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Adapting to Change

The State of Conservation of World Heritage Forests in 2011

2011 and 2012 are pivotal years for the world’s forests and for sustainable development. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests. In June 2012, the international community will convene in Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20. At this much-awaited conference, countries will renew their commitment to sustainable development and focus on accelerating the implementation of measures agreed upon since the first Earth Summit in 1992.

This is why UNESCO is devoting this edition of the World Heritage Papers series to forest conservation and the green future of our planet. This publication highlights all forest areas inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To date, the List contains 104 forests, covering a total area of over 75 million hectares (750,000 sq km). Each is a unique ecosystem that provides space for cooperation in science, education, and culture and that is invaluable for the benefit of all.