Forests are vitally important for sustaining life on Earth. It is estimated that around 1.6 billion people - including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures - depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicine, fuel, food and shelter.
The protection of world’s forests is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs (in particular SDGs 11 and 15) and is considered as one of the most cost-effective forms of climate action.
As of today, more than 110 World Heritage sites are recognized as World Heritage forest sites. Ranging in size from 18 hectares (Vallée de Mai, Seychelles), to more than 5 million hectares (Central Amazon Conservation Complex, Brazil), World Heritage forest sites now have a total surface area of over 75 million hectares (1.5 times the surface area of France).
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 and has been particularly active in the Congo Basin’s forests through two initiatives: the Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict: Protecting World Heritage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initiative (CAWHFI).
Other activities (6)
- 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
- Natural World Heritage
- 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
- International Day of Forests 2020 21-Mar-2020
- Rosewood Poaching Turns Violent; Rapid Response Facility Provides Emergency Support 17-May-2013
- 10.5 billion tonnes of carbon stored in World Heritage forest sites 18-Sep-2012
- Presentation ceremony held to recognize tri-national World Heritage site 18-Nov-2011
- State of Conservation of World Heritage Forests report launched 10-Nov-2011