Goldman Sachs declares World Heritage sites “off limits”
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Following in the footsteps of Shell International and the International Council on Mining & Metals (an industry association of the largest mining companies in the world), yet in a bold show of leadership within the international financing community, Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking firm, has formally committed itself to "not knowingly finance extractive projects or commercial logging in World Heritage sites" as stated within its recently released Environmental Policy Framework. The World Heritage Centre welcomes this declaration - it signals the ever-widening recognition of the World Heritage Convention as a valid international instrument for identifying and protecting the highest priority sites for conservation on the planet. This growing momentum within the private sector is an encouraging development in this new millennium, as demand for both natural resources and for protected areas grow and inevitably clash. The private sector is increasingly recognizing that clear lines need to be drawn when it comes to protecting the world's most valued places, and the World Heritage Convention is proving to be a credible instrument in helping them draw those lines.