More than 200 World Heritage sites are natural sites…
Natural sites are enlisted World Heritage for their aesthetic (natural) beauty, their importance as sanctuaries for rare (endemic) species or for a combination of factors that make them universally outstanding, as defined by UNESCO. Many of the enlisted sites were National Parks of Protected Reserves long before they were given World Heritage status.
The awesome fjords in the western part of Norway are World Heritage for reasons that are indeed very different from Australia’s Great Barrier Reefs or the Western Ghats in India.
Common for all the natural World Heritage however, is the fact that they must be cared for and protected for future generations. This is true also for cultural, built World Heritage. But as is the case with the Great Barrier Reefs, and all natural sites on the in-danger list, the damage done is not always so easy to reverse or undo due to conflicts of whatever interests. But is never to late to change direction. We are, in a sense, the custodians of this planet – and therefore responsible for its well-being.
You can check out the status of all natural and mixed sites on IUCN’s World Heritage Outlook