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Natural sites, IUCN etc

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 10 Jan 2015 13:39 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Whilst carrying out a bit of Googling on the latest "Connection" of "Alliance for Zero Extinction" (AZE) I came across a site run by IUCN titled "World Heritage Outlook" which, to the best of my knowledge we have never referred to here before.

Apparently IUCN has set up its own monitoring system for Natural WHS. The Web site for this doesn't seem to provide a date when this was first done. As a result of the monitoring every site is given an "Assessment Rating" ranging from "Good", through "Significant Concern" to "Critical"-

The site makes it clear that IUCN sees this as being "complementary" to the standard "Reactive Monitoring system" -
"The IUCN World Heritage Outlook does not replace any of the monitoring systems under the World Heritage Convention, but it helps improve IUCN's work in supporting those systems. It complements the World Heritage Convention's Reactive Monitoring system which is applied only to sites where problems have been identified by providing an assessment of all sites, and recognizing well-managed sites and their conservation efforts.
Any new information identified through the IUCN World Heritage Outlook, which should be brought to the attention of the World Heritage Committee, will be communicated to UNESCO by IUCN. The World Heritage Outlook thus enables IUCN to be more proactive, systematic and transparent in its advice to States Parties and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee."

Indeed this proactive approach seems to have a lot to commend it and is something which could perhaps usefully be done for Cultural sites as well!
"Until the World Heritage Outlook was developed, less than half of all natural sites those affected by serious conservation issues were regularly tracked through joint reactive monitoring by UNESCO and IUCN, in its role as advisory body on natural World Heritage. The IUCN World Heritage Outlook fills the information gap on the remaining sites through proactive and more regular monitoring."

The Web site gives a lot more background and there is a useful search facility which leads to the review of every site -

Regarding my initial impetus - AZE - the search criteria include a parameter for "AZE" but I can only get it to return Air et Tenere which, to the best of my knowledge, is NOT an AZE site!! In other respects the Web site seems to contain useful and accurate data and to be a useful source of information on Natural WHS.

Author meltwaterfalls
#2 | Posted: 12 Jan 2015 05:32 
I've been having a bit of a plod through this. It looks really interesting, and a useful tool for measuring issues with Natural Sites.

Thanks for highlighting it.

Author Solivagant
#3 | Posted: 15 Jan 2015 06:07 
I asked IUCN about the incorrect search responses on some of the parameters - herewith their reply. It does appear that the initiative was only published as recently as Nov 2014 which explains how none of us had previuosly come across it.

"The search by designation and theme functionality has just recently been added to the website and we are currently working on tagging the sites accordingly. We are hoping to complete this very soon.

To answer your second question, the project started about 4 years ago when we started to develop the methodology. The first global results were launched in November 2014 at the World Parks Congress in Sydney."

General discussions about WHS Forum / General discussions about WHS /
 Natural sites, IUCN etc

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