Fuzhou (dpa) – Cultural and natural World Heritage sites must be better protected from Unesco’s point of view.
At the start of the two-week World Heritage Committee meeting on Friday, the President of the German Commission for Unesco, Maria Böhmer, warned of threats to the 1,121 sites worldwide due to climate change, to destruction of the environment, mass tourism and armed conflict. . Due to the corona pandemic, the meeting in Fuzhou, China was postponed a year ago and is now at least live.
Among the 40 or so nominations are five nominations with German participation: the artist colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt, the Jewish cultural heritage in Mainz, Speyer and Worms, the spas of Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen as part of important historical baths in Europe and on the Roman border walls of the Danube Limes and Lower Limes of Germany. These requests will be decided on Saturday and Sunday in a week (24/25 July), it was specified. So far there are 46 World Heritage sites in Germany.
During its meeting, the committee will also discuss what needs to be done to protect threatened sites. World Heritage sites are also “laboratories for the transition to sustainability,” said Böhmer. “If we are to preserve them, we must do even more in the future to ensure that our sites operate in an environmentally compatible and socially fair manner while being economically sound. “
The consequences of unsustainable development can be felt in many of these places around the world. “Above all, environmental changes during climate change have a serious impact on our natural and cultural heritage,” Böhmer said. “The climate crisis has become one of the greatest risks for World Heritage sites and could lead us to lose some forever. “
53 World Heritage sites are currently classified as endangered. “Others might follow.” Böhmer expressed concern that, for the first time in the history of the World Heritage Convention, two sites could lose their title: for example, a decision must be taken on Sunday on the port district of Liverpool, which is threatened by an urban development project. On Monday, discussions will take place on the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, which is on the Red List for poaching.
In the middle of next week there will also be a discussion on who will be added to this list of protected sites. For example, the famous Great Barrier Reef in Australia could be included. It is threatened by the effects of climate change such as hot water and coral bleaching. To prevent entry, the Australian government invited more than a dozen ambassadors on a snorkeling trip to the famous coral reef. Among them are diplomats from nine countries who have the right to vote on the Unesco committee, Australian news agency AAP reported.
The five applications with German participation:
Baden-Baden (Baden-Württemberg), Bad Ems (Rhineland-Palatinate) and Bad Kissingen (Bavaria) apply with eight other European spas as “Great Spas in Europe”. These include baths which acquired international importance from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century. The eleven spa towns that are part of the bid also include Spa (Belgium), Vichy (France), Bath (UK) as well as Karlsbad, Franzensbad and Marienbad from the Czech Republic.
The artist colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt (Hesse), founded at the end of the 19th century, with 15 buildings, a park and sculptures is considered to be the crossroads of modern architecture. It is not only an Art Nouveau ensemble, but also a step towards the Bauhaus. Peter Behrens was one of the first artists to teach later Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.
Mainz, Speyer and Worms are the places of the Jewish Middle Ages. With these so-called Schum sites according to the Hebrew initials of the three cities of present-day Rhineland-Palatinate, Jewish cultural property in Germany would be recognized for the first time as world heritage. The Schum sites, also called “Jerusalem on the Rhine”, are considered to be the cradle of the European Jewish community.
GERMAN LOW LIMES AND DONAULIMES
The Lower Germanic Limes and the western part of the Danubian Limes request World Heritage listing in the “Borders of the Roman Empire” series. The Limes on the Rhine begins at Rheinbrohl in Rhineland-Palatinate, crosses North Rhine-Westphalia with castles and legionary camps and ends at the North Sea in the Netherlands. The candidates are North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and the Netherlands.
Western part of Danube Limes is an application of Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. The Danube Limes stretches in the Bavarian section of Bad Gögging in the district of Kelheim via Regensburg and Straubing to Passau.