by Taetske | 4:06 pm
(Last Updated On: October 14, 2019)

A world heritage site by UNESCO is brutally attacked and destroyed


Panorama of the Sonoran Desert

Panorama of the Sonoran Desert


I am sad and upset as here we go again

Perhaps you do not know what having an area declared a UNESCO site means.  A World Heritage Site is a special place on Mother Earth, that is deemed worthy of protection by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

This special place will have cultural, historical, scientific or another form of significance. Sometimes, more than one of these criteria are met and makes this place so special as to be legally protected by international treaties.

Normally the people in the area of this special place are mighty proud of getting the title of a Heritage Site, as it will increase its fame and many people worldwide will want to come and visit.

Here in Spain, recently this title was given to the famous Dolmen in Antequera, in the south of Spain. This is a protected area and has to be preserved to show our past to the coming generations.


Baby Bobcat

Baby Bobcat


When the UNESCO gives this title, one does one’s utmost best to keep this special place safe

A very special place in the Sonoran Desert with the name Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is being destroyed by human ignorance. Since 1976, this National Monument has also been designated the Organ Pipe Cactus Biosphere Reserve, and UNESCO has declared it the most pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem.

This park was established in 1937 and has an area of 517 square miles (1,339 square km). The name is taken from the Organ-Pipe Cactus (Stenocereus thurberi). The fruit is edible but you have to know how to harvest it. If it were to fall, it would then break. When you open the fruit it has a red pulp, which you can eat. It was a food source for Native Americans and can be used in many different ways. Made into a jelly or just like it is, even fermented as a beverage.

In this YouTube video, you can have a look at this park and see it’s unusual scenery.



The slow emigration of the cactus

It is interesting to find out why this cactus is present in the Sonoran desert. This cactus actually originated in warm, dry tropics. Then, when the global climate warmed at the end of the last Ice-Age, it started emigrating to the North. Slowly but surely it arrived in the Sonoran desert some 3500 years ago.

This cactus does not like frost and therefore you will see it on the south side of the rocky slopes but sometimes there is a cold spell that will kill it. If it gets close to sub-freezing, the younger part of the cactus will die but when the warmth comes back it will grow again leaving scars at that spot.

It can stand a lot of heat because it is able to store large quantities of water inside. Their skin does not let water thru and all those sharp spines serve as sun protectors. The first time it blossoms is at the age of 35 and it can reach the age of 150 and even older. I must say this cactus is quite amazing. As the flowers only bloom in May and June, and are only open during the night and close by mid-morning, there is not much time for pollination.



How pollination takes place

Now you might say this looks special, but do these organ pipe cacti play a role in the ecosystem? Yes, they certainly do. Think about the long-nosed bats. Over centuries they have built up a special relationship with the organ pipe cactus.

Bats sleep during the day but at night they come out to fly in the night sky, catching little insects. When the fruit of the cactus ripens, which is normally before the summer rains, it splits open and one can see the bright red seed-studded pulp. Bats love to eat this fruit and the nectar of the flowers, and that is how it spreads.


Baby Desert Tortoise coming out of the Egg.

Baby Desert Tortoise coming out of the Egg


A wall is going to destroy this unique site

Once more, human ignorance and disrespect for a natural and protected site that should be preserved for future generations, is in danger. In the past, I have written quite a few posts on similar things. At the end of this report, I will give you a list of some of these other posts. On one side there are people who do their utmost best to protect fauna and flora, and on the other side you have ignorant leaders who want to destroy it.

Until now, no big wall has been built, it has been only a lot of talking. That seems to be changing now. Between 2012 and 2017 there were a few miles of border fence built in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument but at least it was done with some care.

The wall was not too high but it did already disturb the rare and endangered desert animals.  Their normal life was disrupted as their routes were cut. Saguaro and other cacti were removed but in total it could have been worse.



This is a YouTube video where you can see how the Saguaro Cacti are being bulldozed.



The changes in EPA and its consequences

As the EPA was reformed and new people put at the top, the real function of the EPA was completely altered. Taking care of the country, its heritage and the American people, all of that lost its importance. The word protection changed into destruction.

Cacti which are older than the nation, are now brutally bulldozed down leaving a scar across the desert. In September, the defense department pledged that the Saguaro would be relocated but pictures show they are pilled up like a heap of rubbish. One more thing is being destroyed which our children and future generations will only know from pictures.

Once more the video Man is so to the point showing human folly.



An Afterthought

Mother Earth would be better off without us, no doubt about that.

Here are some posts that talk about similar and sad examples of human destruction.

Trees are so important as they clean the air.

Archaeological sites belong to the people.

Another incomprehensible decision.

Such an awful idea.


