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World Heritage Forest Programme

Ranging in size from 18 hectares (Vallée de Mai, Seychelles), to 8.8 million hectares (Lake Baikal, Russian Federation), World Heritage forest sites now have a total surface area of over 75 million hectares (1.5 times the surface area of France) and represent over 13% of all IUCN category I-IV protected forests worldwide.

Given these figures, it is clear that the World Heritage Convention is uniquely positioned amongst international conventions, programmes and agencies to play a leading role for in-situ conservation of forest biodiversity. In recognition of this solemn responsibility, the World Heritage Committee in its 25 th session (2001), agreed that forests warranted a particular focus, and approved the creation of the World Heritage Forest programme to ensure that the World Heritage Convention be leveraged as much as possible to further forest conservation on a global scale.

One new World Heritage site with important forest components was inscribed at the 37th World Heritage Committee meeting in June, 2013. 

Xinjiang Tianshan, a four part serial property in China was recognized in part due to its forest ecosystems. This new inscription brings the number of World Heritage sites inscribed for reasons related to their forest ecosystems to 107.
This part of the World Heritage web site is dedicated to providing useful information to World Heritage forest conservation stakeholders. We welcome your feedback and recommendations.
World Heritage Sites (96)
Strategic objectives
  • Conservation