As 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, throughout the year World Heritage will retrace the evolution of this remarkable international treaty. Through the lead article and the interview, this issue will look back to the adoption of the Convention and the early years of its implementation.
To be inscribed on the World Heritage List, a site must meet at least one of ten criteria. This issue will focus on World Heritage sites inscribed under criterion (vii): contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance. Known commonly as the “wow” effect, these sites are more than just stunning landscapes, and we take a close look at their unique qualities and conservation challenges. Featured sites include the Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, and Mount Huangshan in China.
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