St Lucia Pitons under threat
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, had
recommended that Pitons Management Area in the Caribbean island nation
of Saint Lucia, along with Lake Turkana National Parks in Kenya, the Dja
Faunal Reserve in Cameroon, and the Virgin Komi Forests in Russia, be
added to the List of World Heritage in Danger.
However, the committee, meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, until July 6, has rejected all four recommendations.
"We are disappointed that the committee has not inscribed any of these threatened sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger this year," said Tim Badman, director of IUCN's World Heritage Programme.
"These four sites face significant threats to their values, from threats including major infrastructure projects, the extractive industry and property speculation," said Badman.
According to the IUCN, the Pitons Management Area in Saint Lucia has been subjected to significant development since its inscription on the World Heritage List in 2004, and development threats risk irreversible loss of its outstanding universal value.
Recognizable for its two eroded remnants of lava domes rising from the sea to heights greater than 700 meters, Pitons Management Area includes a geothermal field with sulphurous fumeroles and hot springs. The forested spires contain eight rare tree species. The larger one is inhabited by some 27 bird species, five of them found nowhere else on Earth.
Coral reefs cover almost 60 percent of the site's marine area, which is inhabited by 168 species of finfish.
Badman said, "Inscription on the Danger List is not a black mark for countries, but a way of drawing attention and providing support to the sites that need it the most."