World Heritage Watch (WHW – https://world-heritage-watch.org/) is the first NGO focusing exclusively on World Heritage sites, both cultural and natural, and both inscribed and listed tentatively. The WHW network includes more than 150 groups from different parts of the world. World Heritage Watch task is to work with UNESCO and its Advisory Bodies, and to complement their efforts for the effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention and the safeguarding of World Heritage Sites.
Why did the creators of the organization decide to take up such a difficult task? They explain this as follows: «But more and more world heritage sites are threatened by development pressure, mass tourism, war, resource depletion, urbanization, climate change and investor projects, but also by neglect and mismanagement. UNESCO alone is powerless; it can only warn governments».
One of the most important forms of work of WHW is the collection of information from independent sources, its dissemination and provision to the governing bodies of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This allows the world community to more reasonably judge the condition of objects and make informed decisions.
WHW recently released its next 2019 results report (https://world-heritage-watch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/WHW-Report-2020.pdf). Representatives of civil society participated in its preparation, which provided information on 42 world heritage sites of various types.
One material prepared by the Ecological Society «Green Salvation» is dedicated to the Ile-Alatau National Park, included in the tentative list for inclusion in the World Heritage List from Kazakhstan, back in 2002! Almost all of the above threats currently hang over the territory of the national park: development pressure, mass tourism, depletion of water resources, urbanization, climate change, investment projects, and poor management. This year, an unprecedented onslaught of commercial structures (tenants) on the territory of Ile-Alatau National Park began. A threat loomed over the Altyn-Emel National Park, which was included in the tentative list for inclusion in the World Heritage List in 2002.
The public of Kazakhstan sent an open appeal to the president, government and deputies of the parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to put an end to the destructive activities of business structures in the territories of national parks.