Ocean – mixed cultural and natural WHS sites

Below you will find several examples of World Heritage Sites with outstanding marine values. There are also links to additional information and reference documents with respect to UNESCO and World Heritage Site recognition, as well as a selection of articles and research related to marine  and world heritage sites.

Ocean – mixed cultural and natural WHS sites, interim and designated, include:
– Papahānaumokuākea
– Great Barrier Reef
– Gwaii Haanas
– Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage
– West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord
– Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania)
– Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines)
– Tikal National Park (Guatemala)

– Ibiza, Spain – Biodiversity and Culture

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World Heritage Committee inscribes two new sites on World Heritage List

Friday, 30 July 2010

http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/640

whc

The World Heritage Committee holding its 34th session in Brasilia under the chairmanship of  João Luiz da Silva Ferreira, today inscribed two new sites on the World Heritage List.

The new sites include 1 natural property and 1 mixed (natural and cultural) property.

The natural site is:

The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s highlands are situated in the south-central part of the island. The  property comprises the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest.  These montane forests, where the land rises to 2,500 metres above sea-level, are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris and the Sri Lankan leopard. The region is considered a super biodiversity hotspot.

The mixed site is:

Papahānaumokuākea (United States of America)

Papahānaumokuākea is a vast and isolated linear cluster of small, low lying islands and atolls, with their surrounding ocean, roughly 250 km to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Archipelago and extending over some 1931 km. The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Makumanamana, there are archaeological remains  relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons. It is one of the largest marine protected areas (MPAs) in the world.

These new inscriptions bring the total number of World Heritage Properties to 892. The World Heritage Committee will continue  examining nominations for inscription of new sites on Saturday, 31 July.

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Decision : CONF 001 VIII.2 Tikal National Park (Guatemala)

The Bureau noted with satisfaction that the size of this mixed World Heritage property might be enlarged by about 50% and that the new areas earmarked for inclusion in the Park may contain natural and cultural heritage values of universal significance. The Bureau was informed that an IUCN project in the buffer zone of the Park is working with 26 villages to find alternative livelihood strategies which will minimize the dependence of the indigenous people on resources within the World Heritage site.

The Bureau commended the efforts of the Government of Denmark which is supporting this project with a contribution of US$ 520,000 over a two-year period. The Bureau requested the Centre to contact the competent authorities in Guatemala and encourage them to extend the boundaries of thi!: mixed World Heritage property. Full use should be made t the above-mentioned project.

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 Southeast Alaskan Wilderness

https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm

Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. From sea to summit, Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration.

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West Norwegian Fjords – Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1195

Situated in south-western Norway, north-east of Bergen, Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, set 120 km from one another, are part of the west Norwegian fjord landscape, which stretches from Stavanger in the south to Andalsnes, 500 km to the north-east. The two fjords, among the world’s longest and deepest, are considered as archetypical fjord landscapes and among the most scenically outstanding anywhere. Their exceptional natural beauty is derived from their narrow and steep-sided crystalline rock walls that rise up to 1,400 m from the Norwegian Sea and extend 500 m below sea level. The sheer walls of the fjords have numerous waterfalls while free-flowing rivers cross their deciduous and coniferous forests to glacial lakes, glaciers and rugged mountains. The landscape features a range of supporting natural phenomena, both terrestrial and marine, such as submarine moraines and marine mammals.

 

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Banc d’Arguin National Park

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/506

Fringing the Atlantic coast, the park comprises sand-dunes, coastal swamps, small islands and shallow coastal waters. The contrast between the harsh desert environment and the biodiversity of the marine zone has resulted in a land- and seascape of outstanding natural significance. A wide variety of migrating birds spend the winter there. Several species of sea turtle and dolphin, used by the fishermen to attract shoals of fish, can also be found.

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Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania) © Evergreen

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Banc d’Arguin is one of the most important zones in the world for nesting birds and Palearctic migratory waders. Located along the Atlantic coast, this Park is formed of sand dunes, areas of coastal swamps, small islands and shallow coastal waters.  The austerity of the desert and the biodiversity of the marine area results in a land and seascape of exceptional contrasting natural value.

