In 1989, the Nova Scotia government designated Joggins a protected site under its Special Places Protection Act. In 1996, CREDA, and later, the Joggins Fossil Institute, united local residents, scientists, and all 3 levels of government to work towards the goal of having the famous Joggins Fossil Cliffs named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Institute's UNESCO submission also has a community development component — a new 1200 m2 (13000 sq. ft.), environmentally-friendly interpretative and research centre.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural properties recognized and protected because of their outstanding value to humanity. Inscription on the World Heritage List will ensure that the Joggins Fossil Cliffs earth science interests are properly recognized both in their own right and because of their important role within the region’s history and culture.
In January, 2007, the Joggins case was presented to UNESCO. To support their bid, the Joggins team was required to compile an extensive, multi-volume dossier for review on UNESCO's behalf by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) and their independent experts.
As part of an 18-month investigation, the Joggins Fossil Institute hosted the IUCN Field Mission in October, 2007, where representatives of IUCN, a UNESCO Advisory Body, visited and evaluated the nominated property.
Inscription of the property
The decision of the World Heritage Committee was announced on July 7th, 2008.
The members of the committee agreed unanimously that the Joggins Fossil Cliffs should be inscribed onto the list.
The nomination of the Cliffs was described as the “most complete” nomination ever received by the World Heritage Committee and that it should be used as an example for properties submitting nominations in the future.
The Joggins Fossil Institute must now provide reports to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on the management and conservation of the site on a regular basis.