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Leading re/insurers in effort to protect World Heritage Sites

3rd July 2018 - Author: Charlie Wood

The UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative – the largest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry – has partnered with WWF and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in a move aimed at protecting World Heritage Sites.

World Heritage SitesThe statement covers the re/insurance industry’s risk management, insurance and investment activities and commits signatories – including Swiss Re, Peak Re and the National Reinsurance Corporation of the Philippines – to take various actions in order to prevent or reduce the risk of insuring and investing in companies or projects whose activities could damage World Heritage Sites.

“The UNESCO World Heritage Centre fully supports this landmark commitment by the insurance industry to protect World Heritage Sites,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO WHC.

“We encourage insurers around the world to be part of this global commitment as the permanent protection of these.”

Among the 1,100 natural, cultural, and mixed World Heritage Sites across the globe include the Galápagos Islands, the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Pyramids of Egypt.

Butch Bacani, who leads the PSI at UN Environment and who launched the Statement in Manama, added, “By managing risk, the insurance industry has protected society and its assets for generations. Today, the industry’s risk management services, insurance solutions and investments are powerful ways to tackle increasing economic, social and environmental challenges.

“With this global commitment, insurers are speaking with a united voice to protect the priceless and irreplaceable assets that make up our world heritage for present and future generations.”

Margaret Kuhlow, WWF Finance Practice Lead, added, “This commitment by the insurance industry to protect World Heritage Sites sends a powerful message that the industry want to protect our planet’s most special places for the people and nature that rely on them. WWF will continue to work together with UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative and UNESCO to support its implementation.”

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