UNESCO World Heritage listed lagoon
In 2008, UNESCO inscribed this New Caledonian serial site comprising six marine clusters on the prestigious World Heritage List. Special care is dedicated to protecting and preserving the superlative natural beauty and diversity of these sites extending over an area of more than 15,700 km².
- Six New Caledonian sites honoured as treasures of the world
- From the intact Entrecasteaux reefs to the V-shaped reef bordering the Southern Lagoon
Encircled by an immense double coral barrier reef (almost 1,600 km), the second longest in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia’s lagoons cover a total surface area of around 24,000 km².
Home to an exceptional diversity of plant and wildlife, including 350 species of coral and around 1,600 species of fish, New Caledonia's coral reefs and associated ecosystems were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on 7 July 2008. This was a first for France’s Overseas Territories, although France itself boasts around forty UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Six New Caledonian sites honoured as treasures of the world
The Entrecasteaux Reefs, the Great Northern Lagoon, the Northeast Coastal Region, the Ouvéa and Beautemps-Beaupré atolls, the Western Coastal Region and the Great Southern Lagoon are the six clusters forming the serial site now included among the planet’s 200 natural Heritage Sites.
The World Heritage Committee, founded in 1972, published its inaugural list in 1978. The list is regularly updated and currently includes over one thousand cultural, natural and mixed sites. The aim is to ensure that the list identifies, classifies, preserves and reflects the world's cultural and natural diversity of outstanding universal value.
From the intact Entrecasteaux reefs to the V-shaped reef bordering the Southern Lagoon...
From the intact Entrecasteaux reefs (only fifteen still extant in the world) to the glorious lenticular reef stretching between Moindou and Bourail on the West Coast, from the Northern Pleiades (at Ouvéa) to the sharp V-shaped outline of the Southern Lagoon, New Caledonia boasts one of the world’s most precious natural treasures.
This is both an incredible blessing (just ask our tourists!) and a weighty responsibility entailing a duty of care to preserve our “treasure” for humankind. Everyone has a part to play in shouldering this responsibility: our public authorities in the management of economic development, the people of New Caledonia and also our visitors, whom we all trust to preserve our precious listed sites.