World Heritage Centre http://whc.unesco.org?cid=305&action=list&searchDecisions=&search_decision=&search_focalpoint=&search_status=&search_theme=&maxrows=20&search_session_decision=78&mode=rss World Heritage Centre - Committee Decisions 90 en Copyright 2019 UNESCO, World Heritage Centre Wed, 20 Nov 2019 05:14:12 EST UNESCO, World Heritage Centre - Decisions http://whc.unesco.org/document/logowhc.jpg http://whc.unesco.org 25 BUR III.52 Report on the activities undertaken by the Secretariat since the twenty-fourth session of the Committee A meeting of a small Drafting Group to prepare the revision of the  Operational Guidelines will be held at UNESCO Headquarters from 8 to 12 October 2001 instead of 10-14 September 2001 as originally arranged.

On an exceptional basis, the Bureau decided to allocate the sum of US$30,000 from the World Heritage Fund in 2001 (Chapter III – International Assistance) for the organisation of the meeting of the Drafting Group.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4948 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.2-5 Iguaçu National Park (Brazil) V.2          The Bureau was informed that the Minister of State for the Environment, by letter of 19 June 2001,  notified the Centre that the Colon Road had been definitively closed as of 13 June 2001. Nearly 300 cadres belonging to the Brazilian Federal Police took part in the operation, sinking the raft used as transport and scarifying the 17 km road. Replanting of the impacted area with native species is now completed. The local people are not happy about the closure of the road and the Government of Brazil is seeking the co-operation of all concerned, including the World Heritage Centre, to improve relations with the people. The Minister has requested that since the legal order to close the Colon Road is now effectively enforced the Committee consider removing Iguacu from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

V.3          The Delegate of Brazil noted that a guard-post is being established at a point where the entrance to the road was located to prevent any illegal entry.  A new management plan for Iguaçu is ready for implementation and includes measures to improve relations with local communities affected by the road closure. The Delegate noted that the declaration of Iguaçu as a World Heritage site in Danger by the Committee played an important role in his Government’s decision to enforce the legal mandate to close the road, despite opposition from local people, and thanked the Bureau, the Centre and IUCN for their support and co-operation to preserve the World Heritage values of the site.

V.4          Visitor facilities in the site have improved; introduction of bus transport in the Park is expected to reduce visitor traffic by 70% by the end of 2001 and an environmental impact assessment of helicopter flights over the waterfalls is proposed. In October 2000, the first workshop on the Management of Natural World Heritage sites in South America was convened in Foz do Iguaçu. Since then, staff of Iguacu of Brazil and Iguazu National Park of Argentina meet on a monthly basis for transborder co-ordination of management activities.

V.5          The Bureau commended the Government’s courageous and decisive action in closing the Colon road. The Bureau noted that the closure of the road has alienated the local communities and invited the State Party, IUCN and the Centre to co-operate to build goodwill and support of the people for the conservation of Iguacu. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the efforts taken by the State Party to improve visitor flow and management in the Park and welcomed the increasing transborder co-operation with the Iguazu National Park of Argentina. The Bureau recommended that, subject to continued positive developments, the Committee, at its forthcoming session, would consider the removal of Iguacu from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5839 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.6-7 Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria) V.6          The Bureau noted that the State Party has yet to respond to the recommendations of the twenty-fourth session of the Committee (Cairns, 2000). The Bureau learnt that the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences prepared, with financial support from the Ramsar Small Grants Fund for Wetlands Conservation and Wise Use, a management plan for Srebarna. The Ramsar Bureau has recommended the establishment of an indicator system with several simple, specific and easily measurable parameters to systematically monitor and rapidly detect changes in the state of conservation of Srebarna. In addition, the Ramsar Bureau has suggested that the Bulgarian authorities:

  • seek alternatives, some of which are identified in the plan, to the mechanical removal of bottom sediments from the Lake in order to reduce eutrophication, because they have less ecosystem impacts;
  • monitor water quality in the Danube River and the Srebarna Lake in a comparable manner so as to regulate water transfers between the two ecosystems to minimize eutrophication and improve and restore natural ecological relationships between the two inter-connected ecosystems; and
  • use the practice of reed cutting as a management tool in selected areas and regulate it to improve habitat diversity and generate income for the local community.

