When Unesco Strikes Back

There are 830 Unesco World Heritage sites around the world, so designated for their “outstanding value to humanity.” These sites include natural marvels like Yellowstone National Park and cultural landmarks like the Taj Mahal.

Once Unesco designates something a World Heritage site, it is up to each country to take the necessary measures to protect it. And as this Conde Nast Traveler piece shows, not all countries treat their wonders with equal respect. So, Traveler reports, Unesco has started taking the unusual step of de-designating sites that have been unneccesarily molested.

The idea is that designating something a World Heritage site helps boost tourism to the area. But Unesco has no desire to see a gaudy hotel complex sit atop breathtaking natural beauty. By starting to de-designate sites, Unesco is hoping to promote sustainable tourism. Sounds logical to me.