A growing number of natural heritage sites face major threats, from mining tand illegal logging to infrastructure developments. IUCN works to provide guidance while outlining its position on these key issues and seeking sustainable solutions.
The aim of Environmental Assessment is to equip decision-makers with the information necessary to preserve World Heritage Sites for future generations. Effective integration of World Heritage Sites in these processes is critical to ensuring that the potential adverse impacts of development proposals on a site’s Outstanding Universal Value, and alternatives to these proposals, are fully considered in decision-making.
IUCN’s position is that mineral and oil & gas exploration and exploitation (including associated infrastructure and activities) is incompatible with the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage Sites and should not be permitted within these sites. If it is outside the boundaries of World Heritage sites, it should not, under any circumstances, have negative impacts on their Outstanding Universal Value.
The advice note below aims to provide guidance on IUCN's position.
Communities and rights
Addressing community and rights concerns require long-term processes rather than quick fixes. Throughout its 40 year history, work in the World Heritage context on community and rights issues have gradually taken on more importance and received explicit attention.