June 23, 2011
Rainforest in Honduras
Meeting Wednesday in Paris at the World Heritage Committee, UNESCO added the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve of Honduras and the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra to its World Heritage List in Danger, a registry of threatened sites. The listing aims to "mobilize support and raise awareness to overcome threats" to the sites.
Honduras requested the addition of Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, citing "the combined threats of illegal logging, fishing and land occupation, poaching and the reduced capacity of the State to manage the site, notably due to the deterioration of law and to the presence of drug traffickers." Río Plátano was on the danger list between 1996 and 2007.
Giant Dipterocarp tree in Gunung Leuser, North Sumatra. Photos by Rhett A. Butler.
UNESCO said the danger list helps "focus the efforts of government departments, civil society and international cooperation" in protecting at risk sites. Currently there are some three dozen sites on the list. Sites in Madagascar, the United States, Uganda, and Georgia were added last year.