Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Environmental and Climatic Challenges on the World Heritage Sites

Academic journal article European Journal of Sustainable Development

Environmental and Climatic Challenges on the World Heritage Sites

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

There are a large number of disasters that threaten the cultural heritage around the world.

These disasters are obtained from human-made or natural hazards. Several disasters have been occurring within different areas and caused severe damage to the intangible and tangible features of WHSs. The damage caused by the disasters was extended between cultural landscapes, historic settlements, museums and historic buildings. The Tsunami and Tohuko Earthquake that occurred within Japan in 2011, the civil unrests within Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya, the Christchurch, Chile and Haiti earthquakes that occurred in 2010 and the floods that occurred in Thailand in 2011 are considered as significant examples on the disasters that threaten the WHSs (Jigyasu and Kelley, 2014).

Climate variation is one of the key challenges that expose the WHSs, where its effect is extended between physical, cultural and social aspects (Rits-DMUCH, 2012) .Thus, several management responses should be taken at the national and local level to treat the impact of climate variation on the WHSs. Further, there are other threats that face the WHSs like the natural catastrophes (Tsunami incidents) and the human-induced threats (war) should be solved urgently (George, 2012).

On the other hand, the impact of threats and disasters not only limited on the WHS physical features. The impact also extended to involve the native communities that located in a near of the WHSs, the management staff of WHS and the visitor's life. Further, the number of population within the surrounding areas of the WHS is larger than any other rural area. Thus, the number of the population that may be impacted by the threats is higher. Also, this situation puts the management authorities of WHS under an excessive pressure in order to overcome and address the disaster risks by concluding into an overall threat-preparedness (Al-Zubaidy, 2014).

1.1 Main Problem

WHSs are available within all countries around the world. WHSs have great values that support the tourism and economic fields of their countries. However, these sites exposed to a large number of environmental and economic risks that destroyed a large number of WHSs around the world. Because these risks are frequently occurring and because they largely increased during the recent years, this paper has been designed to address this problem and to find suitable solutions for this problem. Within this paper, data have been collected from the literature to determine and evaluate the volume of the impact of climatic and environmental risks on WHSs. The data involved determining the key threats that exposed the WHSs, the key areas impacted by these threats, the volume of destructions obtained by these threats. Based on these data, the problem has been managed by benefiting from many plans and strategies. Further, the role of GIS technology in managing the risks and preserving WHSs has been shown.

1.2 Aim of Paper

Due to the increased impact of environmental and climatic challenges on the WHSs, this paper has been designed. The aim of this paper is to address and discuss the key threats that impact the WHSs, determine the volume of threat that exposed the WHSsand find suitable solutions to solve the problem.

1.3 Examples on Threaten WHSs

There is a large number of WHSs around the world and Venice is considered as one of the most significant UNESCO WHSs. Also, it is considered as one of the most attractive historic cities around the world, where the economy of this city is largely based on the tourism sector. Hence, the preservation of historic and cultural assets of the city is significant in order to its economy, development and identity (UNISDR, 2011). The location of Venice is in the "Venice Lagoon" within a set of 118 islands. However, flooding risk is considered as the key risk that threatens this city due to the small altitude of it above the level of the sea. …

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