient capital of Yemen has turned into a pile of dust
As early as the 11th century, a group of people living in the ancient Arab city of Sana began to build towering houses with mud-fired red bricks. The buildings that rise from the ground are tall and thin, decorated with white trim and look like gingerbread houses. With the vigorous development of the world, 6,000 such old houses survived and survived and eventually became the most important world heritage of Yemen. But since 2015, everything has gotten worse.
In March of that year, after the color revolution in the Middle East, the fragmented society evolved into a suicidal civil war. With the out-of-control situation in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, a neighboring country, decided to intervene, causing Yemen’s indiscriminate airstrikes over the years, killing thousands of people. But there is another victim in this civil war. According to Reuters, in 2018, the beautiful old house in Sana’a was razed to the ground, with dust and rubble everywhere. Maybe one day Sana will be rebuilt, or it will be crushed until there is only dust.
We can’t save the Bamiyan Buddha without killing them.
Given that the Bamiyan Buddha was blown up by the Taliban in 2001, you may be surprised by the presence of the Bamiyan Buddha on this list. But if you visit the UNESCO website, you will find that the Bamyan Valley and its destroyed Buddha statues are still listed as World Heritage Sites. This is because the policy of UNESCO is to see if there is any possibility of reconstruction if something is destroyed by war or violence.
However, there is a trap here. At present, the empty wall of carved Buddha statues is still a World Heritage. However, if someone tries to rebuild, they can only use the original materials according to UNESCO regulations, but only one-third of the original materials are preserved after the statue is blown up. The wreckage of these Buddha statues may automatically retain the UNESCO’s identification, but if they are rebuilt, they will be automatically eliminated.
From a local perspective, this is a bit bad. Shiite Muslims in the region have never supported the Sunni Taliban extreme version of Islam, and they want to return to their idol statues. Rebuilding these statues may encourage the development of tourism, but if these statues are to be re-deployed by UNESCO, all these efforts will be lost. So the best option is to either dig two holes in the rock wall and let the body recognize it; or engrave two new statues on the rock wall and let it be cut off immediately.
Egypt Abu Meena may collapse at any time
A long time ago, Abu Meena in Egypt was a busy Byzantine Christian metropolis and a pilgrimage center. Abumena has been destroyed for centuries and now looks like a city, but more like a pile of broken pillars, criss-crossing more broken ruins. Although Abu Meena may not be so appealing to the average person, it is a visual enjoyment for any historian who studies Coptic Christianity. UNESCO believes the site is so important that it was juxtaposed with the more famous ancient city of Thebes in 1979.
Unfortunately, Abu Meena has a problem that has not been encountered in other ancient Egyptian cities. As explained in the Daily Telegraph, the city is built on dry, hard clay. This is acceptable when everything is dry, but when the reservoir is cracked and the local floods turn the ground into a liquid, this becomes a huge problem. Since 2001, Abu Meena has actually practiced the parable of Jesus: stupid people put the house on the sand, and only when Abu Meena finally fell, our ancient history will disappear.
There have been attempts to keep Abu Meena going, but their approach is actually another kind of destruction. When the local government used sand to fill the catacombs to keep the surface structure intact, it also buried our heritage again in the process.
Half of the Great Barrier Reef is dead, and it will never come back.
What is the only huge creature that can be seen from space? According to the European Space Agency, the Great Barrier Reef on the northern coast of Australia maintains this record. The Great Barrier Reef is more than 2,000 kilometers long and is almost incomprehensible. Its biodiversity is the same as the Amazon. In 2015, more than 2 billion corals lived on the World Heritage List’s coral reefs, along with ever-changing fish, algae, molluscs and other forms of life.
You may have noticed the keyword in the last sentence: “2015.” Why is 2015? In 2016 and 2017, a warm current caused by climate change flooded coral reefs, causing corals to starve to death. Half of the coral reefs die from what is known as “an unprecedented bleaching event.” To make matters worse, they will not die and resurrect.
Coral bleaching usually does not cause permanent death. The Great Barrier Reef has experienced small-scale whitening and survived. But it does require a huge time scale, such as 100 years or so, to regenerate. This may not happen as the ocean continues to warm up. Even if the Great Barrier Reef begins to recover, it will only be able to destroy it all again with another accident like 2016, and these events are becoming more and more frequent.
