Mammoth Cave National Park (United States of America) 1. The Observer of the United States of America informed the Committee that the report presented to the Committee, while factually accurate, raised undue and untimely alarm about a future potential threat to the site. The impression conveyed by IUCN concerns an entirely privately funded development proposal that is in its very early planning stage, located 12 kilometres away from the boundary of the World Heritage site, which is at least partially located in a separate watershed. This creates the impression of interference in local affairs. She stated that it could be shown that the Park management has been fully cognizant of this proposal and is acting within the scope of its legal authorities, which precludes direct intervention in the project, unless Federal funds are involved. She assured the Committee and IUCN that the State Party would track this evolving issue. She suggested a change to the wording of the draft decision to include reference to the conduct of a research project and to delete reference to the Environmental Impact Statement and approval process.
2. The representative of IUCN noted the concerns raised by the Observer of the United States of America and agreed with the suggested changes to the wording of the decision.
3. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted as amended (decision 26 COM 21(b)28).
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam) 1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)29).
MIXED CULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE
Kakadu National Park (Australia) 1. The Secretariat informed the Committee of the receipt of new information from the State Party. This included:
(i) a report from the Supervising Scientist indicating that a new internationally recognized standard for management of the mine will come into force;
(ii) a recent announcement by the Commonwealth Government that there will be an NGO representative on the Alligator Rivers Regional Technical Committee (ARRTC);
(iii) information concerning a new legislative framework for the management of mining in the Northern Territory;
(iv) notification of a technical review of the environmental regulation of the Ranger uranium mine and Jabiluka mine site and an Australian Senate Inquiry to report by the end of 2002;
(v) information on a workshop on cultural heritage management issues with the participation of the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation and Australia ICOMOS with the assistance of Environment Australia.
Finally, the Secretariat informed the Committee that a new draft decision had been prepared in consultations between the State Party, ICOMOS, IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to reflect this new information.
2. The Delegate of Lebanon asked why the new draft decision had been changed substantially from the draft decision presented in document WHC-O2/CONF.202/17.
3. The representative of IUCN referred to the report presented in document WHC-O2/CONF.202/17 in which IUCN stated that if four issues of concern at the site were not addressed then it might be necessary to reexamine whether the site should be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger. These four issues are:
(i) effective systems of management and monitoring undertaken to the best international standards;
(ii) independent scientific oversight;
(iii) effective engagement of all stakeholders including Traditional Owners;
(iv) prompt action by the State Party to address failings.
He said that IUCN had agreed with the original wording of the draft decision as presented in the working document. However in light of the new information from the State Party, as presented by the Secretariat, the new decision has a more positive tone reflecting developments over the last few months whilst still expressing concern.
4. The Delegate of Lebanon requested revisions to paragraphs 1 ("stresses" rather than "notes the need for a strict environmental regime") and 3 ("requests" rather than "notes details of new environmental management standards"). In effect this would reinstate the wording of these paragraphs in the draft decision presented in document WHC-O2/CONF.202/17.
5. The Delegate of Egypt commented that the new draft decision referred to a rather serious situation. He asked what the Committee was doing in response to the contaminated water leaks at the Ranger and Jabiluka uranium mines and whether the Committee was sending a mission to the site to investigate.
6. The Secretariat informed the Committee that a UNESCO/ICOMOS/IUCN mission had been sent to the site in late 1998. The Secretariat recalled that the State Party regularly provided the Centre with technical reports and other information in response to the decisions and requests of the Committee. All new information was forwarded to IUCN for the preparation of their report presented to the Committee.
7. The Delegate of Egypt noted that the last mission was sent 3 years ago and that a new report had been received from the State Party. Therefore he suggested to send a new mission given the seriousness of the situation at the site.
8. The Delegate of Lebanon stated that it was for the Committee to decide, on the basis of new information, whether a revised decision was required. Furthermore, he requested that a new report be provided to the Committee by IUCN to present an analysis of new information to the Committee. In the Committee's decision, he asked that "notes" be replaced by "requests the State Party" in exactly the same way as in other decisions taken under this agenda item.
9. The representative of IUCN recalled that as a result of the extraordinary session of the Committee in July 1999, an independent international scientific panel was established and presented three reports prior to the Committee session in Cairns (2000). There is a regular and precise follow-up mechanism. With reference to new information, he stated that there had not been time to prepare a formal response.
10. The Delegate of Egypt said that he still thought it was appropriate to send a new mission to the site to investigate the new and serious leakages.
