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 in St. Petersburg, Russia for the annual meeting of the World Heritage Convention starting 24 June.
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.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention so the spotlight is being trained on how well - or not - the Convention is doing at protecting iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef or the Serengeti National Park.