Activity 1: Raise awareness

Below are the global and regional obligations in this activity:
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Component 1

Directly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Encourage and facilitate greater understanding within agencies responsible for coral reef management about coral bleaching and related global change issues for coral reefs: CBD Decision VII/5, 4 and CBD Decision VII/5, Annex I (elaborated programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity) SEE COMMENTARY 1
  • Include climate change messages in communication, education and interpretation activities to build public awareness and knowledge of climate change, its potential impacts on World Heritage properties and mitigation and adaptation opportunities: World Heritage Decision 31 COM 7.1, 4 and WHC-07/31.COM/7.1 (Policy Document on the Impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage Properties) SEE COMMENTARY 2
  • Raise awareness within regional organizations and training institutions and among States Parties: World Heritage Decision 30 COM 7.1, 8 and WHC-06/30.COM/7.1 (Strategy to assist States Parties to implement appropriate management responses) SEE COMMENTARY 3
  • Provide information to decision-makers, stakeholders, local communities, users of World Heritage sites, site managers, and other heritage specialists about the impacts of climate change on World Heritage sites, management responses, possible assistance, existing networks, specific training, courses, and long distance learning opportunities: World Heritage Decision 30 COM 7.1, 8 and WHC-06/30.COM/7.1 (Strategy to assist States Parties to implement appropriate management responses) SEE COMMENTARY 4
  • Conduct awareness raising campaigns and education programmes on the role of heritage at times of disasters, the importance of developing appropriate preventive and mitigating strategies for reducing risks at World Heritage properties and the possible means to implement them: World Heritage Decision 30 COM 7.2, 3 and WHC-06/30. COM/7.2 (Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters at World Heritage properties) SEE COMMENTARY 5
  • Use the network of World Heritage properties to highlight the threats posed by climate change to natural heritage, start identifying the properties under most serious threats, and also use the network to demonstrate management actions that need to be taken to meet such threats, both within the properties and in their wider context: WHC Decision 29 COM 7B.a, 10
  • Improve information on, and awareness of, biological and landscape diversity issues, and increase public participation in actions to conserve and enhance such diversity: PEBLDS (no. 2.2 and 2.5)

Indirectly relevant obligations and commitments

  • Keep the public broadly informed of the dangers threatening their cultural and natural heritage WHC Article 27.2: SEE COMMENTARY 8
  • Promote and encourage the understanding of the importance of, and the measures required for, the conservation of biological diversity: CBD Article 13
  • Promote the propagation through media, and the inclusion in educational programmes of the importance of, and the measures required for, conservation of biological diversity: CBD Article 13
  • Promote the wider dissemination of the findings contained in all relevant Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Reports, including through the clearing-house mechanism: CBD Decision VIII/9, 25 SEE COMMENTARY 6
  • Increase communication and public awareness about the environmental, social and economic impacts of the introduction of invasive alien species according to Guiding Principle 6 contained in the annex to decision VI/23: CBD Decision VIII/27, 13.
  • Support actions to raise public awareness in support of sustainable farming and food production systems that maintain agricultural biodiversity: CBD Decision V/5, 10
  • Support research activities that contribute to increased knowledge on the processes leading to desertification and drought and the impacts of causal factors: UNCCD Article 17.1(a)
  • Improve awareness and understanding of the functions and values of the world’s peatlands: Ramsar Resolution VIII.17, 12 SEE COMMENTARY 7

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Author Commentary 1

CBD Decision VII/5, 4 and CBD Decision VII/5, Annex I: This refers to subparagraph 3(b)(iv) of Appendix 1, the specific work plan on coral reefs.

Author Commentary 2

World Heritage Decision 31 COM 7.1, 4 and WHC-07/31.COM/7.1 : This refers to II.B. Synergies with Other International Conventions and Organizations. WHC Decision 31 COM 7.1, 6 recommends to read WHC-07/31.COM/7.1 in conjunction with the report on “Predicting and managing the impacts of Climate Change on World Heritage”, WHC-06/30.COM/7.1, II, and the “Strategy to assist States Parties to implement appropriate management responses”, WHC-06/30.COM/7.1, Annex 4.

Author Commentary 3

World Heritage Decision 30 COM 7.1, 8 and WHC-06/30.COM/7.1 : This refers to II. D. Collaboration, cooperation, and sharing best practices and knowledge 21.b) i). The main objective of the Strategy to Assist States Parties to Implement Appropriate Management Responses is to review the main topics that should be considered when preparing to implement preventive and/or collective management responses to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change, II. A. Preamble: Objectives and requirements, 12.

Author Commentary 4

World Heritage Decision 30 COM 7.1, 8 and WHC-06/30.COM/7.1 : This refers to II. D. Collaboration, cooperation, and sharing best practices and knowledge 21.c) i).

Author Commentary 5

World Heritage Decision 30 COM 7.2, 3 and WHC-06/30. COM/7.2 : This refers to Objective 2, Action 2.10.

Author Commentary 6

CBD Decision VIII/9, 25: According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the rapidly increasing impacts of climate change are considered as one of the issues that are most significant at the global level in terms of their impacts on biodiversity: CBD Decision VIII/9, 13.

Author Commentary 7

Ramsar Resolution VIII.17, 12: Ramsar Resolution VIII.17, 4 recognizes the importance of peatlands for the maintenance of global diversity and the storage of wetlands and carbon, which constitute a function vital to the world’s climate system.

Author Commentary 8

WHC Article 27,2: WHC Article 11.4 identifies calamities and cataclysms as well as changes in the water level, floods and tidal waves as examples of serious and specific dangers facing World Heritage sites placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.