United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization convention concerning the protection of the world


(b) REPORTS ON THE STATE OF CONSERVATION OF PROPERTIES INSCRIBED ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST



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21(b) REPORTS ON THE STATE OF CONSERVATION OF PROPERTIES INSCRIBED ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST



Documents: WHC-02/CONF.202/17

WHC-02/CONF.202/2

WHC-02/CONF.202/INF.9

WHC-02/CONF.202/INF.10

WHC-02/CONF.202/INF.11


NATURAL HERITAGE

World Heritage Natural Properties of Australia
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)1).
2. During the adoption of the report (item 29) it was agreed that the decision should refer to "the Australian Committee of IUCN".

Pirin National Park (Bulgaria)
Document: WHC-02/CONF.202/INF.9
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee of the results of the international mission to the site and highlighted the fact that an immediate response was transmitted by the Government on 29 March 2002, providing a map of the site, an interim report of the Pirin Project and information concerning the proposed extension and the draft version of the management plan to be ready by 2003.
2. The Delegate of Finland agreed with the action proposed, but suggested to change the wording for "restoration of disturbed areas" in order to include the reconstruction of the eco-system as a whole. He furthermore indicated that there is change to the site not only from forest loss by clear cutting, but through renewal by natural processes.
3. The Head of the UNESCO-IUCN mission informed the Committee that the site was inscribed in 1983 and, as with many of these early sites, lacked management plans and precise boundary definitions. The World Heritage site is only a relatively small area (27,000 ha) of Pirin National Park (40,000 ha). In addition to the ski development, it has to be noted that the issue of effective management and management capacity is perhaps even more important, as was indicated in the report and its recommendations. Collaboration with the State Party was very constructive and the reply received in March 2002 positive.
4. The representative of IUCN highlighted the issue of the need for clear boundaries and that expansion of the ski area should not be permitted as it could create a precedent for other ski resort areas within sites. The lack of management planning and resources was also noted.
5. The Chairperson indicated that the periodic reporting will help to identify all problems related to boundaries, buffer zones and the lack of management plans of earlier inscriptions. He noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted with the amendments suggested by the Finnish Delegate (decision 26 COM 21(b)2).
6. During the adoption of the report (item 29), the Delegate of Finland requested to see the following wording "the restoration of the forest ecosystem of disturbed areas" in paragraph 3 of the decision.

Nahanni National Park (Canada)
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that on 13 June 2002, Parks Canada provided information to the Centre concerning the process established under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA) to address any potential impacts that development activities might have on the ecological integrity and the World Heritage values of the site.
2. The Observer of Canada stated that the Government response to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) report is not yet finalized. She also informed the Committee that discussions with the Deh Cho First Nations continue. One possible outcome of these discussions is that new land could be added to the Park.
3. The Delegate of Lebanon recommended the inclusion of a reference in the draft decision concerning the possible extension of the site.
4. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus on the draft decision with this addition and declared the decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)3).

Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada)
1. The Observer of Canada informed the Committee that she was not able to provide further comments concerning this site while awaiting decisions of the Federal Court.
2. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)4).

Cocos Island (Costa Rica)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)5).

Taï National Park (Côte d’Ivoire)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)6).

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)7).

Caves of the Aggtelek and Slovak Karst (Hungary/Slovakia)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)8).

Sundarbans National Park (India)
1. The Delegate of India provided the Committee with details of the methodology being used to prepare a tiger census. She stated that any technical or scientific input by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN in relation to tiger census techniques is welcome. She informed the Committee that Tiger Prawn seed collection is strictly prohibited within the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and the authorities are fully aware of the negative impact of this practice. Concerning the human – tiger conflicts, the following strategy has been adopted: the immobilization and release of stray tigers back into their habitat, sensitive areas are fenced with nylon nets, periodic meetings are held with the local people for suggestions and feedback, regular patrolling is organized in the sensitive areas and financial compensation for human deaths and injury has been enhanced. The management authorities are making necessary efforts to stop infringement of the boundaries of the reserve and to generate awareness amongst the stakeholders and the local people. Awareness raising and eco-development activities have been implemented for socio economic development and biodiversity conservation.
2. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)9).
3. During the adoption of the report (item 29) it was agreed that the decision should specify that the Committee recommended the participation of "experts of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of IUCN".

Kaziranga National Park (India)
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that new information was received on 23 May 2002 through the Permanent Delegation of India from the Ministry for the Environment and Forests with an update on the situation at Kaziranga National Park, including a report of the recent IUCN mission on a detailed analysis by the Director of Kaziranga National Park addressing some of the issues mentioned in the working document.
2. The Delegate of India informed the Committee that the finalization of the Management Plan has been accelerated and that the Draft Management Plan is complete and awaits the approval of the Assam State Government. He acknowledged the flow of technical and financial support and that a National Wildlife Action Plan has been approved by the national government. The plan provides guidelines for providing technical and financial support to the state governments for the conservation of rare and endangered species and their habitat. The Indian Board for Wildlife chaired by the Prime Minister, has recently adopted a Wildlife Conservation Strategy including capacity building. The Delegate reiterated the request to mobilize international funding support. The Park management has taken adequate steps to control rhino poaching in Kaziranga National Park. The Assam State Government intends to declare the adjoining Karbi Anlong Forests as a sanctuary, which will reinforce rhino protection.
3. The representative of IUCN noted the positive news concerning the addition of the sanctuary area that should reinforce Rhinoceros conservation.
4. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)10).

