Location and Values: The Pyrenees – Mont Perdu world heritage site is located in the central Pyrenees mountains, straddling the border between France and Spain. Two thirds of the area is in Spain, coinciding with the boundaries of the Ordesa National Park (Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido), while the balance lies within France’s Pyrenees National Park (60% of the French sector) and an adjoining ‘buffer zone’. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, centred around Mount Perdu (3,352m), which includes two of Europe’s largest and deepest canyons (on the Spanish side), as well as three spectacular ‘cirque walls’ dominating the glacier-carved mountain summits and alpine pastures (on the steeper French side). The high alpine pastures have been used as summer grazing for domestic stock since time immemorial and the villages, trails, stock enclosures and seasonal shelters associated with this rare traditional transhumance land-use system is recognized in the ‘mixed’ listing of the Pyrenees – Mont Perdu world heritage site under both natural and cultural criteria.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Pyrenees – Mont Perdu site is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that the site has remained in a good state since its world heritage listing, although there is some concern over the potential impacts of climate change, the impacts of tourism and the decline of agro-pastoral activities. Although the pastoral communities manage their use of the area in traditional ways, formal arrangements for trans-boundary cooperation were only established in 2012 and further improvements in this aspect are required.
UNESCO Official Website
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description