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The World Wildlife Fund has warned about the future of the world's natural World Heritage sites. Half the sites are at risk from harmful activities, such as mining, drilling for oil, illegal logging and climate change. Around 114 of 229 sites are affected. These include Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon National Park in the USA, and China's Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, where over 30 per cent of the world's endangered pandas live.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre said: "World Heritage is humankind's common heritage, and the responsibility for its conservation is shared by everyone." It added: "Governments and the private sector around the world are stepping up their action against harmful extractive uses." However, over 11 million people need the World Heritage sites for food, water, shelter and jobs. Non-stop development could harm these people.
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