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'Main threat' to World Heritage sites is climate change


Paris: This summer's tragic floods in Pakistan nearly wiped out one of the first cities in human history. Despite its existence, Mohenjodaro has come to represent the threat that climate change presents to humanity's cultural heritage.


Mohenjodaro, which was built by the Indus Civilization in modern South Asia around 3,000 BCE, probably survived the flood because of the ingenuity of its architects.


The city was raised above the Indus River and had a rudimentary sewage and drainage system to drain most of the flood water.



According to a network of researchers called World Weather Attribution, some 1,600 Pakistanis were killed in the floods and 33 million others were affected in a catastrophe that was "probably" made worse by global warming.


According to Lazare Eloundou Asamoah, director of the World Heritage Program at the United Nations agency UNESCO, the ancient metropolis "could have disappeared along with all the archaeological traces" that it contains.


Asmo claimed that the Pakistani site was a "victim" of climate change and that it was "very fortunate" to still exist exactly 100 years after its initial discovery in 1922.



Happily, "the situation is not dire" at Mohenjodaro, according to Thierry Joffroy, an expert on brick architecture who visited the site on behalf of UNESCO.


Despite some areas of ground sinking and water damaging some structures, the site "can be repaired" according to Joffro.


Paris-based UNESCO, which has been compiling a list of important places deemed worthy of protection for 50 years, is celebrating the anniversary in Greece this week.


We must combat the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss to protect this heritage. According to our assessment, this is the main threat, said UNESCO director A