The WWF has released a report named Protecting People Through Nature: Natural Heritage Sites as Drivers of Sustainable Development that criticises industrial activity as being an irreparable problem to the environment.
In the foreword of the document, written by the Director General of WWF International, Marco Lambertini:
Shockingly, almost half of all natural World Heritage sites are threatened by harmful industrial activities and operations, such as oil and gas exploration and extraction, mining, illegal logging, construction of large-scale infrastructure, overfishing, and unsustainable water use.
According to TIME Magazine, 114 out of 229 natural heritage sites - which were awarded that status by UNESCO - are said to have oil, gas or mining concessions attached to it.
Healthy natural World Heritage sites contribute to poverty reduction, help alleviate food insecurity, combat climate change, and restore and promote the sustainable use of ecosystems. Protecting these sites and investing in their future should be part of each government's national action for achieving its Sustainable Development Goals commitments.
The WWF now calls on governments to develop policy guidelines to protect natural heritage sites from being damaged by industrial activity, amongst some other demands listed in their report. They have also called on corporate and finance entities, as well as NGOs and society groups to lend their help in preventing industrial activity by engineering companies which damage the natural heritage sites and conservancies.