Few are not familiar with the story of a unique goose and the golden eggs that made its master rich, until greed drove him to kill the bird. This ancient fable of Aesop’s has many equivalents around the world, reaching back millennia. Yet in all this time, we have not fully absorbed the lesson it tries to teach us, certainly not when it comes to biodiversity.
The official advisory body on natural World Heritage, IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature, recommends listing four new World Heritage sites for their outstanding natural value in Brazil, France, Iceland and Iran, and approving the extension in Albania of a site currently listed in North Macedonia. If IUCN’s advice is followed, the total area of land and sea protected by natural World Heritage sites will go up by nearly a quarter, from 302 to 371 million hectares, mostly due to one site – the Terres et mers australes françaises.