11. The Observer of Australia referred to the many reports on the state of conservation of Kakadu National Park that have been examined by the Committee over recent years. He informed the Committee that the contaminated water leaks had not occurred within the World Heritage property. He reminded the Committee that the Supervising Scientist had concluded that no harm to human health or the environment had occurred as a result of the leaks. Furthermore he commented that the reporting of the incidents by the mining company had been inadequate and that the State Party required them to improve the standards of their operations. He informed the Committee that the Minister for the Environment and Heritage had recently met with Traditional Owners at Kakadu to discuss these and other issues. He concluded by saying that a mission was not appropriate to the circumstances at Kakadu National Park as there was no urgent need nor was there a request for assistance from the State Party. He said that the State Party would continue to provide regular reports concerning the situation at the site.
12. The Chairperson proposed that the draft decision be adopted with the amendments proposed by the Delegate of Lebanon. Following the request from the Delegate of Egypt he also suggested that paragraph 7 be amended to include a request for a new report on which the Committee could base its future decisions.
13. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision with the suggested amendments adopted.
14. During the adoption of the report (item 29) the Delegate of the United Kingdom commented on the wording of the last paragraph of the decision and asked that the reference to whether or not to send a mission to the site be removed as it preempted the decision of the Committee at its twenty-seventh session.
15. The Delegate of Egypt noted that his delegation had suggested that a mission be sent to the site.
16. The Observer of Australia said that there was no doubt that the Delegate of Egypt had raised the possibility of a mission during the discussion. He said that there was equally no doubt that in the Chairperson's summary the possibility could be considered at the twenty-seventh session of the Committee in the light of its consideration of the report of the State Party and the assessments made at that time by IUCN and the World Heritage Centre. He suggested that if the Committee agreed to the proposed changes to the decision made by the Delegate of the United Kingdom the outcome of the Committee's discussions would be adequately reflected and would go back to the wording as originally proposed in the working document. He suggested that in addition the comments of the Delegate of Egypt be reflected in the Summary Record.
17. The Delegate of China agreed with the proposals of the Delegate of the United Kingdom and the Observer of Australia.
18. The Delegate of Egypt commented that during the discussion of the state of conservation of the site during agenda item 23, the Committee had taken the matter very seriously. However, he concurred with the requst of the Observer of Australia to amend the decision.
19. With this amendment, the Committee adopted decision 26 COM 21(b)30 by consensus.
Tongariro National Park (New Zealand) 1. For the information of the Committee, the Secretariat displayed an explanatory slide showing a diagram of the management of a potential lahar or mudslide at the site.
2. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)31).
Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu(Peru) Document: WHC-02/CONF.202/INF.10 1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that:
(i) since the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee had addressed a letter to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Education, Culture and Forestry expressing the Committee’s concern about the state of preservation of the site;
(ii) the National Institute of Culture of Peru (INC) had informed the Centre that the recommendations of the joint mission to Machu Picchu, which took place from 25 February to 1 March 2002, were not yet fulfilled;
(iii) the Machu Picchu Programme, funded under a debt-swap arrangement with the government of Finland, had been suspended in May 2002;
(iv) all works on Aguas Calientes as well as Machu Picchu Pueblo had been halted;
(v) a US$ 300,000 research project on the landslide risks of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu to be funded from Japanese Funds-in-Trust was being discussed with the National Authorities and the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division;
(vi) a new Presidential Decree n° 032-2002-AG dated 25 May 2002 establishes the functions of the Comité Directivo of the UGM (Unidad de Gestión de Machu Picchu). It specifies that the funding sources of the UGM are to come mainly from the income of the Camino Inca and are to be shared between the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) and the INC, thus freeing sufficient resources to implement the above-mentioned recommendations. In addition, this decree defines more clearly the responsibilities of the different public and private actors. This legal instrument shows the State Party’s goodwill and should facilitate the implementation of the work required;
(vii) the Sanctuary Lodge on the Machu Picchu site received the approval by the Mayor to use two ground floor spaces to sell artefacts and wool products. The hotel management, which has a thirty-year concession, sublet the shops and the Frente of Defense of the interests of Machu Picchu protested and is now trying to have this permission revoked. However, since the hotel management wanted to modify what had already been approved, without the proper authorizations, the INC is now following the case and is in the process of taking the appropriate legal measures;
(viii) the INC has appointed a commission to implement the library project and has requested that the Ministry of Education intervene in order to recuperate proof of the illegal conditions under which archaeological material left the country; and,
(ix) the INC, the Municipality and the Ministry of Industry and Tourism now share responsibility for the control of ongoing commercial activity.