Criterion (ix): Banc d’Arguin National Park is an ecosystem rich in biodiversity of nutrients and organic matter due to the vast expanse of marshes covered with seagrass beds, and an important windblown sediment addition from the continent and the result of the permanent upwelling of the Cap Blanc.  This wealth ensures the maintenance of a marine and coastal environment sufficiently rich and diverse to support important communities of fish, birds and marine mammals.

Criterion (x): Banc d’Arguin National Park comprises the most important habitat of the Western Atlantic for nesting birds of west Africa and the Palearctic migratory waders. The vast expanses of marshes provide shelter to more than two million limicolous migrant birds from northern Europe, Siberia and Greenland.  The nesting bird population is also remarkable in terms of diversity and number: between 25,000 and 40,000 pairs belonging to 15 bird species. The shallows and island area is also the centre of intense biological activity: there are 45 fish species, 11 species of shellfish and several species of mollusks. The property also contains several species of marine turtles, notably the green seaturtle (Chelonia mydas) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Among the mammals, there are still some remnant populations of Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas). The bottlenose dolphin and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin are frequently sighted in the property.

Integrity

The rectilinear boundaries of the property suggest that they were not based on ecological parameters, but more likely correspond to administrative requirements. The eastern limit extends inwards to a desert zone, in places up to 50 metres, and constitutes a wide band where activities incompatible with the conservation of the property may be conducted. Certain revisions to the southern limit, to exclude the village of Cape Timiris and the military base, would not detract from the value of the property and could eventually be envisaged. The marine boundary forms, also, a straight line and crosses the shallows of the property through the centre. It would be particularly justifiable that the whole shallows zone be included in the property. The satellite reserve of 200ha located at Cap Blanc constitutes the habitat for a monk seal colony and presents issues as regards its integrity. First, the reserve boundaries encompass the habitat of the 100 monk seals found in the region, the remainder using the area to the north known as the Côte des Phoques. This means that the condition of integrity that requires sufficient area to ensure continuity for the species is not satisfied. Second, the extension of the Cap Blanc Reserve to encompass the key breeding and nursery area at Côte des Phoques, is not possible as the international boundary in this area of the Western Sahara remains to be determined. For this reason, the World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the property and exclude the Cap Blanc Reserve, the inscription of which can only be envisaged after the resolution of the issue of boundary limits and when the part of the Côte des Phoques could be included.  The main threat to the property are projects likely to alter the traditional activities of local fishing. The introduction of new technologies and an increased catch could affect and seriously disturb the fish life of the region.

Protection and management requirements

Protection of the property is regulated by the statute for protected reserves. The property has a management plan. The main threats to the property are most linked to unregulated development of maritime activities and coastal infrastructures. Fishing activities have considerably increased and the material and methods of fishing have changed as have the species targeted. Consequently, protection of the marine resources against over-exploitation is essential. To mitigate the problem, the implementation of a surveillance programme on the risks to marine resources, including illegal commercial fishing. The risk of pollution by hydrocarbons on the international maritime route of western Africa and from the petroleum industries is also considerable. Urgent planning to cope with the eventuality of an oil spill, is required for the property and its surrounds.  Another important issue in the management of the property is the prevention of poaching and logging causing the degradation of the terrestrial part of the property. As for the maritime part of the property, a full terrestrial surveillance programme is required.  The possible impacts of climate change must also be studied.

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Banc d’Arguin National Park

Banc d’Arguin National Park

Fringing the Atlantic coast, the park comprises sand-dunes, coastal swamps, small islands and shallow coastal waters. The contrast between the harsh desert environment and the biodiversity of the marine zone has resulted in a land- and seascape of outstanding natural significance. A wide variety of migrating birds spend the winter there. Several species of sea turtle and dolphin, used by the fishermen to attract shoals of fish, can also be found.

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Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania) © Evergreen

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Banc d’Arguin is one of the most important zones in the world for nesting birds and Palearctic migratory waders. Located along the Atlantic coast, this Park is formed of sand dunes, areas of coastal swamps, small islands and shallow coastal waters.  The austerity of the desert and the biodiversity of the marine area results in a land and seascape of exceptional contrasting natural value.

