World Heritage

Natural World Heritage sites include iconic places such as the Great Barrier Reef, Yellowstone, the Galápagos Islands and Kilimanjaro, and are recognised as the world's most significant protected areas.

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Natural World Heritage sites are recognised as the planet’s most important protected areas, providing life-supporting benefits to millions of people worldwide. And yet, they are under increasing pressure from climate change, infrastructure development, mining, poaching and other threats.

IUCN is the official advisory body on nature under the World Heritage Convention. IUCN evaluates sites nominated for the World Heritage List and monitors the state of conservation of listed sites. IUCN aims to improve the management of World Heritage sites and enhance the role of the World Heritage Convention in nature conservation and sustainable development.


 

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News

  • Corals Red Sea Corals at Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt Photo: mindgrow [CC BY-SA 2-0]. from flickr

    IUCN lists 15 new sites as world’s best protected areas

    24.11.2018

    Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 24 November 2018 (IUCN) – The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has admitted 15 new natural sites to the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas – the first global standard recognising best practice in...

  • Henry Cleere, ICOMOS historical Henry Cleere (left) and Jim Thorsell (right) joined by a Vietnamese colleague during an evaluation mission Photo: Jim Thorsell

    Henry Cleere, a pillar of the World Heritage Convention

    11.09.2018

    The IUCN World Heritage Programme mourns the loss of Professor Henry Cleere, who recently passed away at the age of 91. Prof Cleere is remembered as a major figure in the history of the World Heritage Convention and in the conservation of archaeological...

  • Mount Sanqingshan National Park, China - World Heritage site Mount Sanqingshan National Park, a World Heritage site in China Photo: IUCN / Chris Wood

    New IUCN report helps choose the right tools to assess how key natural areas benefit people

    07.08.2018

    IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA) today has issued new guidance to help practitioners assess ecosystem services within important sites for biodiversity and nature conservation. The report reviews nine assessment tools, focussing on their...

Publications

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East Rennell, Solomon Islands Photo: IUCN/Paul Dingwall

Global World Heritage projects

IUCN implements initiatives to enhance the role of World Heritage

 

Blue and John Crow Mountains, Jamaica Photo: IUCN/Melissa Marín

Advisor on World Heritage

IUCN provides technical advice to help the World Heritage Committee make informed decisions on natural heritage

 

Monarch Butterfly Reserve, Mexico Photo: IUCN/Wendy Strahm

World Heritage and Climate Change

Climate change is the biggest potential threat to natural World Heritage sites, but these sites can be part of the solution

 

IUCN World Heritage Outlook Photo: Our Place World Heritage

IUCN World Heritage Outlook

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

thumbnail_natural World Heritage_issues brief Photo: IUCN

Natural World Heritage

One in five (23%) sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List are natural sites, most often protected areas such as national parks or nature reserves. Natural World Heritage sites are globally recognised...

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