World Heritage


Monitoring is key to safeguard the irreplaceable value of World Heritage

IUCN monitors the state of conservation of natural World Heritage sites to identify serious conservation issues as early as possible and bring these to the attention of the World Heritage Committee. This role includes the preparation of State of Conservation reports for about 60 sites every year, involving 10 to 15 field missions, and ongoing day-to-day monitoring. This forms the basis for IUCN’s recommendations to the World Heritage Committee.

In addition to the monitoring work carried out under the World Heritage Convention, the IUCN World Heritage Outlook was introduced in 2014 to assess all sited listed for their natural Outstanding Universal Value. The IUCN Outlook is not part of IUCN’s mandate as Advisory Body and does not replace monitoring under the Convention; rather it complements that work.

The World Heritage Convention has been supporting the conservation of sites for over 40 years, helping to tackle threats or cope in times of war. Over the years, it has inspired communities and nations to do more to recognise and preserve their natural heritage.

Despite the progress achieved, these unique places are increasingly faced with threats, such as extractive activities, large infrastructure projects, poaching and logging, invasive species, agricultural encroachment and armed conflict. Today 18 natural World Heritage sites are danger-listed. IUCN promotes a focus on effective management to ensure the highest level of protection for all World Heritage sites.

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