These vintage-inspired travel posters are a sobering tribute to the places of cultural and natural heritage we stand to lose.
Right now, there are more than 50 cultural landmarks that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has deemed in danger of disappearing forever. These special places – the World Heritage Sites – are selected for their cultural, historical, scientific or other significance. Considered as landmarks important to the collective interest of humankind, they are legally protected by international treaties. From ruins and buildings to monuments and Mother Nature's spectacles, these historic spots mark some of the most precious on the planet.
However, the fate of these sites also highlight the damage we can do ... as they are in danger of disappearing thanks to urbanism, climate change, war and general lack of protection. Thankfully, their UNESCO status will help to preserve them so that future generations can know our accomplishments as well as our folly. The following posters and descriptions were created by travel insurance company GoCompare to highlight the sites' beauty, cultural value and historical significance – they are all inspiring yet sobering tributes to both the planet and humankind's accomplishments.
1. Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
The Belize Barrier Reef (above) is the largest in the northern hemisphere, and comprises seven protected sites. The different areas consist of numerous sand banks, mangrove forests, and coastal lagoons. As well as being home to many threatened marine creatures such as the West Indian manatee and loggerhead turtle, bird colonies such as the red-footed booby are also present on the atolls outside the reef. Due to selling and leasing public lands within the property, the barrier reef system is facing destruction of its mangrove and marine ecosystems.
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