I have traveled quite a bit, lived and studied in different countries. I consider myself a world citizen. Even if I do not live in the U.S. it hurts me to see what is happening there. The people of America should speak up to protect their country. I hope they do it before it is too late.


Source: Daily Kos, 5 October 2019, article by Mark Summer, Daily Kos Staff

Photo Source: Pixabay


Here in Spain, people are becoming more conscious of their cultural heritage and the beauty of fauna and flora. You might like to read the following post.

15 Beautiful and Unique National Parks in Spain




Hello Taetske, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Honestly, I did not know about this thing happening until reading your article, it is very sad that we can’t do anything against those who destroy nature as they want. Thank you for sharing this info, it is important for people to know this.

Oct 14.2019 | 04:41 pm


    Good Morning Danijel,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    There are many things being destroyed on Mother Earth and most cannot be recuperated anymore. Think about the huge fires worldwide and especially the Amazon.

    When choosing our leaders we should be more careful. Anybody who has no respect for fauna, flora, and humans should not be voted for.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Oct 15.2019 | 07:05 am


The organ pipe cactus is a relatively rare species of cactus which grows in deserts mainly in Mexico, USA, and a few other countries around the world with deserts with similar climates. It is very hurtful to learn that a world heritage site is being tampered with because a wall is to be erected. I believe more protection should be given to such sites by the United Nations. It is shameful for us as humans if we begin to maul down things with such historical importance. 

Oct 14.2019 | 04:46 pm


    Good Morning Amanda,

    Thank you for your visit and for leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Yes, it is hurtful and a scandal that a World Heritage Site is being destroyed. I do not think the United Nations will do anything in this type of situation. It is the responsibility of the people to choose a leader who respects the country. This person has the obligation to protect the environment which is our habitat.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 15.2019 | 07:13 am


Hi Taetske,

I really enjoyed your article about the destruction of another world heritage site. I sincerely hope that no wall is built around the site. Are the people of Spain protesting about this? I hope so and at least your article is spreading publicity about it as I didn’t know anything about it. Good luck with your endeavours, Regards, Andrew.

Oct 14.2019 | 04:46 pm


    Good Morning Andrew,

    Perhaps there is a little misunderstanding? I live in Spain but this is happening in America. The wall is planned to go through not around this site. The American people are the ones who should protest. Anyhow, it is good when the whole world hears about what is happening in the U.S. So much damage done to the environment in a few years, very sad. 

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 15.2019 | 07:19 am


Being a nature enthusiast, whenever I read or hear about happenings like this, it is really disheartening. What I have seen about the destruction of the organ pipe cactus in the Sonoran desert can only compound the woes and harm that we have caused mother nature.

Thank you so much for bringing this to my notice. Seriously, I believe stricter measures should be taken towards all these actions of destructions that are leading our future into shallowness.

Oct 14.2019 | 04:47 pm


    Good Morning Rodger,

    Thank you for stopping by again and leaving a comment.

    When one looks at the world too many places suffer destruction at our hand. America is going through a very rough time these last years. Those places that have been taken care of for decades are being attacked. One should choose one’s leaders with more care.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 15.2019 | 10:39 am


This kind of news saddens me but also keeps me informed of what’s happening around the globe. I really wish that authorities would really take part in preserving our nature and a much higher fund to ensure tue fulfillment of these preservations. Thanks to environmental advocacies, people are becoming more aware of the immediate need to protect mother nature.

I hope that the Organ Pipe Cactus can be revived. People must also be educated on being respectful of what has been declared as a national heritage. Each of us has the responsibility to nourish our lands and not to destroy it. Thank you for sharing. 

Oct 14.2019 | 04:54 pm


    Good Morning Maureen,

    I am also sad when I come across this type of news. Sadly there are too many similar stories. 

    We are not the owners of Mother Earth, we have the privilege to live our lives on earth, we have the obligation to take good care of our environment.

    Often these basic rules are not followed and the result is a destructive mess. Did you look at the video at the end of my post? 

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 15.2019 | 10:45 am


Another destruction of nature and the elements that are present in it. I just really wish that we can let nature live and truly live rather than the dangers and everyday death we expose it to. I found it difficult to see the reasons why the organ pipe cactus should be brutally destroyed. Watching that video, I just couldn’t hold back my anger at the attitude displayed here. Truly, nature is better of without us.

Oct 14.2019 | 04:54 pm


    Good Morning Shelley,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? Tulip widget.

    Our planet is beautiful and we should be thankful we are allowed to live here. At the rate we are going the future generations will miss out on a lot of special places. We should be ashamed of our actions and that includes voting for destructive leaders.

    Regards, Taetske

    Oct 15.2019 | 10:51 am

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