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Galapagos Islands lose "protected" status

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Galapagos Islands lose "protected" status


A UN body has removed Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands from its list of endangered sites.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted by 14 to five with one abstention to withdraw the islands’ special status.

In 2007, UNESCO said the islands were under threat from increased tourism and a growing local population.

The volcanic islands lie 900 kilometres west of continental Ecuador. Charles Darwin studied species there in work that contributed to his theory of evolution.

The UN body also voted to include Uganda’s Tombs of the Buganda Kings on the list. In March, a fire badly damaged the main structure of the tombs.

They were built in the late 19th century and house the burial places of four Bugandan kings.

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