Although I’ve been working on World Heritage in my region since late 2008, and I attend all the regional meetings in Arab states, the actual experience of being at the big World Heritage Committee here in Paris really completes the picture, says IUCN's Haifaa Abdulhalim.
It gives you a different perspective on things and I’m very happy to be part of the IUCN delegation and enjoy this wonderful experience.
Also important for me was following yesterday's launch of IUCN's “Tabe’a” - World Heritage in Arab States Report. Today I arranged with Arab States representatives to attend their coordination meeting to introduce and distribute the report more widely.
The warm welcome and acceptance of this report shows how willing Arab States are to move forward on nature conservation, taking the World Heritage Convention as one of the main conservation tools.
Arab States are home to an exceptional natural wealth and diversity, with striking desert landscapes and marine areas, but the number of natural sites currently on the World Heritage List is by far the smallest of any region.
IUCN sees this report as a way to support the Convention and protect these marvelous natural properties that have not been recognized so far. This is a two-way process that needs support from not only IUCN but also from State Parties.