Saturday, June 27, 2009

Secretary Salazar Wants Everglades National Park to Return to Endangered List

Source: Kurt Repanshek, National Parks Traveler, June 24th, 2009.

"Righting what he calls a wrong of the Bush administration, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wants Everglades National Park to once again be listed as a World Heritage Site in Danger......

"In a release Wednesday the Interior Department said that 'the Everglades was hastily removed from the list in 2007 at the request of the previous administration without adequate consultations with the National Park Service, the state of Florida and other stakeholders and without appropriate measures in place to evaluate the progress of on-going efforts to restore the South Florida ecosystem.'

“'The Everglades remains one of our world’s most treasured – and most threatened – places,' Secretary Salazar said at a meeting of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force in the department’s Sydney Yates Auditorium. 'The federal government must once again stand up and meet its responsibilities to Everglades restoration so that one day, when we achieve restoration, we can remove the park from the list of sites that in danger. President Obama has already made a major commitment to Everglades restoration in the budget and through the Recovery Act; we will stay focused on this high priority for our nation and the world.'”

Editorial Comment: The request by the United States Government to reverse the 2007 action by the World Heritage Center suggests a serious problem in UNESCO's management. The implication is that UNESCO responded to pressure from the Bush administration to improperly certify that the Everglades were safe, when in fact they continue to be in danger.

If an intergovernmental organization can not stand up to the pressure of any government, even my own, and do the right thing then it sacrifices it most important asset -- credibility. I hope that David Killion, nominated to be U.S. Representative to UNESCO, will make a serious protest at his first opportunity to do so. JAD (The opinion expressed is my own, and does not necessarily represent that of Americans for UNESCO.)

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