World Heritage

Natural World Heritage sites include iconic places such as the Great Barrier Reef, Yellowstone, the Galápagos Islands and Kilimanjaro, and are recognised as the world's most significant protected areas.


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  • In the spotlight:

    Recommendations coming soon

    UNESCO's 41st session of the World Heritage Committee will take place in Kraków, Poland from 2 to 12 July 2017. IUCN's recommendations on natural World Heritage will be issued on 19 May and 2 June.

  • In the spotlight:

    Facts on natural World Heritage

    Did you know that, together, the 238 natural sites on the World Heritage List cover an area about the size of India? Explore the interactive map and get the facts about the natural wonders of the world.

  • In the spotlight:

    Photo galleries

    Explore the breathtaking landscapes and biodiversity of natural World Heritage sites through photos from our mission experts.

  • In the spotlight:

    Advisor on World Heritage

    IUCN is the official advisory body on nature under the World Heritage Convention and makes recommendations on necessary action to protect sites facing threats, and on nominated candidate sites. The World Heritage Committee takes final decisions.

  • In the spotlight:

    IUCN World Heritage Outlook

    The first global assessment of natural World Heritage, launched in 2014, will be updated in 2017, allowing for changes to be tracked over time.

Latest news

  • Qinghai Hoh Xil, China - Chimed Ochir Bazarsad

    IUCN recommends listing key habitats for species conservation as World Heritage


    The advisory body on natural World Heritage, IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature, recommends World Heritage status for three sites nominated for their outstanding natural value. IUCN also recommends danger-listing for the Cerrado Protected...

  • WCPA Steering Committee meeting in Colombia, March 2017

    Setting the WCPA agenda


    The Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (PNNC) hosted this year’s annual WCPA Steering Committee meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.  The meeting was the first since Kathy MacKinnon was elected Chair and focused on the Commission’s achievements and...

  • Bantu Lukambo and Josué Kambasu Mukura

    In one of the most dangerous regions on the planet, two heroes inspire their communities


    Beyond conservation science, World Heritage is driven by human motivations such as pride, and passion. Bantu Lukambo and Josué Kambasu Mukura were recognised at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress as Heritage Heroes for their outstanding contribution to...

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