These territories are home to an “outstanding” nature, remnants of original nature, which humanity has succeeded in preserving thanks (in particular) to the registration of these sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List: Biosphere Reserves, or Federal, National or Regional Parks – all types of governance structures in which Subnational Governments are involved, thus participating in their protection. This theme reminds us that we have collectively succeeded in protecting some of these sites of exceptional beauty and uniqueness. However, many more still remain in urgent need of effective protection.

Through successful examples, how can we ensure that others are protected? What role(s) can Local Authorities play in ensuring that the most remarkable sites benefit from these strong protections? How can human/urban development and the preservation of these biodiversity hotspots be reconciled? How can these hotspots be protected from over-frequentation? How can they be managed to cope with the effects of climate change?