The adoption of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO in 1972 coincided with the Second World Parks Congress and the 100-year anniversary of the World’s first national park – Yellowstone in the USA. Since then the role and work of the Convention to support global efforts to conserve and effectively manage parks and similar protected areas has received increasing attention in subsequent World Parks Congresses held in Bali, Indonesia (1982) and Caracas, Venezuela (1992).
The Fifth World Parks Congress, scheduled for 8-17 September 2003, in Durban, South Africa has chosen World Heritage as one of the three cross-cutting themes of the Congress. The World Heritage theme is expected to figure in all dimensions of Congress’ discussions and deliberations. This opportunity has been used to analyse and understand the Convention’s achievements and weaknesses over the 30 years since its adoption in 1972, and to build new initiatives and partnerships to strengthen the Convention’s contributions towards the future of effective protected area management practice.
Fifth World Parks Congress 8-17 September 2003, Durban, South Africa