Every three years, managers of the 50 marine sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List come together to share their best practices, discuss solutions and forge a path forward together. The 4th edition will be held in the Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (USA) from 4-9 September 2019.
World Heritage marine managers all face similar challenges in protecting their special ocean place from unsustainable or illegal fisheries, coastal development, marine pollution or other threats. At the same time they share a wealth of solutions and best practices on how to deal with the challenges they face. Bringing these success stories together in ways that make them suitable for replication in other marine areas, is a central part of the World Heritage Centre’s Marine Programme work.
As local guardians of the world’s most iconic marine protected areas, they have confronted every imaginable problem facing our oceans and many created leading edge solutions. But managers with similar problems often start over again, each time making the same mistakes that could have been prevented if experience and expertise is shared. With the ocean facing existential problems, World Heritage marine sites can no longer afford this ineffective, costly and time-consuming way of doing business.
The conference will build on previous editions held in Hawaii, USA (2010), Scandola Reserve, France (2013) and Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (2016).
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve contains the largest non-polar icefield in the world as well as examples of some of the world’s longest and most spectacular glaciers. Coastal and marine environments, snow-capped mountains, calving glaciers, deep river canyons, fjord-like inlets and abundant wildlife abound. It is an area of exceptional natural beauty and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. The site is part of the Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek transnational site shared between Canada and the United States of America. Glacier Bay is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit.