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Marine World Heritage: creating a globally more balanced and representative list
Abdulla, A; Obura, D; Bertzky, B; Shi, C (2014). Marine World Heritage: creating a globally more balanced and representative list. Aquat. Conserv. 24: 59-74.
In: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Wiley: Chichester ;New York, N.Y . ISSN 1052-7613, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    marine protected areas (MPAs); Outstanding Universal Value; WorldHeritage Convention; marine ecosystems; marine features; biogeographicrepresentation

Authors  Top 
  • Abdulla, A
  • Obura, D
  • Bertzky, B
  • Shi, C

    1. The World Heritage Convention provides the potential for a comprehensive policy framework that allows for identification, management, governance, and protection of the world 's most outstanding natural marine areas. 2. Benefits of World Heritage (WH) listing include increased international attention and technical cooperation, governmental support and improvements to management, and enhanced funding opportunities. 3. There are currently only 46 (of 981 or 4.7%) World Heritage Sites (WHS) that have been inscribed for their outstanding marine values, and these marine WHS (mWHS) represent predominantly tropical as opposed to temperate and polar ecosystems. 4. Forty-seven (76%) of the world's 62 nearshore biogeographic provinces do not contain any mWHS or contain a low (<1%) coverage that is unlikely to capture the full range of values and features present in these provinces. A large proportion of the world's offshore provinces, representing 40% of the global ocean, do not contain any mWHS. 5. To fulfill the World Heritage Committee's Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List, States are encouraged to increase efforts to identify and nominate marine sites of potential Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), especially in biogeographic regions that are not yet represented, or underrepresented, on the WH List. 6. However, as the criteria and guidance for the Convention are based primarily on terrestrial systems, further guidance on using them in the marine context is provided here. It is proposed that physical oceanographic features be considered under criterion (viii) geology and oceanography', while biological oceanographic features be considered under criterion (ix) ecological and biological processes'. Use of criteria (vii) superlative phenomena' and (x) species' can follow current guidance for terrestrial systems. 7. Potential approaches that can help address gaps in biogeographic representation of marine WHS and create a more balanced and representative marine World Heritage List are outlined here. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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