Protected Areas

World Heritage Network

Heron in Los Katíos National Park, World Heritage site, Colombia Photo: © IUCN / Tilman Jaeger
The IUCN-WCPA World Heritage Network is one of the largest thematic groups within IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, bringing together more than 600 members from around the world who share an interest in World Heritage conservation.


IUCN WCPA World Heritage Vice-Chair

Cyril Kormos
Cyril Kormos, IUCN WCPA World Heritage Vice-Chair





World Heritage Network TORs 2017-2020

Natural World Heritage sites are internationally recognised as the world’s most significant protected areas and include iconic places such as the Serengeti, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Galápagos Islands. Because of their high recognition, they offer crucial insights into the successes and challenges of protected area conservation worldwide.


The IUCN-WCPA World Heritage Network supports IUCN’s work on World Heritage, which is implemented by the IUCN World Heritage Programme. Its mandate is to:

  • Assist on a regular basis IUCN in its core function as an official advisory body on nature under the World Heritage Convention, through a highly experienced group of experts within IUCN-WCPA. This includes support to IUCN’s work relating to the monitoring of sites, evaluations of candidate sites’ nominations, and thematic guidance documents.
  • Help meet the increasing demand for technical assistance and information gathering for the IUCN World Heritage Outlook, which assesses all natural World Heritage sites.
  • Ensure that WCPA follows necessary standards and procedures for IUCN’s work on World Heritage, recognise WCPA members who are appropriately experienced and skilled, and actively develop and train a group of experts within WCPA, ensuring regional, language, gender and age balance.
  • Take advantage of WCPA members’ capacity to help maintain the World Heritage Convention’s credibility and address threats to World Heritage sites.

 Becoming a member

This is a “Network” rather than a “Specialist Group” as, while all members share an interest in World Heritage, only some of them are confirmed experts in the field or engage directly in World Heritage-related work.

Membership is open to all 2017-2020 WCPA members. If you would like to learn more about joining the IUCN WCPA World Heritage Network, please email

The IUCN-WCPA World Heritage Network is chaired by Cyril Kormos, Vice-Chair for World Heritage within IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas and Vice-President for Policy at the WILD Foundation. Cyril sits on the IUCN-WCPA Steering Committee and is a member of the editorial board for the Commission’s PARKS journal.


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