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Sphyrna lewini | Scalloped hammerhead
Coco's Island National Park | Costa Rica

October 10, 2015. Water / Earth’s Legacy

World Heritage: Selection Criteria

These are the main criteria for determining a natural event as world heritage.

Cristina Mittermeier

In this time, when the global biodiversity crisis and climate change not only persist but actually are accelerated, the World Heritage sites represent an international model that constantly reminds us of our obligation to preserve the wonder and uniqueness of our living planet . These are the selection criteria.

Superlatives natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty
This refers to extraordinary natural phenomena – surprising expressions of natural structures and processes with scientific and / or aesthetic value based, therefore, in the field of natural heritage.

Earth history, geology and geomorphology
Outstanding examples representing major stages in Earth’s history, including the record of life, significant ongoing geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features.

Ecological and biological processes
Be outstanding examples representing significant ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of ecosystems and communities of plants and terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine animals.

Biodiversity and threatened species
Contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science or conservation.

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book Earth’s Legacy: Natural World Heritage (2015).

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Earth’s Legacy

Natural World Heritage

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