The unique places are increasingly faced with threats such as mining, major infrastructure projects, poaching, illegal logging, agricultural encroachment and climate change. Of the 217 natural World Heritage Sites, nearly 8% are on the List of World Heritage in Danger, 25% are affected by serious conservation issues, and the status of many of these sites is not known.
IUCN is undertaking Conservation Outlook Assessments in order to fill the current knowledge gap on natural World Heritage Sites and provide a global overview of their state of conservation.
This knowledge tool will support IUCN, its network of 1,200 member organizations, 11,000 scientific experts, 1,000 secretariat staff, as well as local communities, non-governmental organizations, wider civil-society and governments to:
- Identify the most pressing conservation issues affecting natural World Heritage sites and support sites in addressing these issues.
- Recognize well-managed sites for their conservation efforts and encourage the transfer of good management practices between sites.
- Understand and communicate the benefits of these sites for local communities and other stakeholders, for example livelihoods and ecosystem services.
- Track the state of conservation of all natural World Heritage Sites over time and raise public awareness of their importance for biodiversity conservation.