The World Heritage Centre expresses its deep concern regarding the cargo spill off the British Coast.
The MSC Napoli is grounded near Sidmouth's coastline, part of the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001. The chemical containers and oil released from the ship may represent a potential environmental disaster. If the information provided is correct, the most serious damage could result from the oil spill that could affect the coastline, its biodiversity and wildlife. UNESCO will consult with the British authorities and the site management to assess any damage to the outstanding universal value of the site and any urgent measures to be taken.
The cliff exposures of the World Heritage site provide an almost continuous sequence of rock formations spanning some 185 million years. The area's important fossil sites and classic coastal geomorphologic features have contributed to the study of earth sciences for over 300 years and are outstanding from a scientific and natural point of view.