UNESCO removes Oman oryx sanctuary from heritage list
Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:45AM EDT
DUBAI – Oman’s Arabian Oryx sanctuary this week became the first site to be removed from UNESCO’s World Heritage list after the rare species dwindled and the government cut the park size by 90 percent.
The Arabian Oryx sanctuary was added to the list in 1994 but the United Nations cultural organization said that poaching and habitat degradation had led to a decline in numbers of Oryx.
In 1996, the population was 450 but it has since fallen to 65 with only around four breeding pairs making its future viability uncertain, UNESCO said in a statement.
There was no immediate comment from Oman’s government on the sanctuary, the first site to be deleted since UNESCO’s 1972 convention on the protection of cultural and natural heritage sites.
“After extensive consultation with the state …, 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,” it said.
“The committee expressed regret that the state … failed to fulfil its obligations regarding the conservation of the sanctuary as defined by the World Heritage Convention.”
See also here.
So, “hydrocarbon prospection”.
After big oil has destroyed so much in Iraq and elsewhere, now also wildlife in Oman …
Arabian Oryx returned to Jordan for release in Wadi Rum: here.