Get latest on natural World Heritage Sites from IUCN

22 June 2009 | News story

The latest sites to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List will be announced at the World Heritage Committee, held in Seville, Spain, from June 22-30. After a long period of work by the countries nominating the sites, and over a year of rigorous evaluations, IUCN, which is the independent advisory body on natural sites, will present its recommendations to the Committee for new natural World Heritage sites.

IUCN will also be reporting back on monitoring missions it conducted to nine World Heritage Sites, including two on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger

“Natural World Heritage sites are a front-line response to the global extinction crisis we are facing”, says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN. “Climate change, uncontrolled tourism, mining, and invasive species are some of the serious threats to our natural heritage. The global community must invest more in nature conservation in order to protect the world’s biodiversity, before it is too late”

“Each year we witness some World Heritage sites under new and serious threats, but Governments are often unwilling to have these sites recognised as being in danger”, says Tim Badman, IUCN’s Special Advisor on World Heritage. “The danger list should be seen as a positive conservation tool, intended to help tackle the problems a site is facing and mobilise international support, not as a black mark for countries.”

“The 199 natural World Heritage sites include some of the planet’s most important biodiversity hotspots, and flagships for the world’s protected areas” says Allen Putney, Vice-Chair for World Heritage of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. “More than half the existing World Heritage Sites need more support and resources, to make sure they are managed effectively. We should be focusing much more on protecting the sites that are listed. After all, the goal of the Convention is to maintain the values of these extraordinary places.”

What to expect:

  • Breaking news on the latest natural sites to be added to the World Heritage List, as they are announced at the World Heritage Committee.
  • New IUCN report about the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. 
  • Breaking news on the sites added to and removed from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger, as they are announced at the World Heritage Committee.
  • New IUCN capacity building initiative to enhance the management of World Heritage sites.
    When: Monday, June, 22, to Tuesday, June 30. Press updates as events unfold at the meeting.

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About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,000 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

www.iucn.org