UNESCO: Climatic changes endanger Peru’s Chan Chan ruins


(LIP-jl) — According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), changes in the earth’s climate have threatened more than 800 World Heritage sites, among them Peru’s Chan Chan mud ruins.

"The international community now widely agrees that climate change will constitute one of the major challenges of the 21st century," said the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, in his Foreword to the publication, calling for "an integrated approach to issues of environmental preservation and sustainable development."

According to Matsuura, all 830 sites listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list are in some form of danger. The UNESCO representative informed that 26 case studies are featured in the publication, among them Chan Chan, the Tower of London, Kilimanjaro National Park and the Great Barrier Reef.

The publication, intended to raise awareness and mobilize support for heritage preservation, is divided into five chapters that deal with glaciers, marine biodiversity, terrestrial biodiversity, archaeological sites, and historic cities and settlements.

The report notably analyzes how precipitations related to El Niño is undermining the fragile earthen fabric of Chan Chan, the remains of the capital of the ancient Chimu Kingdom, one of the most important pre-Hispanic earthen architecture cities in the Americas.

Chan Chan is located in the Moche Valley, in between Huanchaco and Trujillo, in the northern Peruvian region of La Libertad. UNESCO officially declared Chan Chan as a World Heritage site in 1986.