Together, Saving our shared heritage

World Heritage sites belong to all of us. We must safeguard the benefits they provide.


Half of natural World Heritage sites are at risk

Half of natural World Heritage sites are at risk

World Heritage sites are some of the planet’s most extraordinary places. We all have a role in protecting the outstanding universal value that they provide for all humanity.

Millions of people directly rely on these places for their food, jobs, freshwater and more. Shockingly, 114 natural World Heritage sites are under threat from harmful industrial activities like mining, oil and gas drilling, and construction of large-scale infrastructure.

191 UN countries have promised to safeguard World Heritage sites for present and future generations. Too often, though, governments are allowing harmful industrial activities to put these places at risk in pursuit of short-term gains, rather than prioritizing long-term sustainable development.

Businesses also need to respect the special status of natural World Heritage sites. This means complying with the highest standards of responsible business conduct when considering activities in or near World Heritage sites.

Doñana: Spain’s premiere wetland threatened


Millions of birds stop in Doñana National Park when migrating between northern Europe and Africa.

This diverse area is also home to the imperial eagle and endangered Iberian lynx. But illegal wells are drying out the park, and a nearby mine, which caused an environmental disaster, may be reopened. Also, harmful dredging could be allowed in a river that helps keep the ecosystem healthy.

Selous: Tanzania’s wilderness in danger

Selous: Tanzania’s wilderness in danger

The elephants and rhinos of Selous are under siege.

The Selous World Heritage site is facing severe threats from mining, oil and gas concessions, roads, dams, and industrial-scale poaching. Damage to the reserve and its wildlife has resulted in a decline in visitor numbers, and in local job losses.

WWF's new analysis has found that Selous could lose all its elephants by 2022 unless we act now to save them.

Belize: Act now to safeguard the reef

Belize: Act now to safeguard the reef

This ecosystem is too valuable to risk. Together we can save it.

The livelihoods of 45,000 Belizeans are linked directly to the country’s reef. Tourism, fishing and research there account for 15 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Damaging coastal construction has contributed to the loss of vast areas of coral and mangroves. And although the Belize government has committed to ban oil exploration in the World Heritage site, the threat remains in other offshore areas. In the event of a spill, the whole reef would be at risk.

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Together we are saving our amazing planet

WWF works on the ground in Belize and 100 other countries to protect nature for the benefit of people and wildlife. With your help we can stop the destruction of our precious environment.