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Iguaçu National Park

Iguaçu National Park

The park shares with Iguazú National Park in Argentina one of the world’s largest and most impressive waterfalls, extending over some 2,700 m. It is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, among them the giant otter and the giant anteater. The clouds of spray produced by the waterfall are conducive to the growth of lush vegetation.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Parc national d'Iguaçu

Comme son voisin d’Argentine, le parc national de l’Iguaçu permet d’admirer, sur une longueur de 2 700 m, l’une des cataractes les plus grandes et les plus impressionnantes du monde. Il abrite de nombreuses espèces rares et menacées de flore et de faune, et notamment la loutre géante et le fourmilier géant. Les nuages d’embruns qui se dégagent des chutes favorisent la croissance d’une végétation luxuriante.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

منتزه إيغواسو الوطني

على غرار جاره في الأرجنتين، يطلّ منتزه إيغواسو الوطني، على امتداد 2700 متر، على أحد الشلالات الأكثر ضخامة وروعة في العالم. ويأوي المنتزه العديد من الأجناس النباتية والحيوانية النادرة والمهددة بالإنقراض، لا سيما ثعلب الماء العملاق وآكل النمل العملاق. وتعزّز سحابات الرذاذ المنبثقة من الشلالات نمو نباتات وافرة.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0



source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Национальный парк Игуасу

На территории этого парка находится один из самых грандиозных водопадов мира с фронтом падающей воды 2,7 км. Здесь отмечен целый ряд редких и исчезающих видов растений и животных, в т.ч. гигантская выдра и гигантский муравьед. В зоне, орошаемой брызгами водопада, произрастает пышная растительность.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Parque Nacional del Iguazú

Al igual que el parque nacional argentino colindante del mismo nombre, el Parque Nacional del Iguazú brasileño permite admirar una de las cascadas mí¡s grandes e impresionantes del mundo, que tiene una anchura de mí¡s de 2.700 metros. El parque alberga numerosas especies raras de flora y fauna en peligro de extinción como la nutria y el oso hormiguero gigantes. Las nubes de bruma de las cascadas propician el desarrollo de una vegetación exuberante.

source: UNESCO/CPE
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

Nationaal park Iguaçu

Dit park deelt samen met het Nationaal park Iguazú in Argentinië een van 's werelds grootste en indrukwekkendste watervallen. De halfronde waterval in het hart is zo'n 80 meter hoog en heeft een diameter van 2.700 meter. Hij vormt de grens tussen Argentinië en Brazilië. Er leven vele zeldzame en bedreigde planten- en dierensoorten, waaronder de reuzenotter en de reuzenmiereneter. Het park bestaat voor ongeveer 90 procent uit subtropisch regenwoud. In het lagere gedeelte groeien voornamelijk boomvarens, epifyten en lianen. In het hogere, vochtigere gedeelte groeien de Braziliaanse den met twee palmen, de Assaï palm, de wilde kokospalm en de imbuya.

Source: unesco.nl

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Iguaçu National Park is a World Heritage property of 169,695.88 hectares located in the State of Paraná, in southern Brazil, adjacent to the Iguazú National Park, also a World Heritage property in Argentina. Both properties, together with some protected areas, are contiguous major remnants of the interior Atlantic Forest, once a much larger forest area, along the junction of the Iguaçu and Paraná rivers where Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil converge. 

The landscape is the result of volcanic processes dating back 500 million years, which forged its stunning geomorphological features. The Park's main attraction – and a major destination for international and domestic tourism – is the impressive waterfalls system of the Iguaçu (or Iguazú) river, renowned for its visual and acoustic beauty, which spans nearly three kilometers with vertical drops of up to 80 meters. The river, named after the indigenous term for “great water”, forms a semi-circle in the heart of the two parks and constitutes the international border between Argentina and Brazil before flowing into the mighty Paraná River, 25 kilometres downstream from the park. The property houses the single entirely preserved hydrographic basin of the State of Paraná, the basin of the Floriano River. 

Both Parks also comprise semi-deciduous subtropical rainforests with a high degree of diversity and endemism, harboring numerous rare charismatic species. Today they are mostly surrounded by a landscape that has been strongly altered due to heavy logging, both historic and into the present, the intensification and expansion of both industrial and small-scale agriculture, plantation forestry for pulp and paper and rural settlements. Jointly, the Brazilian and Argentinian parks total around 250,000 hectares with this property’s contribution being 169,695.88 hectares. 

Criterion (vii): Iguaçu National Park and its sister World Heritage property Iguazú National Park in Argentina conserve one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in the world, comprised of a system of numerous cascades and rapids nearly three kilometers wide within the setting of a lush and diverse sub-tropical broadleaf forest. The permanent water cloud from the cataracts forms an impressive scene that surrounds the forested islands and riverbanks resulting in a visually stunning and constantly changing interface between land and water. 

Criterion (x): Iguaçu National Park forms with the contiguous Iguazú National Park in Argentina one of the largest protected remnants of the paranaense subtropical forest, belonging to the interior Atlantic Forest.  The rich biodiversity includes some endangered and vulnerable species such as the Jaguar (Panthera onca), the Ocelot (Leopardus tigrinus), the Puma (Puma concolor), the Margay (Leopardus wiedii), the Jaguarondi (Puma yagouaroundi), the Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), the black-fronted piping guan (Aburria jacutinga), the Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the Bush dog (Speothos venaticus), the Pygmy brocket (Mazama nana), the Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the Monjolo or Surubim of the Iguaçu (Steindachneridion sp), the Piracanjuba (Brycon orbignyanus) and the Fasciated tiger heron (Tigrisoma fasciatum). 


Iguaçu National Park was legally established as a national park by the Federal Government in 1939 and was twice expanded in 1944 and 1981, thus coming to its current size. It entirely belongs to the State. Along with the Argentinian property and other conservation areas, under the condition that the connectivity is maintained, the property size potentially features long-term conservation perspectives. The boundaries and surrounding areas of the property are clearly defined and limited. 

Protection and management requirements

Iguaçu National Park is a full protected area restricted to the non-destructive use of natural resources. The area is managed by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), a federal autarchy attached to the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, and an integral part of the Brazilian Environmental National System (SISNAMA). Management and administration are implemented so as to guarantee the preservation of the outstanding natural beauty and the biodiversity conservation. In collaboration with Paraná’s forest police forces, surveillance actions are undertaken inside and in the surroundings of the park. Some monitoring actions are also carried out with the Argentinian park guard forces responsible for Iguazú National Park conservation in Argentina. 

Water levels are artificially regulated by power plants upriver, causing scenic and ecological impacts. The water levels are monitored in order to mitigate and prevent impacts. 

Tourism management is a key task in the property minimizing the direct and indirect impacts of heavy visitation and maximizing the opportunities in terms of awareness-raising for nature conservation and conservation financing.

Both parks share long-term conservation strategies and greatly benefit from joint collaboration and close cooperation.

Future management may have to develop longer-term scenarios and to strike a balance between conservation and other land and resource use so as to maintain or restore the connectivity of the landscape. This will require working with other sectors and local communities. Eventually, the property should be buffered by adequate and harmonized land use planning in the adjacent areas in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. 

Existing efforts such as “biodiversity corridors” - the interior Atlantic Forest corridor and the Tri-National corridor - as well as increasing research and environmental education activities already constitute a solid base. The environmental education activities aim at integrating surrounding communities, students, universities, teachers, community leaders and associations in order to raise awareness and further strengthen the relationship with the civil society.

Among the threats requiring permanent attention are existing and future hydro-power developments upriver, agricultural encroachment, as well as poaching and plant extraction.