From 30 June to 4 July 2010, the International Academy for Nature Conservation, Isle of Vilm, Germany, hosted an expert workshop that set the basis for scaling-up Marine World Heritage. The workshop was jointly organized by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the IUCN-World Commission on Protected Areas and UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The workshop brought together marine experts from a variety of organizations, including the Bergen Institute of Marine Research, Conservation International, Countryside Council for Wales, French Marine Protected Area Agency, Marine Conservation Biology Institute (MCBI), WWF, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Natural England, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Fish Center, as well as representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Germany, Jordan, and the Netherlands.
The workshop successfully synthesized existing information on marine biogeographic and marine habitat classification systems and provided the groundwork for a new framework that can help improve management effectiveness for marine World Heritage nominations. The results of the workshop are intended to provide better guidance to States Parties in their efforts toward nominating new Marine World Heritage sites and will considerably contribute to the development of a credible, representative, and balance World Heritage List, as called for in the Operational Guidelines of the World Heritage Convention. The workshop built further on the conclusions of the marine World Heritage workshops in Bahrain and Vietnam in 2009 and 2002 respectively. The conclusions of the workshop are a major stepping stone toward a new reference guide for Marine World Heritage which will be presented to the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain, 2011.