Protecting people through nature: natural world heritage sites as drivers of sustainable development

Nearly half of all natural World Heritage sites are threatened by harmful industrial activities, according to a new WWF report. These sites provide vital services to people and the environment, but are at risk worldwide from activities including oil and gas exploration, mining and illegal logging. The report, produced for WWF by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, shows how natural World Heritage sites contribute to economic and social development through the protection of the environment, but also details global failures to protect these areas of outstanding universal value. According to the study, 114 natural and mixed World Heritage sites out of 229 either have oil, gas or mining concessions overlapping them or are under threat from at least one other harmful industrial activity. The study, Protecting People through Nature: Natural World Heritage Sites as Drivers of Sustainable Development, also shows that over 20 per cent of natural World Heritage sites face threats from multiple harmful industrial activities.

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