Haida Guay totem pole is about to disappear
Just outside the coast of British Columbia, it is home to one of Canada’s most primitive wildernesses. Haidaguai is such a beautiful home. Every time you see it, it is like downloading thousands of natural documentaries directly into your eyeballs. But compared to the remains of Sgangguai, it is all eclipsed. Sgangguai is a 2,897-meter-long island located in Haidaguai, the original site of the 19th century Haida aboriginal village. The carved wooden totem poles adorned the land, and each pillar tells a unique story. Such a story has never been said before and will not be repeated in the future. If you plan to travel here in 10 years, this will be bad news, because these totem poles are not expected to last for 10 years.
As explained in The Talks Atlas, the intricate totem pole is rot, which is the result of Canada’s harsh winter weather. However, no one tried to save them, and UNESCO did not make any noise about their demise because they were originally built for death.
Haida people believe that everything has a natural life cycle, including humans and animals, yes, and totem poles. A long time ago, they thought that their totems should be allowed to be naturally decomposed, which explains the decaying state of the 26 totems on Squaangui. Any effort to protect these totem poles will go against what their creators believe, so we can only watch them slowly disappear.
Many destroyed sites in Syria will not be rebuilt
In the first few years of the 21st century, the religious Third Empire tribute bill known as the “Islamic State” developed a bad habit of destroying world heritage. In Syria and Iraq, monuments of worthlessness were bombed just to allow several Jihad brethren to remove the stone. This does not include the air strikes carried out by the Assad regime on ancient buildings outside the “Islamic State” site. Every part of Syria’s six world heritage sites is classified as at risk.
The UNESCO report on the core area of Aleppo’s destruction indicates that locals are not waiting for UNESCO to rebuild their cities and that they are building concrete bunkers as much as possible. On the one hand, this means that no one will be killed in the war after the reconstruction of Aleppo. On the other hand, this means that Aleppo is likely to be like Des Moines. There are also funding issues. The Financial Times pointed out that sanctions mean that Western governments will not be able to pay for the reconstruction of Syrian heritage, and countries such as Russia and Iran, which are allied with Assad, are either bankrupt or don’t care. The war may have ended, but the ancient Syria has ceased to exist.
Ancient rock art sites in Libya have basically disappeared
Do you know that the Sahara is not always a big desert? Tatralt Akakus, a remote area in southern Libya, has an ancient rock art site. A series of cave paintings dating back to 12000 BC show how the world of the Sahara has changed over thousands of years, and you can see the emergence and disappearance of animals and plants. Looking at these pictures is like looking at the living timeline of human prehistoric times, extending from the time of agriculture to 100 AD.
However, in 2018, after years of civil war in Libya, UNESCO issued a pessimistic report. They concluded that 95% of the paintings have been damaged or stolen.
This problem existed long before the current war in Libya. In 2009, the locals began to traditionally paint ancient art, and the collapse of the Gaddafi regime made everything extremely bad. No one left to protect these rock art, so now all the rocks are either robbed or smashed by boring people. Perhaps this part of the estate may disappear within 10 months.
The historic center of Vienna will not be destroyed but may be delisted
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a prosperous city in rich countries, surrounded by the “sea of stability” in the heart of Europe. It is rated as the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit. In fact, there are two ways to make the World Heritage no longer exist. One is the classic way of “destroying everything” and the other is that UNESCO removes them.
As early as 2017, the Vienna City Council approved the construction of a huge complex of luxury hotels, ice rinks and giant towers in the heart of Vienna. Although the 6.5 square kilometer site will be located outside of the protected core, it is next to the core. When UNESCO heard the news, they claimed that such a giant would destroy the historical characteristics of the city center. The most recent update was in 2018, saying that the project was still being launched as planned in 2020 or 2021, a move that could lead to the deprivation of Vienna as a World Heritage site.
This is not only an irrelevant threat. In 2009, Dresden’s Elbe Valley built an unsightly bridge that led to the removal of the Elbe Valley by UNESCO.