Sargasso Sea considered for heritage status
A newly released United Nations-funded report has looked into the possibility of naming high seas locations — including the Sargasso Sea — as new World Heritage sites.
The report, titled World Heritage in the High Seas: An Idea Whose Time has Come, looks into the possibility of selecting oceanic areas in international waters as heritage sites. A total of 47 marine sites are protected under the World Heritage Convention, such as Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and each reside within the jurisdiction of at least one nation.
While the report stops short of officially proposing a list of potential sites, the report notes five areas including the Sargasso Sea as “illustrating the need for, and urgency of, the identification and protection of World Heritage Sites in the high seas”, highlighting how each could earn the criteria of a World Heritage Site by having outstanding universal value. It lists possible ways in which Unesco could potentially list high seas locations as World Heritage sites through amendments or a “bold interpretation” of the 1972 World Heritage Convention.