Marine World Heritage 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.
Identifying Ocean Science Gaps
for UNESCO Marine World Heritage
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).
Managers Network Highlights
Online managers meeting – Ocean 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 at 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.
Online managers meeting – managing invasive species
In May 2021, invasive species experts and local management teams from the 50 UNESCO marine World Heritage sites met online to share lessons learned in the prevention and eradication of invasive species, including market-based incentives in Belize, biosecurity protocols in the Galapagos Islands, and eradication actions in the French Austral Lands and Seas.
Online managers meeting - assessing climate vulnerability
In December 2020, climate experts and local management teams from the 50 UNESCO marine World Heritage sites met online in an effort to accelerate replication of initial successes in assessing climate vulnerability. Managers from the Shark Bay, Western Australia and Wadden Sea shared how this allowed them to plan for the future.
Online managers meeting – COVID-19
In May 2020, local management teams from the 50 UNESCO marine World Heritage sites met online to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their conservation work. The dramatic drop in tourism revenues left sites struggling to keep rangers on the payroll, prevent rising illegal activity, continue crucial scientific monitoring or secure food for local communities.
West Norwegian Fjords and Glacier Bay National Park sign cooperation agreement
In September 2019, West Norwegian Fjords-Geirangerfjord/Nærøyfjord (Norway) and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (USA) signed a formal cooperation agreement to secure sustainable cruise ship operations at the respective World Heritage sites. Efforts are underway to expand the collaboration to other marine World Heritage sites with similar challenges.
4th global marine World Heritage managers conference
Every three years, managers from the 50 World Heritage marine sites come together to share their best practices, discuss conservation solutions and forge a united path forward. The conferences are geared toward replication of success. Latest edition was held in September 2019 and build upon 2016, 2013 and 2010 managers conferences.
Management best practices from the marine World Heritage network
The best practice guide outlines a step by step approach on how to achieve environmental, social and economic objectives that lead to sustainably managed marine protected areas. The guide is based on best practices from across marine World Heritage sites and established expertise in marine protected area management. The guide was published in 2015 and is now available in 5 languages.
Managers gather in Wadden Sea to discuss impacts of marine litter
Managers from across the marine Word Heritage network came together in the Wadden Sea during a 3-day workshop to exchange practices in monitoring the impact of marine litter, successful clean up campaigns and impactful solutions to reduce marine plastic and waste. An online survey among marine World Heritage sites assessed the scope of litter and plastics and its impact on sites’ Outstanding Universal Value.
© UNESCO/Daniel Correia