The World Heritage Programme coordinates IUCN’s work on the UNESCO World Heritage Convention which is one of the most important global nature conservation instruments. In its advisory role to the Convention, IUCN evaluates natural World Heritage Sites nominated for World Heritage Status, monitors the state of conservation of existing sites, implements capacity building initiatives, and provides technical advice to the World Heritage Committee.
The World Heritage Programme also implements initiatives to enhance the role of the World Heritage Convention in protecting the planet’s biodiversity and promote effective use of its mechanisms to strengthen the conservation and management of natural World Heritage sites. The Agenda for Nature project (2010-2014), supported by the MAVA foundation, is at the heart of IUCN’s vision for natural World Heritage sites and the planet’s network of over 130,000 protected areas. The Agenda is about improving management of sites, closing the gap by including sites in need of protection through a credible selection process, tackling climate change in sites, systematic monitoring and funds for ensuring longevity of natural heritage.
IUCN’s World Heritage Programme is managed from IUCN’s international headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, and works in close collaboration with World Heritage regional focal points in each of IUCN’s regional offices, as well as with the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme (GPAP).
We work together with a wide variety of partners, including UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the MAVA Foundation, the African World Heritage Fund, the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment