World Heritage Forest Programme
Ranging in size from 18 hectares (Vallée de Mai, Seychelles), to 8.8 million hectares (Lake Baikal, Russian Federation), World Heritage forest sites now have a total surface area of over 75 million hectares (1.5 times the surface area of France) and represent over 13% of all IUCN category I-IV protected forests worldwide.
Given these figures, it is clear that the World Heritage Convention is uniquely positioned amongst international conventions, programmes and agencies to play a leading role for in-situ conservation of forest biodiversity. In recognition of this solemn responsibility, the World Heritage Committee in its 25 th session (2001), agreed that forests warranted a particular focus, and approved the creation of the World Heritage Forest programme to ensure that the World Heritage Convention be leveraged as much as possible to further forest conservation on a global scale.
As of the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2015, 110 World Heritage sites across all biogeographic realms are recognized as World Heritage forest sites.
25 of these sites have been inscribed on the World Heritage List since the adoption of the World Heritage Forest Programme, making a significant contribution to the Global Strategy and forest conservation at a global level.
This part of the World Heritage web site is dedicated to providing useful information to World Heritage forest conservation stakeholders. We welcome your feedback and recommendations.
Other activities (5)
- Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict: Protecting World Heritage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Business Skills for Natural World Heritage Site Managers programme
- Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initiative (CAWHFI)
- Linking Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage Sites
- World Heritage Centre’s Natural Heritage Strategy
- Business Planning for Natural World Heritage Sites – A Toolkit
- Case Studies on Climate change and World Heritage (2009 Edition)
- Forests Warranting Further Consideration as Potential World Heritage Sites
- Paper 21, World Heritage Forests
- Proceedings of the World Heritage Boreal Zone Workshop
- Table: Carbon stock of WHF sites 2012
- The State of Conservation of the World Heritage Forest Network (2005)
- The World Heritage Convention as a mechanism for conserving tropical forest biodiversity
- Threat Intensities for World Heritage Forests 2001-2006
- WH Forest Carbon Content 2012
- What Value Added from World Heritage Forests?
- World Heritage Forest Indicators
- World Heritage in the Congo Basin
- Rosewood Poaching Turns Violent; Rapid Response Facility Provides Emergency Support Friday, 17 May 2013
- 10.5 billion tonnes of carbon stored in World Heritage forest sites Tuesday, 18 September 2012
- Presentation ceremony held to recognize tri-national World Heritage site Friday, 18 November 2011
- State of Conservation of World Heritage Forests report launched Thursday, 10 November 2011
- Five World Heritage Sites in Africa Selected to Participate in Business Planning Programme Friday, 1 July 2011