KRAKOW, POLAND (July 3, 2017) WCS released today a position statement for the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (41COM), currently being held in Krakow, Poland from through 12 July 2017.  This statement relates primarily to natural and mixed World Heritage sites that are on the 41COM agenda, at which WCS has a presence, and where we are working with the State Party concerned to support the management and protection of the property in question.

WCS is currently working on the ground to support the protection of 32 natural and mixed World Heritage sites around the world. In some sites, we partner with States Parties in the direct management of protected areas. In others, we offer technical expertise for scientific monitoring, engage in capacity building for protected area managers, and provide other forms of support tailored to the specific needs of individual sites and countries. We are working at eight of the 19 natural and mixed sites inscribed on the World Heritage Sites in Danger list; we are working to conserve several other sites under review, and we also work in two of the sites that have been nominated for inscription as World Heritage.

The head of the WCS delegation to the meeting, Dr. Susan Lieberman (, WCS Vice President of International Policy is available for comment during the meeting. WCS is an official UNESCO partner NGO, and an official approved observer at the World Heritage meeting. Interviews can also be arranged through Mary Dixon, WCS Senior VP of Communications:; 1-347-840-1242

The sites included in the attached briefing are:

Natural World Heritage Sites in Danger:

·        Belize Barrier Reef System, Belize (N 764)

·        Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras (N 196)

·        Kahuzi-Biega National Park, DRC (N 137)

·        Okapi Wildlife Reserve, DRC (N 718)

·        Salonga National Park, DRC (N 280)

·        Virunga National Park, DRC (N 63)

·        Rainforests of the Atsinanana, Madagascar (N 1257)

·        Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, Indonesia (N 1167)

Other Natural World Heritage Sites subject to SoC reports:

·        Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada (N 256)

·        Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve, Russia (N 1023rev)

·        Sangha Trinational, Cameroon/Republic of Congo/Central African Republic (N 195)

·        The Sundarbans, Bangladesh (N 798)

·        Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda, Gabon (N 1147rev)

Nominated Sites under Consideration for WH Listing:

·        Qinghai Hoh Xil, China

·        Los Alerces National Park, Argentina