Finally, the Secretariat read a draft decision to the Committee
2. The Observer of Peru confirmed the national authorities’ political will to preserve the site. He referred to the response sent by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the previous Chairperson, stressing the State Party’s highest level coordination efforts, which lead to the approval of the Presidential Decree on 9 June 2002 and to the above-mentioned results. He also informed that a site manager has been hired, multi-sectorial work with the local stakeholders had begun, involving them in urban, environmental, preventive and other matters and that an information tourist guide would be prepared, specifying access, paths, rules, etc. for the public. In addition, on 7 June 2002, the Finnish Funds had been released and the work on disaster mitigation in the town of Machu Picchu is about to be resumed. Other studies are to take place such as the evaluation of the vulnerability of the Cuenca de los Rios Aguas Calientes and Alcamayo. Finally, he informed the Committee that he had just received a preliminary report announcing that the requirements of the joint IUCN/ICOMOS/WHC mission had been fulfilled.
3. The Delegate of Argentina welcomed the joint mission report and the additional information submitted by the Delegate of Peru. She recalled that Argentina had included the cross-border Camino Inca site on its Tentative World Heritage List and that transborder co-operation would be welcome.
4. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted with the addition of the comments from the Delegate of Argentina (decision 26 COM 21(b)32).
5. During the adoption of the report (item 29) the Delegate of Argentina suggested that her comments welcoming transborder co-operation should be included in the Summary Record rather than in the decision, and this proposal was accepted by the Committee.
Hierapolis-Pamukkale (Turkey) 1. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)33).
Tipasa (Algeria) 1. The Secretariat informed the Committee that the State Party had confirmed that they would accept inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger in a letter dated 21 June 2002.
2. The Observer of Algeria, recognizing the gravity of the problems affecting the site, thanked the Committee for its support in its safeguarding and expressed the full readiness of the State Party to cooperate with the Centre with a view to implement the necessary corrective measures.
3. The Delegates of Belgium and Lebanon paid tribute to the constructive attitude of the State Party, which, in accepting the inscription of the property on the List of the World Heritage in Danger, paved the way towards future rehabilitation of the site.
4. The Delegate of Saint Lucia stressed the need for an appropriate remedial plan for the site, including the establishment of a carrying capacity, the implementation of measures to control visitation, the development of an education programme targeting nearby communities and visitors, and the creation of stronger linkages with the communities, including greater benefits to them.
5. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted with the addition of the proposal from the Delegate of Saint Lucia (decision 26 COM 21(b)34).
Historic Centre of Vienna (Austria) 1. The Secretariat recalled the recommendations made by the Committee, at its 25th session, concerning the inscription of the site:
“... the Committee recommended that the State Party undertake the necessary measures to review the height and volume of the proposed new development near the Stadtpark, east of the Ringstrasse, so as not to impair the visual integrity of the historic town. Furthermore, the Committee recommended that special attention be given to continuous monitoring and control of any changes to the morphology of the historic building stock.” 2. The Secretariat also informed the Committee of:
(i) detail of the high-rise building project;
(ii) the provision of new information from the Planning Bureau of the City of Vienna dated 10 June 2002 with maps and photographs;
(iii) information dated 19 June 2002 from the Executive City Councillor for Urban Development, Traffic and Transportation of the City of Vienna indicating progress with the management plan and a consultative committee;
(iv) the recent appointment of a new conservator.
3. The Secretariat then read a proposed draft decision for consideration by the Committee.
4. The Delegate of Lebanon emphasized that 6 months after the inscription, the Committee is faced with a serious skyscraper development despite the Committee's specific recommendation made at the time of the inscription. He recalled that this was not the only World Heritage property confronted with the problem of high-rise building projects in the buffer zone. He suggested that if the State Party does not respond positively to the Committee's request made at the time of the inscription on the World Heritage List, the site should be removed from the World Heritage List.
5. The Delegate of Saint Lucia expressed her concern and stated that such a development should not be allowed as these debates should take place prior to the inscription of the site. She concurred with the Delegate of Lebanon.
6. The Delegate of South Africa recalled that the Committee had made a clear recommendation 6 months ago. She noted also with deep concern that exactly the opposite of what had been anticipated was happening.
7. The Delegate of Greece asked whether permission for the construction was given in full conformity with the existing legislation or whether a derogation had been granted for this project? She recalled that the buffer zone was intended to protect the integrity of the site. She asked for clarification from the Advisory Body.
