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Global Conservation

Glacier Perito Morena
Glacier Perito Morena (World Heritage Site) in Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Some places transcend time and national boundaries and become the common inheritance of mankind. These places are now given international recognition as World Heritage Sites or Biosphere Reserves. There are twenty World Heritage sites in the United States (including two sites jointly administered with Canada). Significantly eighteen units of the United States National Park System have been designated a World Heritage Site. Some of those were designated for their unique natural resources. For example, the Redwood National and State Parks together comprise a World Heritage Site, so designated for the rugged coastlines, streams, rivers, and ancient redwood forests.

Wrangell-St. Elias and Kluane National Park Reserve in the Yukon Territory of Canada were originally designated a World Heritage Site in 1978. In 1993, both Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the Alsek-Tatshenshini Provincial Park in British Columbia were added to that designation. Together these form one of the largest roadless mountain areas in the world and represent the largest internationally protected area in the world.

Many more sites (cultural and natural) are likely to meet the criteria for future nomination to the World Heritage List.

Last Updated: January 04, 2017