The UNESCO marine World Heritage sites cover about 8 percent by surface of the globe’s marine protected areas. Many of these iconic places are the last stronghold for endangered species, and are home to an unparalleled biodiversity, most of which is found nowhere else. While some animals may have thrived during the forced closure of marine World Heritage sites due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the abrupt halt in tourism revenues left many struggling and paints a bleak, uncertain outlook for the future. The crisis underlines how a sustainably protected, resilient ocean depends on people as much as nature.
During the 21 April Online Meeting with Marine World Heritage Managers, Prof. Carlos M. Duarte will highlight the key findings of his most recent publication “Rebuilding Marine Life”. Several of the featured restoration initiatives are being implemented in marine World Heritage sites, underlining how these special ocean places are truly beacons of hope in a changing ocean. Prof. Carlos M. Duarte, an international authority on the ecology of seagrass meadows, will also touch upon the potential blue carbon assets embedded within the collection of UNESCO marine World Heritage sites.
Every two months, UNESCO's World Heritage Marine Programme provides an exclusive online platform where managers from the 50 marine World Heritage sites connect & share ideas around key conservation challenges. Because of their high profile and status as flagship marine protected areas, marine World Heritage sites are uniquely positioned to drive change and innovation, set new global standards in conservation excellence, and serve as beacons of hope in a changing ocean. The online meetings are made possible thanks to the support of the French Biodiversity Agency and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Participation is upon invitation only.