Oman's Arabian Oryx sanctuary becomes the first site to be removed from UNESCO's World Heritage list
Christchurch, New Zealand, 28 June - The World Heritage Committee on Thursday took the unprecedented decision of removing a site from UNESCO's World Heritage List. The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman), home to the rare antelope, today became the first site to be deleted since UNESCO's 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage entered into force.
The World Heritage Committee deleted the property because of Oman's decision to reduce the size of the protected area by 90%, in contravention of the Operational Guidelines of the Convention. This was seen by the Committee as destroying the outstanding universal value of the site which was inscribed in 1994.
In 1996, the population of the Arabian Oryx in the site, was at 450 but it has since dwindled to 65 with only about four breeding pairs making its future viability uncertain. This decline is due to poaching and habitat degradation.
After extensive consultation with the State Party, the Committee felt that the unilateral reduction in the size of the Sanctuary and plans to proceed with hydrocarbon prospection would destroy the value and integrity of the property, which is also home to other endangered species including, the Arabian Gazelle and houbara bustard.
The Committee expressed regret that the State Party failed to fulfill its obligations regarding the conservation of the Sanctuary as defined by the World Heritage Convention. from the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE web site
Arabian oryx were hunted out in Oman, but reintroduced in 1979
1994 - official sanctuary is set up and added to UNESCO's World Heritage list Population rises to 450 in 1996, drops to 65 in 2007.
Park struck off UNESCO list after being opened to oil prospectors. from the BBC News, Fact about Oman
BBC - FACT(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/country_profiles/2448259.stm )
NATURE - WILDFACTS(http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/618.shtml)
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE (http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/362)
I know this news is few months old, but i only got to find out few hours ago, when i was reading through the update page of Fact about Oman on the BBC web site. The truth i was shocked when i read abou the removal of Oman site from the UNESCO list.
Because only a week ago i was talking about how conservative and sustainable Oman is towards animals and environement with my line manager and the director.
- Did any one know about this removal?
- What is the reaction of the Omani Environement Group/Organization in regards to this removal?
- Is HM happy about what happend and the decision made behind securing the oil site and excluding 90% of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary from the orginal 100%?
- Is there any futures plans in regards bringing such treasure back to Oman?
If you have any other infromation about this, then post it in here.
I know i might sound paranoid and making a big issue about this, but the truth it is a big issue in my eye.