The Giants Causeway, one of Ireland's most important heritage landscapes, is at risk of being swallowed up by the sea.
Experts say that sea levels at the Irish coast could rise by one meter (3.3 feet) by the end of this century.
“While things may look near-perfect here in Ireland, a report published by the UK National Trust in 2008 predicted that the sea level around Northern Ireland will rise by up to one meter by the end of the century, threatening the Giant’s Causeway,” said Simon Molesworth, chairman of the International National Trusts Organization.
Molesworth has urged that December’s UN conference on climate change, which takes place in Denmark, should make protection of the world’s most important landscapes a top priority.
“Iconic buildings and landscapes all around the world are at risk because of climate change," he said,
"Time is against us, and it is critical that world leaders listen and put solid measures in place at Copenhagen to protect our heritage so that it can be enjoyed by future generations."
Molesworth was speaking at An Taisce’s 13th International Conference of National Trusts which is being held in Dublin this week.
A list of recommendations, called the “Dublin Declaration,” is being put together to show how national governments can protect their landscapes and iconic structures.
Former Irish president Mary Robinson also spoke at the conference and urged governments to enforce policies to protect the climate.
“We must hold governments accountable for putting into practice well-established principles, such as the requirement that ‘polluters pay’ for the environmental damage they cause,” she said.
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