Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coalition petitioning UN for Glacier Park protections

Glacier National Park and its neighbor to the north are endangered by mining proposals, and the international community must intervene to protect the region's natural and cultural heritage. That's the message being delivered this week by tribal leaders, community organizers, business interests and conservationists, whose concerns will be aired at the 33rd annual meeting of the United Nations World Heritage Committee. “Our petition,” said Will Hammerquist, “asks the World Heritage Committee to hear the concerns of local communities and indigenous peoples by recognizing the threat these projects pose to a globally significant ecosystem.” Hammerquist works for the National Parks Conservation Association, which joined a dozen other groups in petitioning for the endangered status. Glacier, along with adjacent Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, was named a World Heritage Site in 1995, by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. At the time, UNESCO recognized the region for its “outstanding universal value.” As two of the 157 signatories to the World Heritage treaty, Hammerquist said, both the United States and Canada accepted certain conservation obligations. But Canada has failed to meet those, he said, by moving ahead with controversial coal and coalbed methane energy development plans in southeastern British Columbia, on the borders of the parks...Missoulian

No comments: