IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2

Natural World Heritage sites are internationally recognised as having the highest global nature conservation priority. As of November 2017, there are 241 natural and mixed (both cultural and natural) World Heritage sites, representing about 0.1% of the total number of protected areas globally, but yet with a total coverage of 294 million hectares, accounting for 8% of the combined surface of terrestrial and 6% of marine protected areas. Monitoring World Heritage sites is an extremely important barometer of the effectiveness of the global community’s overall conservation effort. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook system is both forward-looking and proactive. It helps determine where natural World Heritage sites and the critical values they protect are heading, how we can anticipate their future needs, and how we can optimise their contribution to human well-being. It also seeks to celebrate and amplify success, supporting the role of World Heritage sites in demonstrating excellence.