UNESCO: Venice Should Be Put on Endangered List

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The Facts

  • A new UNESCO report released on Monday has recommended adding Venice to its list of World Heritage in Danger to secure the historic city and its lagoon from climate change and mass tourism.

  • The report found that the city faced "irreversible" damage and that corrective measures proposed by the Italian authorities are "currently insufficient and not detailed enough."

The Spin

Narrative A

UNESCO isn't wrong in its assessment: Global warming impacts Venice significantly as rising sea levels make it vulnerable to flooding. Moreover, the city is forced to expand urban projects to accommodate millions of tourists every year. It's unfortunate, however, how UNESCO gives opinions, judgments, threats, and warnings but doesn't provide the country any funding to make changes.

Narrative B

It's essential to protect important at-risk heritage sites and encourage their better preservation by labeling them "in danger." Over 50 cities worldwide are listed as endangered by UNESCO for reasons such as terrorism, tourism, or want of repairs. This is an opportunity to mobilize local and national stakeholders to fix long-standing issues and regain Venice's glory.

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