8. The Delegate of Finland expressed his disagreement with the development project and its architectural solution.
9. The Observer of Austria informed the Committee that a letter was written which confirmed the commitment of the city and that the Wien-Mitte project had been indicated in the nomination and the area concerned needed urgent rehabilitation. At the same time it is a major transportation hub for Vienna. The development pressures of the area were the subject of a controversial debate for 10 years, which concerned three different projects. The redefinition of the volume and the reduction from 6 to 4 towers was a result of the citizen participation process. The land-use plan had been adopted in May 2000 and there is now a legal claim to implement the project. Negotiations would continue with the architects and the developers. He assured the Committee that the authorities would provide all necessary information by 1 October 2002.
10. The Delegate of Egypt pointed out that such matters would need to be solved prior to a nomination and that the Committee should not be facing such a situation. He agreed with the suggestion of the deletion procedure made by the Delegates of Lebanon and Saint Lucia.
11. The Delegate of Thailand asked whether there was a management plan at the time of the inscription or whether the elaboration of such a plan is in progress?
12. The representative of ICOMOS indicated that at the time of the inscription there were clear indications that this development project would be halted. He suggested a firm statement to preserve the silhouette of Vienna and its landmark the Stephansdom, as the Austrian monuments law is limited in this regard.
13. The Delegate of India concurred that the silhouette of Vienna needed to be protected and that this was precisely the function of buffer zones. She stated that such a situation occurred in other parts of the world and emphasised the need to involve the local communities. She pointed out that basic concepts need to be revisited and solutions need to be found for this site.
14. The Delegate of the United Kingdom recalled Paragraph 22 of the Operational Guidelines and stated that an action plan needs to be submitted. Concerning Vienna, the tower project clearly posed a threat to the values and integrity of the site and the Guidelines need to be vigorously applied.
15. The Delegate of Zimbabwe referred to the previous intervention and in the absence of any results following the Committee's recommendations, agreed with the suggestion to start the deletion procedure.
16. The Delegate of Lebanon asked to make a distinction between the railway station project and the proposed tower buildings which were disturbing the silhouette of Vienna.
17. The Director of the Centre informed the Committee that he had recently visited the site of the project. He confirmed that the area is in a state of deterioration and that an urban rehabilitation project is needed. The impacts of the project are essentially linked to the height of the towers (2 of 97 metres, 2 of 87 metres, 2 of 40 metres). He informed the Committee that one of the 97-metre towers is already under construction, while the rest of the project has been approved but is not yet under construction. He recommended to urgently open a discussion with the city government to redefine the project.
18. The Delegate of Belgium asked about the architectural quality of the project, an important aspect of the problem which had not been raised yet.
19. The Delegate of Finland noted the importance of the rehabilitation of the area. However, he questioned whether an appropriate architectural solution had been made.
20. The representative of ICOMOS informed the Committee that there was no management plan but that there are management mechanisms in place, which ICOMOS considered acceptable. He confirmed that the project was mentioned in the nomination dossier but that no information regarding height and volume were indicated.
21. The Delegate of Saint Lucia asked whether environmental and social impact assessments had been carried out and if other options had been examined.
22. The Observer of Austria informed the Committee that there was a long debate and that there is a legal case with the Supreme Court. The authorities had involved different experts in the planning phase and in conservation work in Vienna. Following a question from the Chairperson as to whether the project had been stopped, he told the Committee that this was not the case.
23. The Delegate of Belgium suggested to start the same process of dialogue and consultation with the State Party as was the case with the city of Luxembourg, which resulted in a positive solution.
24. The Chairperson noted the consensus of the Committee on the seriousness of the situation, including the corrective measures needed to be taken. He proposed that the Committee's decision should include a strong message addressed to the State Party clearly making a reference to the procedures for deletion from the World Heritage List.
25. The Delegates of Lebanon and Saint Lucia asked that the Committee's decision include a reference to the need to protect the value and integrity of the site recognized at the time of inscription on the World Heritage List and to paragraph 22 of the Operational Guidelines.
26. The Delegate of Zimbabwe stressed the importance of a strong decision for the credibility of the World Heritage Convention.
27. The Chairperson noted the Committee's consensus and declared the draft decision adopted (decision 26 COM 21(b)35).
28. Following a question from the Delegate of Finland, the Chairperson clarified the objective of the decision being to develop a process of consultation with the State Party and to guarantee that the result will benefit the original inscription of the site on the World Heritage List.