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  ‘Elephanta at risk from rising sea levels’

‘Elephanta at risk from rising sea levels’

Published : May 30, 2016, 2:02 am IST
Updated : May 30, 2016, 2:02 am IST

Mumbai’s iconic Elephanta Caves are listed at being at a long-term risk from the rising sea levels in a recent study conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Ed

File photo of Elelphanta caves
 File photo of Elelphanta caves

Mumbai’s iconic Elephanta Caves are listed at being at a long-term risk from the rising sea levels in a recent study conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

The extensive research, highlighting the 130-World Heritage sites vulnerable to climate change has listed the caves dating back to 5th and 8th century. There are more than 1,000 world heritage properties in 163 countries and several of them are important tourist destinations, stated the report.

As the risks of climate change are being discussed worldwide, the research was conducted to highlight the growing climate risks to World Heritage sites and recommend a clear and achievable response. “Globally, we need to understand more about how climate change will affect all World Heritage sites, and how it will interact with and amplify the effects of other stresses, including urbanisation, pollution, natural resource extraction and, increasingly, tourism,” the researchers mentioned in the report.

A global analysis conducted by researchers at the University of Innsbruck and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research identified more than 130 cultural World Heritage sites at long-term risk from sea-level rise. The researchers confirmed that India’s Elephanta Caves is listed as one of the sites along with Mont Saint Michel and its Bay in France and the Archaeological Site of Carthage in Tunisia.

Speaking about the report, Girish Raut, an expert on climate change and environmentalist said that bigger worries lay ahead when it comes to sea level rising. “Next seven to eight years are going to catastrophic, keeping in mind the constant rising of the ocean levels across the world. Considering 2050 as a deadline, after which the increase in sea levels will be irreversible and threat to mega cities like Mumbai and Kolkata, it’s not a surprise that Elephanta Caves are at a threat, said Mr Raut. He also added, “Serious efforts need to be taken before the constant increase in temperature crosses the benchmark of 2 degrees Celsius as mentioned in the Paris Climate Change Document.”