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)11).

Lorentz National Park (Indonesia)

1. The Delegate of Thailand pointed out that the map provided at the time of the inscription of the site indicates the legal boundaries of the World Heritage area, which have to be upheld by the State Party.


2. The Observer of Indonesia informed the Committee that he had received a letter from his authorities indicating discussions between the Central Government, the oil company Conoco and the local government concerning boundaries. He stated that the map of the World Heritage area would again be provided as the basis of the discussions and that this matter will be reviewed and reported back to the Centre.
3. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)12).
4. The Secretariat informed the Committee that the map of the site was attached to the Committee report at the time of the inscription in 1999 and that the site was also a case study at the technical workshop on World Heritage and Mining in 2000, the proceedings of which have been published.

Aeolian Islands (Italy)
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that on 5 May 2002 the Permanent Delegation of Italy had provided information that the management plan remains in force. New proposals for capacity building and tourism development, including enhancing existing infrastructure are under consideration.
2. The Observer of Italy drew attention to the complexity of the issues involving the local authorities, and informed that the administrative tribunal supported the Landscape Plan. Information on the follow-up, including the constitutional court, will be provided as soon as possible.
3. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)13).

Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)14).

Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)15).

Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)16).

Sian Ka’an (Mexico)
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee of the report provided by the State Party on 31 May 2002, which included the regional tourism situation and actions to mitigate impacts and promote sustainable tourism. The Coastal Development Plan for the buffer zone was approved in May 2002, ending a moratorium on construction in coastal areas, administering tourism and real estate development and incorporating transferable property rights to deal with beachfront holdings. The Management Programme also included administrative rules for public use. The Secretariat then read a revised draft decision to the Committee.
2. The Delegate of Mexico informed the Committee of the planning, the leisure activities and the coastal development pertaining to the land use plan of 14 May 2002, the first of its kind in Mexico. It aims at a low-density area at the coast and is very innovative including local landowners and local capacity building, as well as an improvement of the tourism infrastructure and monitoring of tourism measures. This new model is developed in close collaboration with the Ministries of Culture and Tourism and the World Heritage Centre.
3. The Delegate of Thailand asked whether there was an environmental impact assessment for the tourism project and if so, whether the Secretariat had received such an assessment.
4. The Delegate of Mexico informed the Committee that a number of documents were prepared to assess the impact of tourism. These included potential scenarios and impact schemes and were implemented with Mexican research centres.
5. In order to meet the concerns about the environmental impact assessment, the Chairperson suggested to add a specific paragraph to the revised draft decision. Noting the Committee's consensus on this proposal, he declared the revised draft decision adopted as amended (decision 26 COM 21(b)17).
6. During the adoption of the report (item 29) it was agreed that the text of the decision should acknowledge that the State Party has submitted copies of the maps prepared for the Coastal Development Plan showing how it relates to the World Heritage site boundaries.

Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)18).