V.7          The Bureau commended the State Party and the Ramsar Secretariat for the preparation of the management plan and invited the State Party to consider the above-mentioned recommendations of Ramsar for further refining the plan. The Bureau urged the Centre and IUCN to consult with the State Party and determine an early date for a Centre/Ramsar/IUCN mission to the site in 2001 in order to submit a detailed report to the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in December 2001. The proposed mission should study issues such as: plans and processes for the preparation of a project to establish a bilateral Ramsar site with Romania to promote transboundary co-operation; long-term water management regimes; links and water-flows between the Danube and Srebarna; specific management needs in the short-to-medium term, including technical and financial support from external sources; and indicators for the systematic monitoring of the state of conservation of the site. In accordance with the wish of the last session of the Committee (Cairns, 2000), the Bureau also recommended that the mission review the sustainability of the rehabilitation efforts undertaken; and determine whether the twenty-fifth session of the Committee should consider removing Srebarna from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5840 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.8-10 Manovo Gounda-St.Floris National Park (Central African Republic (CAR)) V.8          The Bureau noted that representatives of the Centre, IUCN, the State Party and the Earth Conservancy, a conservation NGO working closely with the State Party to protect the site, undertook a site visit from 5 to 13 May 2001 to assess the state of conservation and prepare a rehabilitation plan for the site. The Bureau took note of the detailed conclusions and recommendations of the mission report, including description of urgent actions needed for the rehabilitation of the site, outlined in WHC-2001/CONF.205/INF.6.

V.9          The Bureau learnt that the primary threat to this site, as reported in the Bureau and Committee sessions of the last two years, originates from poachers coming from outside the borders of the CAR. The mission had received direct support from the President of the CAR who had met the mission team and made public his Government’s strong commitment to the conservation of the site. Despite the transborder poaching threats, the site still contains substantial numbers of key wildlife species. Given adequate protection, in combination with efforts to promote sustainable economic development in the broader region and promote co-operation with neighbouring countries to control poaching, the site could be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time.

V.10       The Bureau thanked the President and the Government of the CAR for assisting the Centre, IUCN and the Earth Conservancy to field a successful mission to the site and identify urgent rehabilitation measures. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the conclusions and recommendations of the mission, including  urgent rehabilitation measures and the costs of their implementation, described in document WHC-2001/CONF.205/INF.6. The Bureau agreed with the mission team that rehabilitation and conservation of the site must be linked to socio-economic development of local communities in and around the site. The Bureau invited the Director-General of UNESCO to write to all the neighbouring countries around the CAR to seek their full co-operation in curbing trans-border poaching which is threatening wildlife populations in and around the site. The Bureau invited the Centre and IUCN to work together with all parties concerned to prepare a fund-raising plan for the implementation of the urgent rehabilitation measures, a realistic workplan including institutional responsibilities for the implementation of those measures, and a time frame for the effective rehabilitation of the site and benchmarks that could signal improvements in the state of conservation of the site and assist the Committee’s decision concerning the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requested that the fund-raising plan and the workplan be submitted to the Committee session in Finland in December 2001.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5841 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.15-17 Okapi Wildlife Reserve (DRC) V.15       This site too has been threatened by coltan miners. Efforts to control poaching and mining have been somewhat more successful in Okapi than in Kahuzi Biega. The armed forces of Uganda assisted the staff to evict several poachers from Okapi in late 2000. The leader of the rebel group in control of this part of the DRC territory had ordered the removal of all miners from the site. Effective action is being taken by the staff and the rebel forces in the area and the threat to this site from miners and poachers has been brought under some degree of control relative to the situation in Kahuzi Biega. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) of USA had written to concerned authorities in Uganda appreciating their support for the conservation of Okapi. However, WCS had expressed its strong objection to an incident where some Ugandan soldiers had allegedly assaulted a staff member of Okapi. WCS requested the Ugandan authorities to investigate the matter and take measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. The Ugandan forces have withdrawn from the area in response to recent peace initiatives encouraged by the new President of the DRC. Coltan miners appear to be returning to the area. WCS has reported that the miners' activity in the periphery of the Reserve has increased and that staff capacity needs to be urgently strengthened in order to stabilise the state of conservation of the site.

V.16       The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Centre (T.I.C.) located in Brussels, Belgium, estimates that less than 15% of the world's tantalum supply comes from Africa. T.I.C. in Brussels, Belgium, has issued a press statement condemning the illegal mining in Kahuzi Biega and Okapi and in other protected areas of DRC. The T.I.C. has agreed to:

  • inform its 66 member companies around the world of the issues surrounding the illegal activities and their consequences;
  • support the efforts of relevant authorities to enforce an immediate removal of miners from within the boundaries of the national parks; and
  • encourage major processors to obtain their tantalum and niobium supplies from lawful sources in Africa and other parts of the world and refrain from purchasing materials from regions where either the environment or wildlife is threatened.

