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Fanny Douvere


Dr. Fanny Douvere heads the World Heritage Centre's Marine Programme, based at UNESCO's HQ in Paris, France. The mission of the programme is to ensure the 50 marine sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List are sustainably managed so future generations can continue to enjoy them. 

Her day-to-day work includes field missions to evaluate the state of conservation or provide training on a wide range of topics, including the criticaly endangered Vaquita in Mexico's Gulf of California, the Rampal power plant in the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, coral reef conservation in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System in Belize or the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. She further oversees the development of the World Heritage marine managers network across 50 flagship marine protected areas spanning 37 countries.

In 2021, the programme revealed that marine World Heritage sites are major carbon sinks, hosting over 21% of the world's blue carbon assets and most recently co-launched the first global e-DNA initaitive to assess climate impacts on the geographic distribution of species. In 2017, the programme led the first global scientific assessment on the impacts of climate change on World Heritage coral reefs and, between 2015-2021, explored the potential of the 1972 World Heritage Convention to establish and conserve marine protected areas in the High Seas

Prior to her work at the World Heritage Centre, she co-initiated the Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initative at UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission whose methodology is now being implemented in more than 70 countries. Her work is widely referenced and includes Marine Spatial Planning: A step-by-step Approach toward ecosystem-based management (2009) and World Heritage Marine Sites. Managing effectively the world's most iconic Marine Protected Areas (2015). She obtained her PhD degree from the Ghent University in Belgium on the subject of Marine Spatial Planning: Concepts, current practice and linkages to other management approaches and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh.
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