World Heritage


IUCN evaluates all natural sites aspiring to achieve World Heritage status

World Heritage status is one of the highest international recognitions on the planet. As such, every site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List is carefully selected following a rigorous process. IUCN evaluates all candidate sites nominated to the World Heritage List for their natural values, including sites known as 'mixed' that have both natural and cultural values.

The evaluation of nominations is a year-long process involving IUCN's large network of experts. To ensure the credibility of the World Heritage List, it assesses the global significance, management, and integrity of the nominated sites. 

IUCN's evaluations combine field missions, desk reviews and voluntary input by experts with knowledge of the sites or the natural values they represent. All the information collected is reviewed by IUCN's World Heritage Panel to form IUCN's recommendations to the World Heritage Committee.

If you would like to undertake a desk review or provide input for a particular World Heritage site nomination as an expert reviewer, please click here. 


A country signs the World Heritage Convention
The country compiles an inventory of potential sites, known as a Tentative List
The country prepares nomination files for candidate sites
IUCN evaluates natural and mixed candidate sites
IUCN advises the World Heritage Committee whether to inscribe or not inscribe a site, defer a decision, or refer a nomination back to the country
IUCN's recommendations are published six weeks before the annual World Heritage Committee meeting
The World Heritage Committee takes the final decision


Proposed nominations for 2016

  • Canada, Pimachiowin Aki, mixed site
  • Canada, Mistaken Point
  • Chad, Massif de l’Ennedi : paysage naturel et culturel, mixed site
  • China, Hubei Shennongjia
  • France, Ensemble tectono-volcanique de la Chaîne des Puys et faille de Limagne (referred in 2014)
  • India, Khangchendzonga National Park, mixed site
  • Iran, Lut Desert
  • Iraq, The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: refuge of biodiversity and the relict landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities, mixed site
  • Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Western Tien-Shan
  • Mexico, Archipiélago de Revillagigedo
  • Russian Federation, Western Caucasus (Significant boundary modification)
  • Russian Federation, Virgin Komi Forests (Significant boundary modification)
  • Sudan, Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay/Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (referred in 2015)
  • Thailand, Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex (referred in 2015)
  • Turkmenistan, Mountain Ecosystems of Koytendag
  • United Kingdom, Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast (minor boundary modification)
  • Viet Nam, Trang An Landscape Complex, mixed site (minor boundary modification


Work area: 
World Heritage
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