Palau - Rock Islands Southern Lagoon

Conservation’s dream — the sharp reality

The world needs to take far better care of its outstanding natural places — those designated as World Heritage sites. That’s the message from IUCN experts as they gather in St. Petersburg, Russia for the annual meeting of the World Heritage Convention starting 24 June.

Too many sites inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List are left with little resources to manage them properly and conserve the very values they were inscribed for. Many face a barrage of threats, not least from mining and oil exploration.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention so the spotlight is being trained on how well - or not - the Convention is doing at protecting iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef or the Serengeti National Park.

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News and stories

The Sangha Trinational is recommended to be added on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Six natural wonders declared World Heritage Sites

St. Petersburg, Russia, 2 July, 2012 (IUCN) – Sangha Trinational - shared between Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo; Lakes of Ounianga in Chad and Chengjiang fossil site in China have been inscribed on the World Heritage List, following the recommendations of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Lena Pillars Nature Park in Russia and Western Ghats in India were also added to the prestigious list by the World Heritage Committee, a 21-nation panel. …   | French

02 Jul 2012 | News story

Palau - Rock Islands Southern Lagoon

Palau wins World Heritage Status

Rock Islands Southern Lagoon in Palau has been inscribed on the World Heritage List, becoming the country’s first World Heritage Site. …  

29 Jun 2012 | Article

Mountains of Virgin Komi, Russia

No ‘danger listing’ for four natural World Heritage sites - against IUCN advice

St Petersburg, Russian Federation, 29 June 2012 (IUCN) – None of the four natural World Heritage sites that IUCN recommended for inclusion on the Danger List have been added, in what is seen by IUCN experts as a blow for conservation. …  

29 Jun 2012 | International news release

No Mining in Mount Nimba World Heritage Site

Release of report on World Heritage and mining

New independent review of World Heritage and the extractive industry was published today in response to growing concerns over the rapidly increasing number of World Heritage Sites threatened by planned mining or oil and gas projects.

26 Jun 2012 | News story

No other option!

Our experts in action: Leo Niskanen

Not many of us get to turn a childhood passion into a career but IUCN’s Leo Niskanen is doing just that—in the heart of East Africa, one of the world’s last great bastions of wildlife. …  

24 Jun 2012 | Article

Consultation with indigenous people, Bolivia

Regaining their rights—indigenous peoples and World Heritage

More than a status symbol, World Heritage sites often play a pivotal role in sustaining the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous peoples and local communities who have lived in harmony with their lands and resources for centuries. …  

24 Jun 2012 | Article

Dancers at the Go4BioDiv International Youth Forum

‘Our Treasures at Risk’ — youth perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for our planet’s most outstanding places

To mark the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, a new publication is being released that draws on the views and experiences of young people who live and/or work in World Heritage sites. …  

24 Jun 2012 | News story

Ranger in Garamba National Park, Zaire

In trouble and in need: West Africa’s World Heritage

Of all natural World Heritage sites, those in West and Central Africa are in the most urgent need of support. …  

24 Jun 2012 | Article

Eléphants et bongos dans le Bail de Dzanga Sangha

One in ten natural World Heritage Sites in Danger

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee’s annual meeting, which starts in St Petersburg on Sunday, will see a total of 36 new sites considered for inscription as natural and cultural sites, and a series of monitoring reports on the sites already listed. But if IUCN’s recommendations to add four World Heritage sites to the Danger List are accepted, 21 out of the 211 –one in ten- natural World Heritage Sites will be officially “in danger.” …   | French | Russian

23 Jun 2012 | News story

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IUCN Director General on 40 years of World Heritage

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