UNESCO Declares Two Rainforests as Endangered Sites

Posted June 23rd, 2011 at 5:05 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations' cultural body has placed rainforests in Indonesia and Honduras on its list of endangered sites because of illegal activities.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization announced Wednesday that it was placing Indonesia's Sumatran rainforest on its Danger List due to years of agricultural encroachment, road construction, illegal logging and poaching. UNESCO elevated the 2.5 million-hectare forest to its World Heritage List in 2004 because of its biodiversity.

Honduras' Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve was also placed on UNESCO's Danger List because of illegal logging and poaching. UNESCO says the Rio Platano is also under siege from fishing and land occupation, illicit drug trafficking, and the Honduran government's reduced capacity to manage the site.

Rio Platano, home to an indigenous population that has preserved its traditional way of life, was named to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1979. It was previously placed on the Danger List between 1996 and 2007.