Criterion (ix): Banc d’Arguin National Park is an ecosystem rich in biodiversity of nutrients and organic matter due to the vast expanse of marshes covered with seagrass beds, and an important windblown sediment addition from the continent and the result of the permanent upwelling of the Cap Blanc.  This wealth ensures the maintenance of a marine and coastal environment sufficiently rich and diverse to support important communities of fish, birds and marine mammals.

Criterion (x): Banc d’Arguin National Park comprises the most important habitat of the Western Atlantic for nesting birds of west Africa and the Palearctic migratory waders. The vast expanses of marshes provide shelter to more than two million limicolous migrant birds from northern Europe, Siberia and Greenland.  The nesting bird population is also remarkable in terms of diversity and number: between 25,000 and 40,000 pairs belonging to 15 bird species. The shallows and island area is also the centre of intense biological activity: there are 45 fish species, 11 species of shellfish and several species of mollusks. The property also contains several species of marine turtles, notably the green seaturtle (Chelonia mydas) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Among the mammals, there are still some remnant populations of Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas). The bottlenose dolphin and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin are frequently sighted in the property.

Integrity

The rectilinear boundaries of the property suggest that they were not based on ecological parameters, but more likely correspond to administrative requirements. The eastern limit extends inwards to a desert zone, in places up to 50 metres, and constitutes a wide band where activities incompatible with the conservation of the property may be conducted. Certain revisions to the southern limit, to exclude the village of Cape Timiris and the military base, would not detract from the value of the property and could eventually be envisaged. The marine boundary forms, also, a straight line and crosses the shallows of the property through the centre. It would be particularly justifiable that the whole shallows zone be included in the property. The satellite reserve of 200ha located at Cap Blanc constitutes the habitat for a monk seal colony and presents issues as regards its integrity. First, the reserve boundaries encompass the habitat of the 100 monk seals found in the region, the remainder using the area to the north known as the Côte des Phoques. This means that the condition of integrity that requires sufficient area to ensure continuity for the species is not satisfied. Second, the extension of the Cap Blanc Reserve to encompass the key breeding and nursery area at Côte des Phoques, is not possible as the international boundary in this area of the Western Sahara remains to be determined. For this reason, the World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the property and exclude the Cap Blanc Reserve, the inscription of which can only be envisaged after the resolution of the issue of boundary limits and when the part of the Côte des Phoques could be included.  The main threat to the property are projects likely to alter the traditional activities of local fishing. The introduction of new technologies and an increased catch could affect and seriously disturb the fish life of the region.

Protection and management requirements

Protection of the property is regulated by the statute for protected reserves. The property has a management plan. The main threats to the property are most linked to unregulated development of maritime activities and coastal infrastructures. Fishing activities have considerably increased and the material and methods of fishing have changed as have the species targeted. Consequently, protection of the marine resources against over-exploitation is essential. To mitigate the problem, the implementation of a surveillance programme on the risks to marine resources, including illegal commercial fishing. The risk of pollution by hydrocarbons on the international maritime route of western Africa and from the petroleum industries is also considerable. Urgent planning to cope with the eventuality of an oil spill, is required for the property and its surrounds.  Another important issue in the management of the property is the prevention of poaching and logging causing the degradation of the terrestrial part of the property. As for the maritime part of the property, a full terrestrial surveillance programme is required.  The possible impacts of climate change must also be studied.

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Events  (2)
Links

 

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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 130,028 ha, including the North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

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tubreef

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines) © Evergreen

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the centre of the Sulu Sea, and includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs. It protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high quality marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea. The property is home to a great diversity of marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. The reef ecosystems support over 350 species of coral and almost 500 species of fish. The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

Criterion (vii): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park contains excellent examples of pristine reefs with a high diversity of marine life. The property includes extensive reef flats and perpendicular walls reaching over 100m depth, as well as large areas of deep sea. The remote and undisturbed character of the property and the continued presence of large marine fauna such as tiger sharks, cetaceans and turtles, and big schools of pelagic fishes such as barracuda and trevallies add to the aesthetic qualities of the property.