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that:
(i) A full mission report was provided to the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau in Helsinki (December 2001), which followed the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN mission for danger listing. At the twenty-fifth session of the Committee inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger was postponed, awaiting comments by the State Party concerning the mission report. These were received on 1 February 2002 and provided to IUCN for evaluation and then to the 26th session of the Bureau for review. The Bureau decided to recommend inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. No further comment was received from the State Party until this session.
(ii) On 24 June 2002, the Ambassador of Russia informed the Chairperson that the Russian Federation disagreed with the listing of Baikal on the List of World Heritage in Danger, highlighting the official report on progress made dated 1 February 2002. The letter furthermore stated that all the questions raised by the Bureau and transmitted by the Centre by letter of 16 April 2002 “are technical ones and shall not be considered as the motive for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger.”
(iii) An additional report was received on 26 June 2002 providing new information on the Baikal Governmental Commission, the new body of the Baikal Federal Environmental Authority, the new conservation scheme, the situation of the seal population and the pipeline construction. The report concluded that there is no reason for Danger listing.
2. The representative of IUCN informed the Committee that IUCN considered that the conditions existed for the site to be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. He said this would stimulate international support for the conservation of the site.
3. The Delegate of the Russian Federation informed the Committee that all information had been provided by 1 February 2002 and that he would like to provide the following new points:
(i) The Baikal Commission is now reporting to the Federal Government;
(ii) A new government inter-regional body, the Baikal Federal Authority was created in February 2002;
(iii) The Scientific Committee on Lake Baikal resumed its activity;
(iv) Negotiations with the World Bank are underway for the Pulp and Paper Mill;
(v) No gas exploration is taking place and is prohibited in the core and buffer zones;
(vi) No reduction of the seal population has been reported;
(vii) The proposal of construction of a pipeline is not yet approved.
In conclusion, the Delegate stated that the situation has improved and there would be no reason for Danger listing. He furthermore indicated that the State Party would welcome another mission if necessary.
4. The Delegate of Finland stated that no decision could be taken concerning inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger pending a policy decision as to whether State Party consent was required.
5. The Delegate of India noted that the Committee could take an appropriate decision. The State Party asked not to inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and had provided new information.
6. The Delegate of Thailand agreed that given the new information, the property should not be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. He asked whether the State Party had any further proposals to alleviate problems at the site.
7. The Delegate of China requested that the Committee defer its decision.
8. The Delegate of Lebanon referred to a situation where the Advisory bodies' advice was to inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and the Committee's decision was blocked pending resolution of the policy issue.
9. The Chairperson agreed with the analysis made by the Delegate of Lebanon. He proposed to defer the decision on the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger but to reinforce the recommendations made to the State Party.
10. The Delegate of Saint Lucia asked for a clear indication as to when the Committee decision would be deferred.
11. The Delegate of Thailand stressed that his statement was not to be linked to the legal issue. He again acknowledged the new information provided by the State Party and the need to have a clear overview of the corrective measures. He suggested waiting until the next session to again consider the condition of the site.
12. The Delegate of India agreed with pragmatic proposal made by the Delegate of Thailand.
13. The Delegate of Nigeria supported the comments of Lebanon, China and the Russian Federation to defer consideration of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger to the next session of the Committee.
14. The Delegate of Egypt agreed with the deferral of a decision of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger to the next session of the Committee on the condition that a dialogue be established with the State Party. He recommended that the State Party be informed that inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger should not be considered as a penalty for the State Party but as a positive measure to benefit from international attention and support. Furthermore, he asked that the State Party provide, within 8 months, further information on measures they were taking to conserve the site following the recommendations of the IUCN mission. At its next session, the Committee would evaluate whether the property was in danger or whether the Committee could close the debate because the property was not in danger.
15. The Chairperson summarized that there seemed to be a consensus concerning the deferral of the decision concerning inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger by one year, to allow time to review the situation. He also suggested that the Committee decision include reference to the intention of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger to bring the benefits of international attention and support to sites under threat.
16. The representative of IUCN recalled that parameters had been defined by the Committee in 2001. He suggested that these parameters and the recommendations of the IUCN mission report could be used to assist the Committee in taking its decision in 2003.
17. The Chairperson concluded the debate and declared the draft decision adopted as amended (decision 26 COM 21(b)19).
18. During the adoption of the report (item 29) it was agreed that the decision should not imply that the Committee was deferring the "inclusion" of Lake Baikal on the List of World Heritage in Danger until its twenty-seventh session in June/July 2003. The decision should instead clearly defer the "decision" on the inclusion of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russian Federation)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)20).

Doñana National Park (Spain)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)21).

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)22).

Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)23).

Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom)
1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that the State Party was inviting a mission to the site.
2. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted with an additional paragraph referring to this mission (decision 26 COM 21(b)24).

St Kilda (United Kingdom)
1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)25).

Henderson Island (United Kingdom)
1. The Delegate of the United Kingdom noted the existence of a draft management plan for the site and informed the Committee that it would be completed following consultation with Pitcairn Islanders. He thanked IUCN for their comments on the draft. With reference to the World Heritage Centre's request for information referred to in the working document he said that his country would be happy to comply with this although they had not yet received a copy of the letter. He suggested that the decision of the Committee refer to the submission not of a report, but of a progress report by 1 February 2003.
2. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)26).

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America)
1. The Observer of the United States indicated that some technical and factual changes needed to be made to the IUCN report, although it is an accurate summary of the United States submission on this matter. The issue of air pollution was raised on the basis of media reports that derived from the National Park Service monitoring data and was not separately instigated by IUCN before requesting a State Party response. The issue is a serious and complex one and the United States believes it has responded accurately with a full report. The authorities feel that it is important that the scope of the air quality monitoring programme at Great Smokies be understood. The operating budget for the programme, including data collection and analysis, is currently around US$ 2M per year. There are seven monitoring stations in the Park, which provide continuous information on air quality conditions. Finally, she asked that the Committee decision refer to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
2. The representative of IUCN noted that experience gained with this important monitoring programme would benefit other World Heritage properties.
3. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)27).
4. At a later stage in the discussion on this agenda item, the Delegate of India referred to the exemplary work of the United States of America in implementing environmental management standards at this site and at other World Heritage sites in their country. She noted however, that these standards were not applicable when the sites were initially inscribed on the World Heritage List. She commented that this was an even more acute problem in the less developed world. Furthermore she said that the Committee was in a legal vacuum as an international consensus on some of the basic standards did not yet exist. She urged the development of international consensus and in the meantime recommended ensuring implementation of national standards.



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