After the Department of State announced that the US will be withdrawing from UNESCO as a member, we thought it would a good idea to remind you where you can find America’s World Heritage Sites.
Since 1978, UNESCO has established 23 cultural and historic sites within the US. Most of these sites are also National Parks, so it is unlikely that they will encounter any immediate negative affects. This is also not the first time the US has left UNESCO: President Reagan withdrew from the organization in 1984, while the Obama administration cut off payments to the organization in 2011. Both these administrations and others have cited “anti-Israel bias” as a cause for criticism. But by giving up UNESCO membership, the US is forfeiting its obligation to fund the protection of other sites across the globe, including sites at risk from climate change and warfare.
Founded in 1945, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was established to, “contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information”, according to its website.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites span every corner of the US, from San Juan to Hawaii, California to Virginia, and we at Matador feel lucky to have every one of them.
1. Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado
2. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho
3. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Yukon, Alaska
4. Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona
5. Everglades National Park in southern Florida
(the only “in danger” UNESCO site in the US)