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Conservation’s dream - the sharp reality

The world needs to take far better care of its outstanding natural places — those designated as World Heritage sites. That’s the message from IUCN experts as they gather for the annual meeting of the World Heritage Convention taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia from  24 June to 6 July.

Too many sites inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List are left with little resources to manage them properly and conserve the very values they were inscribed for. Many face a barrage of threats, not least from mining and oil exploration.

> Read more
> Watch message from IUCN Director General
> All news from World Heritage Committee
Tim Badman

No ‘danger listing’ for four natural World Heritage sites - against IUCN advice

mountains of Virgin Komi, Russia

None of the four natural World Heritage sites that IUCN recommended for inclusion on the Danger List have been added, in what is seen by IUCN experts as a blow for conservation.

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Release of report on World Heritage and mining

No Mining in Mount Nimba World Heritage Site

New independent review of World Heritage and the extractive industry was published today in response to growing concerns over the rapidly increasing number of World Heritage Sites threatened by planned mining or oil and gas projects.

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One in ten natural World Heritage Sites in Danger

Eléphants et bongos dans le Bail de Dzanga Sangha

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee’s annual meeting will see a total of 36 new sites considered for inscription as natural and cultural sites, and a series of monitoring reports on the sites already listed.

> Read more

Our experts in action: Leo Niskanen

No other option!

Not many of us get to turn a childhood passion into a career but IUCN’s Leo Niskanen is doing just that—in the heart of East Africa, one of the world’s last great bastions of wildlife.

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Regaining their rights - Indigenous peoples and World Heritage

Consultation with indigenous people, Bolivia

More than a status symbol, World Heritage sites often play a pivotal role in sustaining the livelihoods and cultures of indigenous peoples and local communities who have lived in harmony with their lands and resources for centuries.

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In trouble and in need: West Africa’s World Heritage

Ranger in Garamba National Park, Zaire

Of all natural World Heritage sites, those in West and Central Africa are in the most urgent need of support.

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‘Our Treasures at Risk’

Dancers at the Go4BioDiv International Youth Forum

To mark the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, a new publication is being released that draws on the views and experiences of young people who live and/or work in World Heritage sites.

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The inside view

Chad - Ounianga-Serir - Formations de grès Lac Teli Blog posts from the World Heritage Committee meeting
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Test your knowledge

Palau - Rock Islands Southern Lagoon How much do you know about natural World Heritage places?
> Take the quiz on our website


New natural World Heritage sites

Lake Uma Check out some of the new sites being nominated for World Heritage listing
> 2012 photo gallery
> 2011 photo gallery
> 2010 photo gallery


Facts and figures

More World Heritage Sites, more challenges for conservation World Heritage Sites protect over 266 million hectares (ha) of land and sea.
> More facts


Check out the Congress site!

2012 Congress logo To know everything about the next IUCN World Conservation Congress taking place in Jeju, Korea, in September 2012.


Saving the web of life

King Cobra The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ shows that of the 63,837 species assessed, 19,817 are threatened with extinction
> Read more


IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature © 2012

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

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Photo credits: Header banner & quiz © Jerker Tamelander; No danger listing © Mariam Ali Kenza; Release of report © Geoffroy Mauvais; Blog © Pierre Galland; Sites in Danger © Intu B.; expert in action © Leo Niskanen; Regaining their rights © IUCN; In trouble and in need © David Sheppard; Our treasures at risk © Go4BioDiv; photo gallery © Pierre Galland; Facts and Figures © Naomi Doak; Congress © IUCN; Saving the web of life © Bosse Jonsson