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The World Heritage Centre and the advisory body for natural World Heritage, IUCN, are following with concern the situation in the immediate surroundings of the Galápagos Islands, where the massive presence of industrial fishing vessels from diverse nationalities has been repeatedly reported by media worldwide.  The state of conservation for the Galápagos Islands, including the outcomes of ...
Resilient Reefs introduced its bold, inclusive approach to climate adaptation at the first G20 International Working Group on Coral Reef Conservation in July 2020. Reef Resilience is a new approach to marine conservation being piloted across five UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites, and backed by a global private-public consortium. The working group, held by videoconference and hosted by the ...
Fires in the Pantanal ecoregion
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
UNESCO, through the World Heritage Centre and the Secretariat of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, is observing with attention and concern the large number of fires which have struck the Pantanal ecoregion in recent weeks. According to information provided by experts and firefighters on site as well as satellite data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE - ...
UNESCO will support the social cohesion and resilience of communities suffering from years of armed conflict in central Mali as part of a major new project, made possible through USD 1 million in funding from the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH).  The project will provide critical support to the rehabilitation of the World Heritage site of ...
In Memoriam: Eusebio Leal
Saturday, 1 August 2020
UNESCO expresses its sorrow at the death of Mr Eusebio Leal on 31 July 2020. Historian of the city of Havana, Cuba and Director of the conservation programme for the historic centre of Havana, Eusebio Leal was an exceptional witness to and actor for cultural heritage worldwide. The passing of Mr. Leal is a great loss for the city of Havana and for Cuba. UNESCO offers its condolences to the ...
World Ranger Day 2020
Friday, 31 July 2020
World Ranger Day is celebrated on 31 July to commemorate Rangers killed or injured in the line of duty and to celebrate the work Rangers do to protect the world's natural and cultural heritage. Climate change, poaching and armed conflict are some of the challenges facing World Heritage. The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified these issues affecting sites and the managers who protect them.The ...
Rangers face tremendous odds while undertaking their work protecting Africa’s remaining wild places. A recent survey of rangers conducted by the WWF showed that almost 80% of the 1,742 respondents had faced a life-threatening encounter during their work. Tragically, in the last 12 months at least 137 rangers have died worldwide according to the International Ranger Federation. The Game ...
A new armed attack was carried out this Tuesday, July 28, 2020 against the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), inside the Virunga National Park, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is currently believed that seven soldiers were killed in the territory of Beni, in the province of North Kivu. These actions are reminiscent of the tragic events of ...
Marine debris accumulates on the beaches of even the most remote and pristine UNESCO marine World Heritage sites, including Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). Through action, education and research, the Seychelles Island Foundation removed 25 tons of waste, including 60,000 plastic flipflops. Aldabra Atoll was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982 as one of the largest raised coral ...
The coronavirus has challenged the core of what makes cities vibrant and successful: busy streets full of people. Will these cities ever come back to be the same? The webinar on Euro-Mediterranean cities in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Secretariat in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, reflected on sustainable urban development in ...
UNESCO grants emergency funds for reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by floods and landslides at Rwenzori Mountains National Park At the beginning of May 2020, torrential rain occurred in and around Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda), a property inscribed on the World Heritage List. The excessive rain caused heavy flooding which destroyed wildlife habitats and essential ...
Nelson Mandela International Day
Saturday, 18 July 2020
Today is Nelson Mandela International Day. Nelson Mandela spent the greatest number of years that he was in prison - 18 out of 27 on Robben Island (South Africa) World Heritage site. Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th ...
The “Technical Meeting on the Recovery of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra” took place on 18 December 2019 at UNESCO’s Headquarters, with the aim of reflecting on, and discussing the recovery of Palmyra, as a World Heritage property.  The meeting followed the latest World Heritage Committee Decisions, requesting to limit restoration works to first aid interventions until the security ...
Monitoring World Heritage site closures Introduction to the global map on the closure of World Heritage sites due to Covid-19 and analysis. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many governments have taken measures to restrict movements of people and access to certain areas. This includes the closure of natural and cultural World Heritage sites in the 167 countries they are located in. ...
 An international team of researchers is conducting interviews with pioneers of World Heritage to capture memories of important moments in the history of the World Heritage Convention. Launched in 2006 under the leadership of the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage at the University of Montreal, and developed in collaboration with UNESCO Archives, this initiative is part of the UNESCO ...
From 17 to 26 June 2020, UNESCO successfully organised its first World Heritage City Lab, an online innovation laboratory for analysis, assessment, learning, and development of strategies for the protection and management of World Heritage properties in the urban context. Carried out in collaboration with the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention— the International Council on ...
The Director of the World Heritage Centre held a bilateral meeting, on 1 July, with the Ambassador Permanent Delegate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to UNESCO in order coordinate the joint actions that could be taken concerning the state of conservation of the property Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas within the framework of cooperation between UNESCO and the State Party.  During the ...
The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Azoulay, expressed her sorrow and deep concern over the new armed attack, perpetrated in the morning of Wednesday 24 June 2020, against guards of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN), inside the Virunga National Park, a property inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After the terrible ...
The Lopé National Park in Gabon is a site inscribed on the World Heritage List since 2007 under the name "Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda". It is described as mixed (nature/culture) because of its remarkable forest-savanna landscapes and its many vestiges of past cultures. Initial research in the 1980s led to the discovery of carved stone tools, revealing very ancient ...
As countries around the world grapple with COVID-19, the global pandemic also threatens our close evolutionary ‘cousins’ and one of the world’s most iconic threatened species - the mountain gorilla.  UNESCO’s Rapid Response Facility (RRF) has provided critical emergency support to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, to safeguard one of the world’s last remaining mountain gorilla populations ...
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