On July 2, 2018 the Chaîne des Puys mountains in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region were officially awarded UNESCO status, becoming the first natural landscape in mainland France to be given such a distinction. The decision was confirmed on May 28 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who recognized the mountain range as an outstanding geological site.

“This international recognition comes after more than 40 years of work to protect and manage these mountains. It is now our responsibility to preserve, enhance and promote this heritage site. We must work towards sustainable development, by protecting the natural landscape and its geological features, and supporting traditional activities and responsible tourism.”

(Extract from a statement issued by Puy-de-Dôme regional council)

This latest addition brings the total number of French sites with UNESCO status to 44.