Special Report

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Grave Danger

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Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (2006)
> Location: Serbia

Superb examples of Byzantine-Romanesque ecclesiastical culture, with its elegant frescoes, can be found in four churches dating from the 14th century in Kosovo. The churches were placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2004 because of mismanagement of the properties and political instability.

Samarra Archaeological City (2007)
> Location: Iraq

Samarra Archaeological City dates from the ninth century. It once ruled the Abbasid Caliphate, which extended from present-day Tunisia to Central Asia. Located on both sides of the Tigris River, it is about 90 miles north of Baghdad. Samarra retains the best-preserved plan of an ancient, large city. Armed conflict has taken its toll on the site, and the property needs better management and conservation.

Niokolo-Koba National Park (2007)
> Location: Senegal

Niokolo-Koba National Park, with 2.2 million acres, is in the western African nation of Senegal. The forest and savannas are home to Derby elands (antelopes), chimpanzees, lions, leopards, and elephants. Poaching is an ongoing problem, and a proposal to put dams on the Gambia River might hurt the ecological integrity of the park.

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Rainforests of the Atsinanana (2010)
> Location: Madagascar

There are six national parks in the Rainforests of the Atsinanana, on the eastern part of the island nation of Madagascar. The rainforests are known for their unique biodiversity, including rare primates and lemurs. Those animals are under threat. The rainforests take on greater importance because deforestation of the eastern part of the island has reduced the amount of original forest to just 8.5%. Concern also centers around managing agricultural encroachment and reducing exploitation of resources such as forests and gem mining.

Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (2010)
> Location: Uganda

On a hillside in Kampala are the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, where a royal burial ground was established in the late 19th century. The main building, constructed with vegetal materials, housed four royal tombs. It was destroyed in a fire, and although the structure was rebuilt, it remains vulnerable to fire.

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