Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2011 is the International Year of Forests

The World Heritage Center welcomes the International Year of Forests. With 100 WH sites recognized wholly, or in part, for their rich forest biodiversity, the WH Convention is the most effective intergovernmental convention for the in-situ conservation of forest biodiversity. Today, over 760,000 square kilometres (nearly 300,000 square miles), or 1.5 times the surface area of France, or slightly larger that the state of Texas, are strictly protected as World Heritage Forests.

The World Heritage Forest network is diverse and rich. Home to the largest remaining populations of Bengal tigers, vast mangrove forests are protected in the Sundarbans (India, Bangladesh). In Peru, Manu National Park is home to 10% of all of the world's bird species. The endangered Eastern (Mountain) Gorillas survive almost exclusively in three WH Forest sites: Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Uganda).

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