UNESCO 36th General Conference

Launch of the UNESCO-USGS Publication 'A Satellite Image Atlas of World Heritage Sites on the ‘In Danger’ list'

9 November 2011

The UNESCO / United States Geological Survey (USGS) publication From  Space to Place: an Image Atlas of World Heritage Sites on the 'In Danger' List presents satellite images of 31 sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It was launched 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.

The result of the collaboration between the USGS and UNESCO, the Atlas presents 31 sites that are threatened by looting, natural disasters, pollution, mass tourism or armed conflict.

Remote sensing is an important tool for World Heritage site managers. 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.

In order to enable developing countries to benefit from space technology, UNESCO has established partnerships with leading space agencies including NASA (USA), the European Space Agency, the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES, France) and the German Aerospace Center. All these organizations are helping to protect UNESCO World Heritage.

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