Criterion (ix): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the middle of the Sulu Sea and is one of the Philippines’ oldest ecosystems. It plays a key role in the process of reproduction, dispersal and colonization by marine organisms in the whole Sulu Sea system, and helps support fisheries outside its boundaries. The property is a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes, displaying the ongoing process of coral reef formation, and supporting a large number of marine species dependant on reef ecosystems. The presence of top predator species, such as tiger and hammerhead sharks, are indicators of the ecological balance of the property. The property also offers a demonstration site to study the responses of a natural reef system in relation to the impacts of climate change.

Criterion (x): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park provides an important habitat for internationally threatened and endangered marine species. The property is located within the Coral Triangle, a global focus for coral biological diversity. The reefs of the property support 374 species of corals, almost 90% of all coral species in the Philippines. The reefs and seas of the property also support eleven species of cetaceans, eleven species of sharks, and an estimated 479 species of fish, including the iconic and threatened Napoleon wrasse. The property supports the highest population densities known in the world for white tip reef sharks. Pelagic species such as jacks, tuna, barracuda, manta rays, whale sharks and different species of sharks also are common here and the property is a very important nesting, resting and juvenile development area for two species of endangered marine turtles: green turtles and hawksbill turtles. There are seven breeding species of seabirds and Bird Islet and South Islet are breeding grounds to seven resident and endangered breeding species of seabirds. The critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird is a regular visitor to the property.

Integrity

The property comprises two atolls (North and South Atoll) and an emergent coral cay, Jessie Beazley Reef. It includes open sea with an average depth of 750 m and still displays a well preserved marine ecosystem with top predators, and a large number and diversity of coral reef and pelagic species. The property also hosts an important population of resident, nesting and feeding seabirds. The area is free of human habitation and activities and is of a sufficient size to maintain associated biological and ecological processes. The property is of an adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the key features and processes of the reef systems within it, although the maintenance of these values also requires measures to be taken outside the boundaries of the property in relation to some migratory species and the buffering of the property from threats to the marine environment that could occur in the wider area. A key aspect of the integrity of the property is the low level of fishing pressure, due to the no-take policies which are in place throughout its area.

Management and protection requirements

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is legally protected through national protected areas legislation and a range of other environmental legislation which enable action to be taken against a wide range of threats. The implementation of the legislation is assisted by clear delegation to the management authority for the property. This is a remote property and its management is therefore a significant logistical challenge, requiring a well-equipped team with operational boats, well trained and well equipped staff and a sufficient operating budget for fuel, maintenance and accommodation to ensure a strong and responsive presence on the water. Tourism visitation requires careful planning and management to ensure the values of the property are maintained, and to respect the capacity of the property, as well as visitor safety and to ensure income is returned to both site management and local communities. There are threats to the property from shipping, marine litter, fishing, marine pollution and oil exploration. Thus effective buffer zone arrangements are needed, and internationally supported legislation to protect the property from shipping threats, and greater enforcement of marine litter regulation on the High Seas by the appropriate international organisations would be a significant benefit to the property.

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Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/417/

Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture

Ibiza provides an excellent example of the interaction between the marine and coastal ecosystems. The dense prairies of oceanic Posidonia (seagrass), an important endemic species found only in the Mediterranean basin, contain and support a diversity of marine life. Ibiza preserves considerable evidence of its long history. The archaeological sites at Sa Caleta (settlement) and Puig des Molins (necropolis) testify to the important role played by the island in the Mediterranean economy in protohistory, particularly during the Phoenician-Carthaginian period. The fortified Upper Town (Alta Vila) is an outstanding example of Renaissance military architecture; it had a profound influence on the development of fortifications in the Spanish settlements of the New World.

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ibiza

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/417/ Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture © Ivo Schwalbe

Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ix): The evolution of Ibiza’s shoreline is one of the best examples of the influence of Posidonia on the interaction of coastal and marine ecosystems.

Criterion (x): The well-preserved Posidonia , threatened in most Mediterranean locations, contains and supports a diversity of marine life.

Criterion (ii): The intact 16th century fortifications of Ibiza bear unique witness to the military architecture and engineering and the aesthetics of the Renaissance. This Italian-Spanish model was very influential, especially in the construction and fortification of towns in the New World.

