UNESCO on Thursday removed a natural park in Oman from its list of world heritage sites -- the first time it has taken such a step since the list was created 35 years ago.
The decison to delete the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary from the list was taken after the Omani government reduced the size of the protected area by 90 percent, UNESCO said in a statement from its Paris headquarters.
Last Mod: 29 Haziran 2007, 15:39
‘In 1996 the population of the Arabian Oryx in the site was 450 but it has since dwindled to 65 with only about four breeding pairs, making its future viability uncertain. This decline is due to poaching and habitat degradation,’ UNESCO said.
‘The Committee felt that the unilateral reduction in the size of the sanctuary and plans to proceed with hydrocarbon prospection would destroy the value and integrity of the property, which is also home to other endangered species including, the Arabian gazelle and houbara bustard,’ it said.
The committee earlier this week placed Ecuador’s Galapagos islands on an ‘endangered sites’ list because of the threat from tourism and non-native species.