England’s Liverpool is disappearing from the UNESCO World Heritage List. The maritime trading city is loosing status due to concerns about overdevelopment in the area, a UN agency committee said.
The United Kingdom has said in a first reaction to the news that it is “very disappointed” and convinced that Liverpool still deserves a place on the list. The city was awarded World Heritage status in 2004 due to its historic centre and port area.
It is not often that appointments are undone. Previously, that only happened to the Arab Oryx Sanctuary in Oman and the Elbe Valley in Germany. To remove a location from the list, at least two-thirds of the committee members must support it. In the case of Liverpool, thirteen members voted in favour, five against.
There are currently more than 1,100 different sites on the World Heritage List, including the Taj Mahal in India and the Great Wall in China. According to UNESCO, all these places are unique, of great importance to the public and irreplaceable.
The committee’s digital meeting began on July 16, led by China, and will run until the end of this month. Members will vote Friday on the recommendation to list Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as an endangered world heritage site. This is much to the dismay of the Australian government. He is trying to postpone the vote for a year.
Australia says it is investing a lot of money and effort in saving the world’s largest coral reef and therefore sees placing the area on the danger list as the wrong signal. Australian environment minister Susan Ley speaks of a political decision. She is referring to the chairman of China. The relationship between Australia and China has been under pressure for some time.