War, natural disasters, pollution and even poaching are threatening tourism hotspots all over the world.
UNESCO's World Heritage Committee will meet next month to discuss which new sites should earn a place on its prestigious list and which should be removed.
Seven face being added to the UN body's 'Danger List' and two could be delisted entirely, as both human action and natural disasters threaten the character of these special places.
The World Heritage List includes both natural and cultural sites that are judged for having outstanding value for the whole of humanity.
From the immense Great Wall of China, to the lush green paradise of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the prestigious accolade is a sign to nations that these treasures must be cared for and preserved for future generations.
After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled its 2020 meeting, the committee is scheduled to meet in China next month to judge which new sites should be added to the list. However, the session will also discuss current World Heritage Sites considered to be under threat.
How many sites could risk losing their status?
In a report released last week, UNESCO recommended that seven should be included on its so-called 'Danger List' - which details places facing conditions that could ruin the very reasons they were originally awarded the status.
This can include:
- Manmade problems, like war and over-development/construction
- or natural disasters that have altered the character of the site
UNESCO has also proposed that two sites are removed from the World Heritage list completely.
These have been listed as sites 'in danger' before. However, delisting sites is an extremely rare step to take.
The only two sites that have already been delisted are Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary and the Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany.
Click on the video above to learn more.