UNESCO ISSUES AN ULTIMATUM
Posted on 07/22/2016 | About Italy
The United Nations wants Italy to ban cruise ships. In 2012 UNESCO urged the Italian government to “restrict access of large cruise ships to culturally and ecologically important areas, particularly Venice and its Lagoon which are visited by some 300 large cruise ships a year.” The Italian government did not comply. And then the Costa Concordia disaster happened.
The UNESCO website reports that after the Costa Concordia tragedy (considered the worst maritime disaster in Italy since the second war) UNESCO offered Italy condolences for the 32 tragic deaths that occurred and praised the efforts of the rescue teams and local residents for their actions. Then they asked the government to act quickly to develop alternative plans for maritime traffic around the World Heritage site of Venice.
The world heritage committee cites irreversible damage to the ecosystem. It suggests the lagoon is in a deteriorating state and demands that Venice move towards the “prohibition of the largest ships and tankers” by next February.
More than 25 million people visit Venice every year bringing an economic boost to a city that has a declining population and disappearing job market. Those that do enjoy employment are working for the most part in the tourism industry.
UNESCO made an official visit to Venice in 2015 and reported, “the capacity of the city, the number of its inhabitants and the number of tourists is out of balance and causing significant damage.”
They have issued an ultimatum that if “no substantial progress” is made by February, Venice could go on the UN's "endangered list."
To date, no plans to offer an alternative route for cruise sailings have become apparent.
Italy has more regions on the UNESCO Heritage list than any other country, with 51.
There are 38 locations on UNESCO’ endangered list; mostly in Asia and Africa.