Fuzhou (dpa) – Unesco has revoked Liverpool’s status as a world cultural heritage site as a maritime commercial city. The responsible committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural and Communication Organization (Unesco) made the decision at its current 44th meeting in the Chinese city of Fuzhou.

This is only the third time in the history of the 1972 World Heritage Convention that a cultural or natural site has had its prestigious title withdrawn.

The committee sees the universal value of the port city damaged by numerous construction projects. Six sites in the historic center and port area of ​​Liverpool have been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2004. They bear witness to the city’s development as one of the most important shopping centers in the world in the 18th and 19th centuries. Liverpool has pioneered the development of modern quay technology, transport systems and port management. The city played a major role in the development of the British Empire.

However, World Heritage status had been in danger since 2012 “due to substantial interventions” under the “Liverpool Waters” construction project. Ultimately, Liverpool’s renunciation of planning changes and new infrastructure projects in the historic port area as well as the already approved construction of a football stadium at Bramley-Moore-Dock led to the deletion of the title, as announced by the United Nations. . A Unesco document says Liverpool has long lost the character that led to it being listed as a World Heritage Site.

Contrary to initial expectations, the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, where a dam is to be built, has not been revoked from its status as a World Heritage Site. However, it remains on the endangered sites list.

More recently, in 2009, the Elbe Valley of Dresden lost the World Heritage title due to the construction of the Waldschlösschen Bridge. The first removal took place in 2007 for Oman due to the reduction in the size of the wildlife reserve for rare Arabian oryx antelopes.

Question mark behind the Great Barrier Reef

Meanwhile, Australia is trying to postpone the committee’s planned inclusion of the Great Barrier Reef, which is threatened by climate change, in the list of threatened natural sites in order to avoid damaging its image. less at the moment. To postpone the decision scheduled for Friday until 2023, Australia tabled an amendment supported by 12 of the 21 members of the committee. The vote is still pending. There could also be changes.

Due to climate change, the Great Barrier Reef off the northeastern coast of Australia is threatened by warm waters and coral bleaching. The world’s largest reef spans over 340,000 square kilometers and can be seen with the naked eye from space. Unesco has urged Australia, the coal mining country, to take action on climate change. It is also about the quality of the water. The long-term outlook for the natural wonder has changed from “bad” to “very bad”.

Good news for Salonga National Park

The World Heritage Committee also decided to remove Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from the list of endangered sites as it is no longer considered threatened “thanks to successful protection measures”. La Salonga is Africa’s largest protected area of ​​tropical rainforest and home to many endangered species. There are bonobos and forest elephants as well as the Congo peacock.

La Salonga has been on the Red List since 1999 due, among other things, to poaching and oil extraction plans. However, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has pledged not to produce any more oil in the region in the future. At the same time, the Unesco committee calls for continued efforts to combat poaching, to ensure better monitoring and to involve the local population more closely in management.

The World Heritage Committee will meet online and on site until July 31. It is made up of 21 States elected Parties to the World Heritage Convention. As a general rule, it decides each year on the inscription of new cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List and takes care of the state of the inscribed sites. Due to the pandemic, the conference was postponed last year. The World Heritage List currently includes 1,120 cultural and natural sites in 167 countries. 51 of them are considered threatened. Germany has 46 World Heritage sites.

Among the 40 or so nominations of new World Heritage sites to the conference, there are also five nominations with German participation: the artist colony Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt, the Jewish cultural heritage in Mainz, Speyer and Worms, the thermal spas of Baden-Baden, Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen are among the important historical baths in Europe as well as the Roman border walls of the Danube Limes and Lower German Limes. These applications are to be discussed next weekend.