From 25 to 29 November 2019, experts from World Heritage marine sites met in Indonesia to support the Komodo National Park with the management of its marine component.

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Komodo National Park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 for its outstanding ecosystems and biodiversity. While perhaps best known for the Komodo Dragon, Komodo National Park’s Outstanding Universal Value comprises also a unique array of corals, fish, turtles, dolphins, dugongs and whales. Sixty percent of the property’s surface is ocean and a significant proportion of the income generated by tourism is derived from scuba divers and snorkelers who are attracted by the underwater spectacle Komodo provides.  

The meeting brought together experts from across the 50 marine World Heritage sites, including from the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Galápagos Islands (Ecuador) and Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Philippines). Topics ranged from marine monitoring and research, sharing benefits equitably among local communities, and marine zoning.

The meeting further included hands-on training on how to put the Outstanding Universal Value at the centre of a World Heritage site’s management system, following the approach set out in the Marine World Heritage Best Practice Guide. Participants visited local communities where discussions were held on how to build sustainable livelihoods through cooperation with the dive industry and solutions for dealing with marine litter. 

The World Heritage List includes 50 marine sites across 37 nations. Local managers at these sites have confronted every imaginable problem facing our temperate and tropical oceans, and many have created leading-edge solutions. Tapping the vast expertise contained within the network helps accelerate achievements in sustainable marine protected areas in the framework of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bringing the vast expertise at the doorstep of sites most in need is at the heart of the World Heritage Centre's work toward the preservation of marine World Heritage sites.

The workshop was organized in close collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Jakarta, and built on a first capacity building session held in 2017.

For more information about the World Heritage marine managers network: http://whc.unesco.org/en/marine-managers/