Climate changes takes toll on many UNESCO natural sites

The number of UNESCO natural heritage sites at risk has grown to 62 from 35 in 2014, when one in seven were listed, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which released the report at UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

Coral reefs are the most threatened by global warming, leading to coral bleaching as oceans heat up, and glaciers which melt.

The report found that 29% of UNESCO natural sites faced “significant” threats, and 7% — including the Everglades National Park in the United States and Lake Turkana in Kenya — had a “critical” outlook.

Three World Heritage-listed coral reefs — the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean, the Belize Barrier Reef in the Atlantic, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the biggest on Earth — have been affected by “devastating” bleaching events over the last three years, said the IUCN report.

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