Reunion recognised by Unesco

The creation of a fabulous national park
Piton des neiges

Recognising the outstanding universal value of the island’s Pitons, cirques and ramparts

Reunion National Park was born from a desire carried forward by local, national and international stakeholders: that of preserving the exceptional natural diversity of the island’s highlands. The story of its birth.
On the first day, God created Reunion. On the second day, he created its national park ... The story isn’t quite that simple and quick, but the result was the creation of a natural paradise ...

The National Park

The origin of this project came from the realisation that it was necessary to protect and enhance the extraordinary environment of the island’s uplands. The flora and fauna here is very diverse, sometimes endemic. It’s found nowhere else and had to be prevented from disappearing for lack of an active conservation policy. So the local collectives got behind this approach in 1985. A complex process, involving national stakeholders, that gradually matured. In 2000, with the transition to a new millennium, an important milestone was reached: the idea of a national park was chosen and a request sent to the Ministry for the Environment.

From 2001 till 2003, a mission led the studies required to create such a structure. A protocol was signed between the State, the Region, the Department and the Association of Mayors of the island.

From 2004 to 2006, everyone worked together to specify both the park boundaries and content of the project. The commission of inquiry drew favourable conclusions, with several recommendations. Which led to the formal establishment of Reunion National Park on 5 March 2007. The next task was to draw up a charter, recruiting teams to run this organisation, and the people on the ground.

Unesco recognition

Confirmation and international recognition of these efforts was achieved on 1 August 2010, when Unesco registered the heart of Reunion National Park in the list of natural resources classed as World Heritage, because of their outstanding universal value. More precisely, this means Reunion’s Pitons, Cirques and Ramparts.
The story continues today, since the park's charter must be revised every ten years, which can involve enlargement of the limits of the protected area.