Saving Natural Treasures From Climate Change

November 17, 2004

Dear friends,

E-LAW U.S. is proud to announce that its partners in Nepal, Belize, and Peru took bold steps today to call attention to the global impacts of climate change, and protect three of the world`s most unique and valuable ecosystems.

The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy, Foro Ecologico del Peru, and Pro Public in Nepal filed petitions with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris to protect three distinct ecosystems: coral reefs in Belize, a tropical mountain range in Peru, and the majestic peaks of the Himalayas – all impacted by climate change.

This exciting news was featured in today`s BBC News and New York Times.

Human activities are damaging our global climate and UNESCO World Heritage Sites are suffering. E-LAW`s partners are using legal tools to challenge climate change and protect these irreplaceable ecosystems. World Heritage Sites must be protected under the World Heritage Convention and countries that are signatories to the Convention have a legal duty to protect World Heritage Sites for future generations.

Our partners have asked the World Heritage Committee to declare Sagarmatha National Park (home of Mt. Everest), the Belize Barrier-Reef Reserve System, and Huascaran National Park in the Peruvian Andes as sites “In Danger” and require remedial steps to protect them. The petitions also recognize the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect the World Heritage Sites for future generations.

E-LAW U.S. has been working with the U.K.-based Climate Justice Programme to help E-LAW advocates in Nepal, Belize, and Peru develop legal strategies and work together to challenge policies and practices that damage the global climate.

We thank the Oak Foundation and the Summit Foundation for their valuable support.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Gleason
Staff Attorney
E-LAW U.S.