Criterion (iii): The Phoenician ruins of Sa Caleta and the Phoenician-Punic cemetery of Puig des Molins are exceptional evidence of urbanization and social life in the Phoenician colonies of the western Mediterranean. They constitute a unique resource, in terms of volume and importance, of material from the Phoenician and Carthaginian tombs.

Criterion (iv): The Upper Town of Ibiza is an excellent example of a fortified acropolis which preserves in an exceptional way in its walls and in its urban fabric successive imprints of the earliest Phoenicians settlements and the Arab and Catalan periods through to the Renaissance bastions. The long process of building the defensive walls has not destroyed the earlier phases or the street pattern, but has incorporated them in the ultimate phase.

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Call for applications. International Theoretical and Practical Conference: “Study and Preservation of Maritime Heritage”

http://whc.unesco.org/en/events/1195

Monday 29 Sep 2014 Wednesday 15 Oct 2014

Museum of the World Ocean invites you to take part in the International Theoretical and Practical Conference devoted to issues of study and preservation of maritime heritage and museum’s 25th anniversary. The conferences, organized by Museum of the World Ocean, bring museum and scientific communities closer to the phenomenon of maritime heritage and reveal problematic issues in the study and preservation of maritime heritage as well as potential solutions. The International Theoretical and Practical Conference will be held in a jubilee year for the museum – the year when the Museum of the World Ocean sums up its activities.

ORGANIZERS: Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Maritime Heritage Association Maritime Board under the Government of the Russian Federation

Chairperson of the organizing committee: Vyacheslav Popov, Chairperson of Interdepartmental Committee for Maritime Heritage of Maritime Board under the Government of the Russian Federation, Murmansk

Deputy Chairperson: Svetlana Sivkova, Director General of Museum of the World Ocean, Kaliningrad

ADDRESS: Federal State Government-financed Institution for Culture “Museum of the World Ocean”. 1 Naberezhnaya Petra Velikogo 236006 Kaliningrad, Russia. Telephones: +7(4012) 530547, +7(4012) 538915. E-mail: museum@world-ocean.ru

GOAL OF THE CONFERENCE: Experience exchange between specialists dealing with study, preservation and popularization of maritime heritage; enlargement of cooperation between museums and research institutions, improvement of presentation of scientific results by museums; revelation of urgent problems within preservation of maritime heritage and ways of their solution.

MAIN TOPICS OF THE CONFERENCE:

  • Museums, archives, libraries, collections of maritime historical, cultural and natural heritage;
  • Urgent problems of maritime museums and their solution;
  • Traditional boats, marine practice and yachting;
  • Underwater heritage, conservation and restoration of underwater heritage;
  • Historical boat model making;
  • Sea memorial, fortifications;
  • Cities, settlements and other historical and cultural realty;
  • Popularization of maritime heritage, informational and educational, scientific and publishing activities;
  • Modern ways to present research results in museums;
  • Partnership between museums and research organizations, Russian and foreign experience;
  • Maritime heritage and tourism;
  • World tendencies and best practice in application of information tools for preservation, study and presentation of maritime heritage.

ROUND TABLES:

  • Museum ships’ captains meetings
  • Information tools as a way for cultural heritage access
  • Partnership as a guarantee of stability for a museum

ABSTRACTS: Dear participants! Please, fill in the participant’s form! Abstracts should be presented before October 15, 2014. Russian-speaking participants should present their abstracts both in Russian and English. English-speaking and other participants should present their abstracts in English. All the materials should be electronic.

REGISTRATION FEE: Participants are to pay the following fees: Full participants – 3 000 roubles; Student and postgraduate participants – 1 000 roubles; Accompanying persons – 500 roubles.

PLEASE, CONTACT THE MUSEUM IF YOU HAVE GOT ANY QUESTIONS:

Museum of the World Ocean 1 Naberezhnaya Petra Velikogo. Tel.: +7(4012) 538915, 538804, 340244, fax: +7(4012) 340211 Olga Maximova e-mail: ocean-museum@yandex.ru Larisa Zubina e-mail: zubina_larisa@mail.ru

Where 7 – 11 April 2015. Museum of the World Ocean. Kaliningrad (Rusia Federation)