V.17       An appeal was made by the Director General of IUCN in March 2001 to the Heads of States in the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda and to world-wide media and interest groups, calling upon buyers of coltan to ensure that they are purchasing the product from lawful sources outside of World Heritage sites. The IUCN appeal called on the Governments of the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda to help enforce the immediate removal of miners from within the boundaries of both affected sites, and invited the three Governments concerned and the buyers of coltan to take necessary steps to find alternative livelihoods for all miners evicted from World Heritage sites of the DRC. 

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5845 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.18-27 Salonga National Park (DRC) V.18       This was the only site under direct control of ICCN-Kinshasa.  In Salonga, the Director General of ICCN has developed a number of small projects supporting the conservation of key wildlife species in co-operation with NGO partners like the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) and the Max Plank Institute (MPI) of Germany. IUCN has been informed by ICCN that uncontrolled poaching of elephants and the bonobos, lack of equipment for staff for anti-poaching work, insufficient numbers of guards and inadequate training available for guards are some of the major constraints to the effective protection of this site. The plight of the bonobos has attracted particular attention of specialised NGOs such as the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (Washington, D.C., USA). UNEP has launched a Great Apes Initiative to protect the gorillas, chimpanzees, the bonobos and other related species; the most important habitats of several of these ape species are concentrated in the World Heritage sites of the DRC and protected areas of neighbouring countries like Rwanda and Uganda.

V.19       The UNESCO/DRC/UNF-UNFIP Project - Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict – conservation of the World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - was designed and launched in 2000 as a step to build the morale of the staff who demonstrated dedication to conservation of the sites in the DRC by continuing to remain and work in a region where risks to their lives and property are significant. Paying monthly support payments, performance related bonuses and other remuneration to site staff as a way of stabilising the conservation situation in each site was considered a priority. Despite legal and administrative delays during late 2000/early 2001, contracts have now been finalised with NGO partners to deliver support payments to site staff of all five sites.

V.20       Monthly support payments, performance related bonuses and other remuneration to more than 500 staff in Virunga, about 230 in Garamba and about 60 in Okapi had begun to reach the sites and will cover a period backdated to October 2000. In the case of Salonga, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) has begun transferring payments to the site with the help of several partners in Kinshasa including the UN Organisation Mission in DRC (MONUC). In Kahuzi Biega too, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in co-operation with the GTZ (Germany) project for the site is assisting the Centre in transferring funds for the benefit of this site staff. In Salonga and Kahuzi Biega payment to staff will be backdated as of February-March 2001. The delays incurred in establishing contracts with NGOs for transferring year 1 payments to site staff were regretted by all concerned but will help to prevent such delays in establishing similar contracts at the beginning of the subsequent years of the 4-year project. Hence the path for effective delivery of assistance to site staff on a continuous basis for the period 2001-2004 has now been cleared.

V.21       Other arrangements for the execution of site-specific and joint activities, e.g. biodiversity monitoring, training for site staff in law enforcement monitoring, purchase and delivery of equipment essential for staff performance of duties etc., are being negotiated with selected NGO partners and will be finalised soon. Possible dates for a high level diplomatic mission to the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda, and the possibilities for the Director-General of UNESCO leading such a mission, are also under study.

V.22       The Bureau was pleased to note that the Belgium Government has approved a 4-year project (for 300,000 Euros) to support community-based activities for the conservation of the DRC sites. This project brings in essential benefits to the sites through the work of local communities who must support the work of site staff for effective conservation. UNESCO and the DRC Government are about to finalise the Operational Plan for the execution of the UNESCO/Belgium/DRC Project. Project execution will commence soon and run parallel to the UNESCO/DRC/UNF-UNFIP Project.

V.23       A UN Panel Report on the "Illegal exploitation of mineral and forest resources in the DRC", released in April 2001 holds many of the African countries implicated in the war in the DRC responsible for unsustainable and often illegal resource extraction practices in DRC. Most of those countries are States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. In respect of the coltan mining threat reported earlier, IUCN pointed out that the UN Panel has recommended that the "Security Council should immediately declare a temporary embargo on the import or export of coltan (and other resources)....." and that "UNESCO in collaboration with UNEP, the Secretariat of CITES and non-governmental organisations working in the DRC, should assess the extent of damage to wildlife in Garamba National Park, Kahuzi Biega National Park, the Okapi Reserve and Virunga National Park, and propose sanctions to be taken against those countries whose Governments were involved in the mass killings of endangered species". The report's findings imply that many African States Parties involved in the war in the DRC may have failed to comply with Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Convention that calls upon States Parties to refrain from actions that may directly or indirectly damage the Heritage situated in the territory of another State Party to the Convention.

