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UNESCO Scrutinizes 'Star Wars Episode VII' Filming on Irish Island Skellig Michael

July 30, 2014 (6:00 am) GMT
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization wants report on the preservation on the World Heritage site.

Conversationalist concerns regarding "Star Wars Episode VII" filming on lush island of Skellig Michael in Ireland are heard by UNESCO. The group has now asked the Irish government for a repot on the preservation of the site and any impact on wildlife in the area.

"We can't speculate what the filming of 'Star Wars' on the site will do to the wildlife," Roni Amelan from the organization's headquarters in Paris said in a statement. "We just know that this is going on and we have asked for information."

The filming is expected to last for several days on the island. According to Dr. Steve Newton of BirdWatch Ireland, the noise could disturb the current mating season of its inhabitants like puffins, manx shearwaters, storm petrels, peregrine falcons, and guillemots.

BBC reports that Newton said he was asked by the film's producers just days before shooting was to begin if he would assist them with an impact assessment to secure permits for filming. He refused, arguing the research would take several weeks since many of the species breed underground or in rocky crevices where it would be difficult to see what damage is being done.

However, Irish Board Film insisted extensive scientific analysis had been done before consent to use the island for limited shoot was granted. "That consent is subject to several agreed conditions and restrictions and is also the subject of a detailed management and mitigation plans and ecological oversight," a rep said.

"The filming programme has been designed specifically to avoid the disturbance of breeding birds on the island. The NPWS approved the proposal on that basis," the rep added. "The production company also has a senior ecological advisor on set at all times. Activity is confined to visitor areas and pathways."

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