World Heritage

Facts and figures

 

 

World Heritage facts 2017There are 241 natural World Heritage sites

241 classified as natural sites

35 mixed sites classified as both natural and cultural
 

Download the 2017 facts and figures for natural World Heritage !

 

Natural and mixed World Heritage sites protect over 293 million hectares (ha) of land and sea and represent 22% of all 1073 World Heritage properties.

Of all natural World Heritage sites, 192 are terrestrial sites, 49 are marine sites and 18 are transboundary sites.

107 countries have an area designated as a natural or mixed World Heritage site.

  • 8 in Arab States
  • 42 in Africa
  • 43 in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 72 in Europe and North America
  • 76 in Asia and the Pacific

To date, 16 natural and mixed World Heritage sites are on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
 

Top 10 biggest natural World Heritage sites

Site

Country

Total area (ha)

1. Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Kiribati

40,825,813

2. Papahānaumokuākea

USA

36,479,268

3. Great Barrier Reef

Australia

34,823,325

4. Galápagos

Ecuador

14,696,203

5. Kluane / Wrangell-St Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek

USA / Canada

9,728,368

6. Lake Baikal

Russia

8,550,838

7. Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Niger

7,869,613

8. Tassili n’Ajjer

Algeria

7,571,268

9. Central Amazon Conservation Complex

Brazil

5,131,312

10. Selous Game Reserve

Tanzania

4,751,807


Top 10 countries with the largest natural World Heritage coverage

Country

Total area (hectares)1

% of national protected areas2

1. USA

46,513,540

9.8%

2. Australia

45,616,236

910.1%

3. Kiribati

40,825,813

99.8%

4. Russia

23,705,635

12.7%

5. Ecuador

14,948,879

77.6%

6. Canada

10,752,185

10.6%

7. China

8,585,322

5.3%

8. Niger

8,088,639

39.2%

9.Algeria

7,571,268

43.4%

10. Tanzania

6,972,264

18.9%

1. UNEP-WCMC (2017) Global Statistics from the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA): September 2017. Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC. All areas are calculated from GIS boundaries using the Mollweide equal area projection for consistency.

2. Data includes all designated protected areas recorded in WDPA (including land, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone, September 2017) except for UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves.

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