V.24       Pointing out the historical responsibilities of Belgium to the DRC, the Delegate of Belgium expressed his country’s satisfaction at being able to support conservation of World Heritage sites in the DRC.   He, however, emphasised that poverty is the prime cause driving unsustainable exploitation of resources in the DRC, including the illegal exploitation of coltan. He called for the Convention’s emphasis on international co-operation, as highlighted in Article 11 of the Convention, as the best approach to appeal to other States Parties, including the closest neighbours of the DRC, to support the conservation of World Heritage sites in the DRC.

V.25       The Delegate of Thailand expressed concern with the situation in Kahuzi Biega, as 90% of the area was inaccessible and there were 10,000 mines.  In such a situation he wondered whether de-listing of the property was not advisable.  In response to that, the Centre and IUCN, noted that considerations for de-listing of any one of the DRC sites, including the worst-affected Kahuzi Biega National Park, are premature at present. It was not possible to quantify the problem in the absence of research.  The area had lowland gorillas, a "flagship" species.  In addition, there were positive developments indicating that peace would return to the DRC.  The Delegate of Morocco observed that ecosystem rehabilitation will have to figure prominently in the future management of the sites in the DRC in order to revive wildlife populations that are being decimated during the current period of conflict and restore other World Heritage values which are under severe pressure.

V.26       The Bureau invited the Director-General of UNESCO to write, quoting appropriate texts from the UN report on the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the DRC, to Heads of concerned African States Parties to the Convention, recalling their obligations to comply with Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Convention and inviting them to ensure that their representatives and agents in the DRC refrain from taking actions that may directly or indirectly threaten the integrity of the World Heritage sites in the DRC. The Bureau urged the Centre and IUCN to liaise with T.I.C. to explore ways and means to initiate a dialogue between the member companies of T.I.C. and their respective Governments, States Parties to the Convention. Such a dialogue should make the T.I.C. membership fully aware of their countries' obligations under the World Heritage Convention to protect the heritage of all States Parties to the Convention, including that of the DRC. The Bureau noted with satisfaction that monthly support and other payments are now reaching the site staff and thanked the UNF for providing this timely assistance that will continue until 2004. The Bureau stressed, however, the need for the Centre and its project partners to ensure effective and timely execution of the 4-year UNESCO/DRC/UNF-UNFIP Project and requested the Centre to submit a report on the progress achieved by the project to the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in December 2001.

V.27       The Bureau also thanked the Government of Belgium for approving, within the framework of its co-operation agreement with Belgium, a project to support local community activities for conserving the World Heritage sites of the DRC. The Bureau recalled its discussions during the special opening session on the morning of 25 June 2001 on heritage conservation in regions of civil unrest and armed conflict, and noted that the implementation of UNESCO/DRC/UNF-UNFIP and the UNESCO/DRC/Belgium Projects in the DRC could provide valuable lessons on the subject. Any future discussions on this theme should henceforth include both World Cultural as well as Natural Heritage.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5846 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.29-33 Simen National Park (Ethiopia) V.29       The Bureau learned that a Centre/IUCN mission was fielded to the site from 8 to 13 April 2001 and noted the detailed report on the conclusions and recommendations of the mission submitted as WHC-2001/CONF.205/INF.7.

V.30       The Bureau was informed that a high-level mission to the site had been fielded in March 2000 by the Amhara Regional Government which is now directly responsible for the Park. As a result of that mission, a high-level Simen Mountains Development and Conservation Co-ordination Committee, chaired by the Vice-President of the Regional Government, has been set up to consider the recommendations of the mission that relate to: (a) Park boundary adjustment; (b) re-alignment of the road; (c) development in the buffer zone and beyond; (d) relocation of some villages from the centre of the Park; and (e) integration of tourism into management.

