Heritage: Endangered! Natural Wonders under Attack

The Caucasian conflict last summer destroyed not only human lives but also parts of the Borjomi Gorge forests that were set on fire. In DR Congo a group of mountain gorillas got caught in the middle of a bloody conflict. In Vietnamese national park the government wants to relocate local residents to preserve endangered rhinos. Read more about the endangered nature.


Recovering from the Wounds of War

Pat Hyland

During the Caucasian conflict, last August, forest fires broke out in the Borjomi Gorge, a popular recreational area in Central Georgia, where also Borjomi Kharagauli National Park is located. With more than 76.000 hectares of forest and endangered species like the red deer, the lynx, the brown bear and the wolf, the park belongs to the last vast wilderness zones of Euroasia and was certified a PAN Park in 2006. The PAN Parks emblem is considered as the Michelin Star among European national park...

Forest Exploitation Puts Endangered Rhinos at Risk

Tomas Haupt

The residents of two villages near Cat Tien National Park in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, Viet Nam, where a group of endangered one-horned rhinos live have yet to be relocated out of the area, despite a government programme that called for their resettlement. In 2003, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) approved a project to move local residents out of the national park’s core. Conservationists said illegal logging and the activities of locals in Phuo...

Mountain Gorilla Population Increases Despite War

Andrea Hausold

The number of mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has increased despite the war being waged in and around the area, according to the first count in 16 months. The count showed that the number of gorillas in groups habituated to humans – considered most at risk in the local conflict – had increased to 81, compared to a count of 72 in 2007. Park rangers were kicked out of the Mikeno sector of Virunga National Park, where six groups of ...

Beneath the Water: Heritage in Search of International Protection

James Morris

The new UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage is the first legal instrument to safeguard underwater archaeological sites on an international scale, providing protection against treasure-hunters, while regulating international cooperation. It was a turning point in the history of attempts to safeguard shipwrecks and other submerged monuments when, on 2 January 2009, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage entered into force. A...

Tigers, Rhinos, Polar Bears: Most Threatened in 2009

Andrew J. Wein

World Wildlife Fund recently released its annual list of some of the most threatened species around the world, saying that the long-term survival of many iconic animals is increasingly in doubt due to a host of threats. WWF’s list of “9 to Watch in 2009” includes such well-known and beloved species as polar bears, tigers, gorillas, pandas, elephants, whales and rhinos, as well as the lesser-known black-footed ferret and vaquita. WWF scientists say these, and many other species...