Isle of Man Cruises Risk UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Designation

Isle of Man Cruises Risk UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Designation
Isle of Man Cruises Risk UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Designation

Isle of Man, population 83,737, (see video below) is a self-governing Crown dependency located in the geographical center of the British Isles, in the middle of the Irish Sea. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. Foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of the British Government.

The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. In 627, Edwin of Northumbria conquered the Isle of Man. In the 9th century,  Norsemen established the Kingdom of the Isles.

Isle of Man is known for its rugged coastline, medieval castles and rural landscape, rising to a mountainous center. In the capital, Douglas, the Manx Museum traces the island’s Celtic and Viking heritage. The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is a major annual cross-country motorcycle race around the island.

In 2016, Isle of Man was also the first whole nation designated  a World Heritage Site as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve.

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.

To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be an already classified landmark, unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance (such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, or mountain). It may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet.

There are 1073 World Heritage Site listed, 2 have been delisted  in recent years, Dresden Elbe Valley delisted in 2009 and Arabian Oryx Sanctuary delisted in 2007. There are 54 sites in danger of being delisted including Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City. Also in danger is the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System which is another popular cruise port of call and cruise excursion destination.

The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored/uncontrolled/unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence.

A problem with environmental pollution is currently unfolding.  Vessels moor in the main harbor in the Island’s capital of Douglas or, for larger ships, in Douglas Bay are adding to the increasing local pollution. Cruise ships calling at the Isle of Man, potentially increase the risk of being deleted from the special UNESCO designation list.

Quarterbridge Douglas Isle of Man
Quarterbridge Douglas Isle of Man

According to Isle of Man radio station MANX,  “An Island environmental group says it’s recorded dangerous levels of pollution at the Quarterbridge in Douglas. Isle of Man Friends of the Earth placed six ‘absorption tubes’ around the capital to measure nitrogen dioxide, which is harmful to human health. It claims levels at the busy junction in Douglas were in breach of EU safety thresholds. The tubes were in place for a fortnight and recorded 41.90 micrograms per cubic meter at Quarterbridge, in excess of the European limit of 40μg.”

Some pollution can be credited to the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy for the Snaefell Mountain Course on the primary Ramsey to Douglas road in the town of Douglas, Isle of Man.

The 1911 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races took place for the first time over the Snaefell Mountain Course. The whole organisation of the races was given over to the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), which announced the use of the longer mountain course with a four lap (150 mile) Junior race on Friday 30 June, and five laps (189 mile) for the Senior race on Monday 3 July. The race sees a maximum of 80 starting entries in total for each race.

Additional excessive pollution can be credited to the cruise ship emissions. At least seventeen cruise ships  were/are currently on schedule to call at  Isle of Man in 2017, 2018 and 2019. They include some aging, out-dated cruise ships which, include in part, Azamara Journey (built 1999), Crystal Serenity (built 2003), Hanseatic (built 1991), Hebridean Princess (built 1964), Oceania Nautica (built 1999), Rotterdam (built 1997), Saga Sapphire (built 1980), Scenic Eclipse, Seabourn Quest, Seven Seas Explorer, Silver Cloud Expedition, Silver Explorer, Silver Whisper, Silver Wind (built 1995), Star Breeze, Star Pride and Wind Surf (built 1989).

Article Resources:

Video: Cruise Trips to the Isle of Man (Isle of Man Cruise Tourism Promotion)


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