The UNESCO World Heritage Committee followed IUCN's recommendation to inscribe five new natural sites on the World Heritage List: The Namib Sand Sea in Namibia, Mount Etna in Italy, El Pinacate and Grando Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, Xinjiang Tianshan in China and the Tajik National Park in the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan.
World Heritage, Phnom Penh 2013
IUCN experts gathered in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh for the annual UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting which took place on 16-27 June 2013. They recommended action to tackle major threats to natural World Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.
In addition, IUCN recommended to the Committee to approve the extension of Mount Kenya National Park to include the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ngare Forest Reserve. IUCN was also in favour of granting the extension of Drakensberg Park, Lesotho, to include Sehlabathebe National Park.
At the Committee meeting, IUCN also be reported on monitoring missions it conducted to ten World Heritage Sites in 2012 and 2013. IUCN also recommended three sites to be inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger because of significant threats to their Outstanding Universal Value. These were: Virgin Komi Forests in Russia, Lake Turkana in Kenya and East Rennell in the Solomon Islands. The Committee followed IUCN's advice for East Rennell but Virgin Komi Forests and Lake Turkana were not added to the Danger List.
IUCN is the advisory body to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee on nature. Working closely with the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), IUCN’s World Heritage Programme evaluates sites nominated to the World Heritage List, monitors the conservation state of listed sites, promotes the Convention as a leading global conservation tool, and provides support, advice and training to site managers, governments, scientists and local communities