The Top 25 Most Endangered Places In The World

By Leah Freeman-Haskin


It’s hard to avoid the constant apocalyptic news of climate change and its effects on our environment and way of life. From threats to sacred Native American land to wildfires destroying entire neighborhoods, more places on earth are quickly becoming endangered.

According to CNN, the World Monuments Fund added 25 culturally important sites to its 2020 World Monuments Watch list of threatened heritage sites with historical significance.

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“We often take our most treasured heritage sites for granted,” said Bénédicte de Montlaur, the fund’s CEO to CNN. “Sometimes it’s not until they are put at risk that we realize the importance they have in constructing our identities as individuals, communities, or citizens of a country.”

A few monuments on the 2020 Watch List include Mam Rashan Shrine in Iraq, a Yazidi shrine destroyed during a genocidal campaign; threats to the significant rock carvings on Easter Island at Rapa Nui National Park in Chile; and the San Antonio Woolworth Building in United States, a significant site of the African American Civil Rights Movement in Texas, which is being threatened by a redevelopment plan.

Easter Island, Chile | Thomas Griggs | Getty Images

The World Monuments Fund’s mission is to bring awareness to cultural heritage at risk. Through their sponsors and donations, they have raised over $400 million to provide financial and technical support for the preservation, restoration, and long-term stewardship of the most beloved historical sites in the world.

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The full 2020 Watch List is below:

1. Koutammakou, Land of the Batammariba, Benin and Togo

2. Ontario Place, Canada

3. Rapa Nui National Park, Chile

4. Alexan Palace, Egypt

5. Notre-Dame de Paris, France

6. Tusheti National Park, Georgia

7. Gingerbread Neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

8. Historic Water Systems of the Deccan Plateau, India

9. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, India

10. Mam Rashan Shrine, Iraq

11. Inari-yu Bathhouse, Japan

12. Iwamatsu District, Japan

13. Canal Nacional, Mexico

14. Choijin Lama Temple, Mongolia

15. Traditional Burmese Teak Farmhouses, Myanmar

16. Chivas and Chaityas of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

17. Anarkali Bazaar, Pakistan

18. Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

19. Kindler Chapel, Pabianice Evangelical Cemetery, Poland

20. Courtyard Houses of Axerquía, Spain

21. Bennerley Viaduct, United Kingdom

22. Bears Ears National Monument, USA

23. Central Aguirre Historic District, USA

24. San Antonio Woolworth Building, USA

25. Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara, Uzbekistan

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Leah Freeman-Haskin

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