Gough and Inaccessible Islands

Gough and Inaccessible Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean. It consists of Gough Island (40°19′S 9°56′W / 40.32°S 9.94°W) and Inaccessible Island. (37°18′S 12°41′W / 37.30°S 12.68°W)

The islands are uninhabited apart from the personnel of a weather station. They are Important Bird Areas and Alliance for Zero Extinction sites.[1]

The spectacled petrel is believed to nest only on Inaccessible Island.[2]

Tristan Map
Tristan da Cunha archipelago
Gough and Inaccessible Islands is located in South Atlantic
Gough Island
Gough Island
Inaccessible Island
Inaccessible Island
Location of Gough Island and Inaccessible Island in the South Atlantic Ocean
Gough and Inaccessible Islands
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Gough island top view
LocationTristan da Cunha, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, British Overseas Territories, United Kingdom
CriteriaNatural: (vii), (x)
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
Area7,900 ha (20,000 acres)
Buffer zone390,000 ha (960,000 acres)
Coordinates40°19′29″S 9°55′43″W / 40.32472°S 9.92861°WCoordinates: 40°19′29″S 9°55′43″W / 40.32472°S 9.92861°W
Official nameGough Island
Designated20 November 2008
Reference no.1868
Area229,811 ha (567,880 acres)
Official nameInaccessible Island
Designated20 November 2008
Reference no.1869
Area126,524 ha (312,650 acres)


Gough Island was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1995.[3] In 2004 the site was extended. The marine zone of Gough Island was extended from 3 to 12 miles and Inaccessible Island was included with the surrounding marine zone extending out to 12 miles. The site was renamed Gough and Inaccessible Islands.[4]

The selection criteria for the site do not include its geomorphic interest. However, there has been ongoing discussion of including Gough and Inaccessible Islands in a possible "serial trans-boundary nomination" for the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which would include other volcanic sites in the Atlantic.[5]


Gough and Inaccessible Islands-113070

Gough and Inaccessible Islands.

Gough and Inaccessible Islands-113067

View of cliffs

Gough and Inaccessible Islands-113073

View of cliffs

Gough and Inaccessible Islands-113079

View of cliffs

Gough and Inaccessible Islands-113063



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2015). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gough Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/02/2015
  2. ^ BirdLife International (2015). Species factsheet: Procellaria conspicillata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2015.
  3. ^ "UNESCO Committee Decision 19COM VIII.A.1", 1995, retrieved 12 February 2014
  4. ^ "UNESCO Committee Decision 28COM 14B.17", 2004, retrieved 12 February 2014
  5. ^ "Mid-Atlantic Ridge". Retrieved 19 January 2015.
Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers (41,100,000 square miles). It covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. It separates the "Old World" from the "New World".

The Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between Europe and Africa to the east, and the Americas to the west. As one component of the interconnected global ocean, it is connected in the north to the Arctic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, and the Southern Ocean in the south (other definitions describe the Atlantic as extending southward to Antarctica). The Equatorial Counter Current subdivides it into the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean at about 8°N.Scientific explorations of the Atlantic include the Challenger expedition, the German Meteor expedition, Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the United States Navy Hydrographic Office.

British Overseas Territories

The British Overseas Territories (BOTs) or United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs) are 14 territories under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not been granted independence or have voted to remain British territories. These territories do not form part of the United Kingdom and, with the exception of Gibraltar, are not part of the European Union. Most of the permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with the UK retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel. They all share the British monarch (Elizabeth II) as head of state.

As of April 2018 the Minister responsible for the Territories excluding the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, is the Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN. The other three territories are the responsibility of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas.

Geography of Gough Island

Geography of the Gough Island (also Gonçalo Álvares or mistakenly Diego Alvarez), consists of the remote, rugged terrain of the isolated island, which is situated between the tip of South Africa and South America.

Gough Island is about 400 km (250 mi) southeast of the other islands in the Tristan da Cunha group, 2,700 km (1,700 mi) from Cape Town, and over 3,200 km (2,000 mi) east of the nearest point of South America. The island is roughly rectangular with a length of 13 km (8.1 mi) and a width of 7 kilometres (4.3 mi). It has an area of 91 km2 (35 sq mi) and rises to heights of over 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level.A meteorological station, manned by seven members of the South African National Antarctic programme (SANAP), has operated at Glen since 1963.

Gough Island

Gough Island , also known historically as Gonçalo Álvares after the Portuguese explorer, is a rugged volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It is about 400 km (250 mi) south-east of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago (which includes Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island), 2,400 km (1,500 mi) north-east from South Georgia Island, 2,700 km (1,700 mi) west from Cape Town, and over 3,200 km (2,000 mi) from the nearest point of South America.

Gough Island is uninhabited except for the personnel of a weather station (usually six people) which the South African National Antarctic Programme has maintained, with British permission, continually on the island since 1956. It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands.

Inaccessible Island

Inaccessible Island is an extinct volcano, last active six million years ago, with Cairn Peak reaching 449 m (1,473 ft). The island is 12.65 km2 (4.88 sq mi) in area, rising out of the South Atlantic Ocean 45 km (28 mi) south-west of Tristan da Cunha. Inaccessible Island is fringed with sheer sea cliffs but is accessible via a few boulder beaches. Generations of sailors were wary of the difficult landings and inhospitable terrain. Inaccessible Island has been without permanent inhabitants since 1873.

