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.


Protecting the planet’s most iconic natural places


We advise

~ 60

natural sites are monitored by IUCN each year for the World Heritage Committee; 252 are now listed

We assess

64 %

of all sites listed up to 2017 are assessed by IUCN as having a positive conservation outlook

We provide knowledge

+ 77 %

increase in sites threatened by climate change in 2017 (62 sites), compared to 2014 (35 sites)

How we engage

Natural World Heritage sites are recognised as the planet’s most important protected areas, providing life-supporting benefits to millions of people worldwide. And yet, they are under increasing pressure from climate change, infrastructure development, mining, poaching and other threats.

IUCN is the official advisory body on nature under the World Heritage Convention. IUCN evaluates sites nominated for the World Heritage List and monitors the state of conservation of listed sites. IUCN aims to improve the management of World Heritage sites and enhance the role of the World Heritage Convention in nature conservation and sustainable development.




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