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World Heritage Marine Managers

A flagship network empowered to transform how we protect


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 achieving sustainable marine protected areas in the framework of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Expertise is shared from across the network through site-to-site field visits, e-communication and tri-annual global managers conferences, facilitated by the World Heritage Marine Programme.

World Heritage Marine Managers Conference

Every three years, managers of the 50 marine sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List come together to share their best practices, discuss solutions, and forge a path forward together.

The 5th edition was held in the Wadden Sea (Denmark, Netherlands, Germany) in October 2023. Previous editions were held in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, USA (2019), Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (2016), Scandola Reserve, France (2013) and Hawaii, USA (2010).

2023 Photo gallery
2019 Photo gallery 2019 Conference film 2016 Photo gallery 2016 Conference film 

Identifying Critical Science Gaps

In October 2021, local management teams from the 50 UNESCO marine World Heritage sites met online with ocean scientists and ocean science funders to identify critical science gaps that impede the sustainable protection of marine World Heritage sites. The virtual conference laid the foundation for a roadmap for action in marine World Heritage sites throughout the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 -2030).

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Online Meetings

© Hjortborg Tausen; © Hjortborg Tausen; © Shaun Wolfe / Ocean Image Bank; © Hjortborg Tausen

News 28
Events 21
8 Jun 2017 - 9 Jun 2017
Building a global network of site managers
27 Aug 2016 - 31 Aug 2016