23.02.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Launch of the UNESCO-USGS publication 'From Space to Place: an Image Atlas of World Heritage Sites on the 'In Danger' List' in New York


Satellite images provide valuable information on the evolution of the sites, including loss of wildlife habitat, the expansion of human settlements and agricultural activities or the damage caused by natural disasters, armed conflicts or climate change.

Such data is crucial to mitigate threats for those World Heritage sites mainly for those included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

UNESCO and US Geological Survey (USGS) collaborated to gather the necessary satellite data to create an atlas of World heritage sites in danger. The resulting publication, From Space to Place: an Image Atlas of World Heritage Sites on the 'In Danger' List, showcases a selection of projects of the ESA/UNESCO Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention. It is also a compilation of large additional series of satellite images documenting the 31 sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, sites threatened by looting, natural disasters, pollution, mass tourism or armed conflict.

The UNESCO-USGS publication was first launched in November 2011 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, and the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United States of America to UNESCO, Mr David Killion, during the 36th session of the General Conference. A second launching ceremony will be held in New York on Saturday 24 February by Mr. Philippe Kridelka, Director, New York UNESCO/United Nations Liaison Office and Mr. Matt Larsen, Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change, USGS.

The USGS and UNESCO, working jointly to bring space science and technology for the benefit of UNESCO's Programmes and Member States.

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