Inaccessible Island is part of the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha which is part of the overseas territory of the United Kingdom known as Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

The Tristan da Cunha archipelago is the world's most remote inhabited archipelago as it is 2,400 km (1,500 mi) from the nearest other inhabited land which is St. Helena. Tristan da Cunha itself is accessible only by sea via a seven-day sail from Cape Town, South Africa, by landing during the 60 days of the year that the harbor allows for access to the island.

Along with Gough Island, Inaccessible Island is a protected wildlife reserve and both make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands. Inaccessible Island is home to the endemic Inaccessible Island rail, the world's smallest extant flightless bird.

List of World Heritage Sites by year of inscription

This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world by year of inscription. The first World Heritage Site in the list is Galápagos Islands, while the country with the largest number of sites (including sites shared with other countries) is Italy, with 54 entries. The country with the largest number of sites by itself alone (excluding sites shared with other countries) is China, with 52 entries. (F) denotes the country's first inscription.

List of World Heritage Sites in Africa

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 135 World Heritage Sites in Africa. These sites are located in 37 countries (also called "state parties").

List of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.There are 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories. The UNESCO list contains one designated site in both England and Scotland (the Frontiers of the Roman Empire) plus seventeen exclusively in England, five in Scotland, three in Wales, one in Northern Ireland, and one in each of the overseas territories of Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Pitcairn Islands, and Saint Helena. The first sites in the UK to be inscribed on the World Heritage List were Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast; Durham Castle and Cathedral; Ironbridge Gorge; Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey; Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; and the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd in 1986. The latest site to be inscribed was the Lake District in England in July 2017.The constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (commonly referred to as UNESCO) was ratified in 1946 by 26 countries, including the UK. Its purpose was to provide for the "conservation and protection of the world’s inheritance of books, works of art and monuments of history and science". The UK contributes £130,000 annually to the World Heritage Fund which finances the preservation of sites in developing countries. Some designated properties contain multiple sites that share a common geographical location or cultural heritage.

The United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO advises the British government, which is responsible for maintaining its World Heritage sites, on policies regarding UNESCO. The UK National Commission for UNESCO conducted research in 2014-15 on the Wider Value of UNESCO to the UK, and found that the UK's World Heritage Sites generated an estimated £85 million from April 2014 to March 2015 through their association with the global network.World Heritage Site selection criteria i–vi are culturally related, and selection criteria vii–x are the natural criteria. Twenty-three properties are designated as "cultural", four as "natural", and one as "mixed". The breakdown of sites by type was similar to the overall proportions; of the 890 sites on the World Heritage List, 77.4% are cultural, 19.8% are natural, and 2.8% are mixed. St Kilda is the only mixed World Heritage site in the UK. Originally preserved for its natural habitats alone, in 2005 the site was expanded to include the crofting community that once inhabited the archipelago; the site became one of only 25 mixed sites worldwide. The natural sites are the Dorset and East Devon Coast; Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast; Gough and Inaccessible Islands; and Henderson Island. The rest are cultural.In 2012, the World Heritage Committee added Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City to the List of World Heritage in Danger citing threats to the site's integrity from planned urban development projects.

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic and consisting of the island of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha.

Its name was Saint Helena and Dependencies until 1 September 2009, when a new constitution came into force giving the three islands equal status within the territory. Despite this change, the whole territory is still commonly referred to as simply Saint Helena after its main island. Similarly, the demonym Saint Helenians (or "Saints") and the derived name for the local nationality is commonly understood to include Ascension Islanders and Tristanians, as well.

Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha (), colloquially Tristan, is both a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, lying approximately 1,511 miles (2,432 km) off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa, 1,343 miles (2,161 km) from Saint Helena and 2,166 miles (3,486 km) off the coast from the Falkland Islands. The territory consists of the main island, Tristan da Cunha, which has a diameter of roughly 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) and an area of 98 square kilometres (38 sq mi), the smaller, uninhabited Nightingale Islands, and the wildlife reserves of Inaccessible Island and Gough Island. As of October 2018, the main island has 250 permanent inhabitants who all carry British Overseas Territories citizenship. The other islands are uninhabited, except for the personnel of a weather station on Gough Island.

Tristan da Cunha is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. This includes Saint Helena and also near-equatorial Ascension Island, which lies some 1,741 miles (2,802 km) to the north of Tristan. There is no airstrip of any kind on the main island, meaning that the only way of travelling in and out of Tristan is by boat, a six-day trip from South Africa.

Wildlife of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Saint Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha as well the other uninhabited islands nearby are a haven for wildlife in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are or were home to much endemic flora and fauna, especially invertebrates, and many endemic fish species found in the reef ecosystems off the islands. The islands have been identified by BirdLife International as Important Bird Areas for both their endemic landbirds and breeding seabirds.See Ascension scrub and grasslands for more details of the World Wildlife Fund designated ecoregion.


Þingvellir (Icelandic: [ˈθiŋkˌvɛtlɪr̥] (listen)), anglicised as Thingvellir, is a national park in the municipality of Bláskógabyggð in southwestern Iceland, about 40 km northeast of Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. To its south lies Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.Þingvellir is associated with the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, which was established at the site in 930 AD. Sessions were held at the location until 1798.Þingvellir National Park (þjóðgarðurinn á Þingvöllum) was founded in 1930, marking the 1000th anniversary of the Althing. The park was later expanded to protect the diverse and natural phenomena in the surrounding area, and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2004.

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