*Special thanks to Connie Weil, Bill Cunningham, Heike Alberts, and five anonymous reviewers for their assistance in reviewing drafts of this paper. This work was done while the first author was at the University of Minnesota.
Unnatural Selection: An Analysis of the Ecological Representativeness of Natural World Heritage Sites*
Article first published online: 19 APR 2007
The Professional Geographer
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 256–268, May 2007
How to Cite
Hazen, H. and Anthamatten, P. (2007), Unnatural Selection: An Analysis of the Ecological Representativeness of Natural World Heritage Sites. The Professional Geographer, 59: 256–268. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9272.2007.00611.x
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2007
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2007
- Initial submission, December 2005; revised submissions, May and July 2006; final acceptance, July 2006.
- World Heritage
In 1994, the World Heritage Committee adopted a strategy to make World Heritage Sites more “representative.” This article assesses the biogeographic representativeness of natural World Heritage Sites, identifying well-represented and underrepresented biomes and ecological realms. The analysis reveals that sites are not representative in biogeographic terms. However, the identification of an optimal definition of representation is a controversial challenge. Furthermore, the value of representativeness as a goal for a program geared toward protecting exceptional sites is questionable. Instead, representativeness is of greater importance across all protected areas, leaving the World Heritage Convention to fulfill its original mission of protecting the “outstanding.”