Climb­ing banned on Aus­tralia’s iconic Uluru mono­lith

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World - Uluru-kata Tjuta Na­tional Park Board of Man­age­ment

AUS­TRALIA’S iconic Uluru land­mark will be closed to vis­i­tors from 2019 af­ter the Uluru-kata Tjuta Na­tional Park Board of Man­age­ment voted unan­i­mously Wed­nes­day to ban climb­ing on the cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant site.

For­merly known as Ayres Rock, Uluru is a sa­cred space to lo­cal Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, who have cam­paigned for decades to stop vis­i­tors from climb­ing the fa­mous red mono­lith in cen­tral Aus­tralia.

“If I travel to an­other coun­try and there is a sa­cred site, an area of re­stricted ac­cess, I don’t en­ter or climb it, I re­spect it,” said Uluru-kata Tjuta Na­tional Park Board of Man­age­ment Chair­man Sammy Wil­son said in a state­ment.

But Wil­son, who is one of the tra­di­tional own­ers of Uluru, said tourists will still be wel­come.

“Clos­ing the climb is not some­thing to feel up­set about but a cause for cel­e­bra­tion,” he said.

The UNESCO World Her­itage-listed site is a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion, at­tract­ing more than 250,000 vis­i­tors each year. How­ever the num­ber of peo­ple choos­ing to climb has de­clined sig­nif­i­cantly over the years, with only 16 per­cent of vis­i­tors mak­ing the climb be­tween 2011 and 2015.

In 2010, the park board an­nounced that Uluru would be closed if the num­ber of climbers fell be­low 20 per­cent.

The climb­ing ban will be­gin on Oc­to­ber 26, 2019 -- 34 years af­ter Uluru was handed back to its tra­di­tional own­ers, the Anangu peo­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to The Guardian, re­search un­der­taken by the Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity in 2006 found that Ja­panese vis­i­tors were the most likely to climb Uluru, with 83 per­cent of them choos­ing to make the climb.

Signs around the base of Uluru that re­quest vis­i­tors re­con­sider climb­ing the sa­cred site have been in place since 1992. – Ky­odo

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