This week, UNESCO added 24 new sites to its ever-growing list of places worth protecting on this planet. The UK’s notable offering was the Forth Bridge in Scotland, a masterpiece of Victorian engineering, which I was lucky enough to see first hand last summer.
Sadly, as the global list grows, so does the number of sites becoming endangered. Whether it be through war, climate change or other, less media-worthy reasons, the list of sites now at ‘red’ status on UNESCO’s website totals 48.
I was surprised to see that several of these are places I’ve visited in the last decade that I had no idea were at risk – the town of Potosi in southern Bolivia and Chan Chan in Peru are just two that stood out.
Lists shouldn’t just be there to ‘tick’, however UNESCO do a great job in making us aware of the precious artefacts that our world holds; whether they be of cultural or natural significance. These, I believe, deserve to be visited, if only to donate much needed funds for the site’s upkeep and help spread the word about our global, earthly and very human history.
In making my own list of UNESCO sites that I’ve visited on my adventures, I’ve recalled my personal stories attached to each one. I hope that, like UNESCO, I can inspire people through my photos to visit these worldly wonders, before it’s too late.
UNESCO’s full list of world heritage sites can be found here.