The Global Heritage Fund commissioned a project, 'Saving our Vanishing Heritage', in order to survey the sites worldwide that are most endangered and to identify those in need of immediate intervention and conservation.

The official website deems the primary aims of the project to be threefold:
"1. to raise critically needed global awareness
2. to identify innovative technologies and solutions
3. to increase funding through private-public partnerships"

The report is now published (click here to download the .pdf version of the report from the GHF).

There are around 200 critically endangered sites in this report, threatened by man-made factors. The sites in danger in the Middle East include:
Ani, Turkey (Crossroads of Anatolian civilisation)
Hisham's Palace, Palestine (Palace complex of the Ummayad Kings)
Nineveh, Iraq (a cultural centre of the ancient world)

The most common endangering factors at such sites are insufficient site management, modern development pressures and looting.

The GHF summarises its report and produces recommendations for future action. The official project website concludes:

"Investment in the protection and preservation of heritage sites has proven to be one of the most scalable, effective, and targeted means of helping developing nations. Now is the critical time to commit international funds and expertise needed to save our heritage, in the same way that we have committed to combating climate change and the loss of biological diversity as global priorities.

"By focusing the dynamic, multi-billion-dollar global industry of heritage tourism and sustainable development on the critical task of preserving the very assets on which they are based, we can help millions rise up out of poverty.

"By sharing best practices in site planning and management, historic urban preservation, and integrated community development, we can conserve our most precious global heritage sites and enable major economic growth in new jobs and income for developing countries. A relatively small investment today, combined with global collaboration focused on this crisis, can make all the difference to save this heritage."

Saving Our Vanishing Heritage (Official GHF Project site)

Other Media Sources:
GHF's Newsfeed: Link
CNN: Link (18.10.10)
Reuters: Link (18.10.10)
msnbc: Link (18.10.10) Link (25.10.10)