Upon recommendation of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in 2014 the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) applied, through the Department of Culture Media and Sport, to increase the size of the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site.

Specifically, increasing most of the inland boundary by 5 metres to compensate for active erosion of the cliff face as should there be significant erosion, the cliff faces (key features of Outstanding Universal Value) would no longer lie within the inscribed boundary of the World Heritage Site Property. The World Heritage Committee approved the application during the 40th Session of the Committee in Istanbul, Turkey 2016.

This is the first amendment made to the boundary since the site’s inscription as a natural World Heritage Site in 1986. The application was considered a minor boundary change. That is, that the change proposed was an increase of less than 10% of the land size of the existing Site, in fact it was an increase of just 1.1% or 2.63 hectares. NIEA undertook consultation with the various landowners directly impacted by the proposed boundary change and the Steering Group backed the application.

Increasing the Site’s boundary to protect the Outstanding Universal Value demonstrates the Steering Groups commitment to protecting Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site. The boundary change does not effect day – to day – management of the site.

To review World Heritage Centre documents and decisions related to the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site please follow this link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369/documents/

This link provides the shapefile for the World Heritage Site boundary, as accepted by WHC 2016: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/world-heritage-sites-digital-datasets


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