V.31       There are an estimated 1,450 households inside the Park and the human population growth in the Park is around 1.5 - 2.0%. The total cultivated area in the Park, about 24%, has not increased significantly since the time of its establishment in 1969, but grazing pressure from livestock on forests and grasslands has intensified and is particularly heavy near human settlements. The endangered Walia Ibex tends to have some natural protection in the steep escarpments in the eastern boundary of the Park.  Large areas of the unique afro-alpine habitat in the region, which are the main stronghold for the Ethiopian wolf, remain outside the boundaries of the Park and some efforts are underway to protect them by modifying the boundaries of the Park and to reduce poaching on the ibex. However, a systematic monitoring regime to track wildlife population trends is not yet in place.

V.32       A road that has been built through the Park to Chennek Camp and extending southwards has had erosion impacts and has provided greater access to the Park's resources, including for tourism development. Enforcement of regulations is weak; livestock grazing, which poses significant threats to natural habitats in the Park, needs to be controlled in order to preserve the World Heritage values of the site.

V.33       The Bureau thanked the Government of Ethiopia, and in particular the Government of the Amhara National Regional State, for inviting the mission and assisting the work of the mission team. The Bureau noted with satisfaction that the declaration of Simen as a World Heritage site in Danger has probably encouraged donors such as GEF (Global Environmental Facility), initiating negotiations with the Bureau of Agriculture of the Amhara Regional State for designing and developing conservation projects. The Bureau recommended that the Committee adopt the benchmarks established by the mission team for the Committee’s consideration of the eventual removal of Simen from the List of World Heritage in Danger, as follows: i.e. (i) re-alignment of the boundary and acceptance of the new boundaries and the associated conservation laws by local communities; (ii) exclusion of villages along the boundary of the Park from within the World Heritage site, as proposed by the management plan; (iii) extension of the Park to include the Mesarerya and Lemalino Wildlife Reserves, and initiation of steps to include the Ras Dejen Wildlife Reserve; (iv) resettlement of all human populations from the core zone of the Park and recent villages like Muchilla and Kewa, and significant and sustainable reduction of the population and environmental impacts of the extended Gich village in co-ordination with the indigenous communities; and  (v) effective conservation and demonstration of increases in the numbers of populations of Walia Ibex and Simien Fox within the extended boundaries of the Park/World Heritage area.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5848 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.34-35 Mount Nimba Nature Reserve (Guinea/Côte d’Ivoire) V.34       The Bureau learned that the Centre has been co-operating with the Fauna and Flora International (FFI), a conservation NGO working with the Governments of the two States Parties, and with Liberia which embraces parts of the Mt Nimba ecosystem. Two meetings to promote dialogue among the three countries, FFI, the Centre and other stakeholders were planned for 2001. The meetings were intended to contribute to the long-term conservation of Mt Nimba by: establishing and encouraging contacts between technical staff, site managers, decision-makers and local community representatives to share information and experience; and increasing harmonised management planning and practices among the three countries sharing the Mt Nimba ecosystem. The two meetings planned for 2001 were seen as forums to bring together various stakeholders, including the private sector, and for promoting international co-operation for the conservation of Mt Nimba. These meetings were also to be linked to the GEF Project that is being elaborated for the conservation of the site with the participation of FFI. Unfortunately, the first meeting, scheduled for the first half of 2001 had to be indefinitely postponed because of instability in the border regions between the three countries. Considerable numbers of refugees fleeing the war in Liberia have entered the ecosystem in Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea and have had direct negative impacts on the biodiversity of Mt Nimba.

V.35       The Bureau expressed serious concerns over the resurgence of a refugee influx into the Mt Nimba Nature Reserve and requested the Centre and IUCN to contact the States Parties, FFI and other partners to ascertain the impacts of refugee activities on the values of the site and ways and means by which those impacts could be mitigated. The Bureau asked the Centre and IUCN to submit a report, based on their findings, to the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in December 2001. In addition, the Bureau requested the Centre to report to the forthcoming session of the Committee on the plans for the organisation of the two stakeholders' meetings in 2001, and the progress achieved in the design and development of the GEF project.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5849 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.36-37 Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) V.36       The Bureau was informed that the State Party has not yet responded to the conclusions and recommendations of the UNESCO/IUCN mission undertaken to the site in October 2000. The Bureau noted that Rio Platano has been included as a pilot site in two projects approved by the UN Foundation for execution by the Centre in July 2000. They are: UNESCO/UNEP/RARE Center for Tropical Conservation project on "Linking Conservation of Biological Diversity with Sustainable Tourism Development at World Heritage sites"; and the UNESCO/IUCN project on: "Enhancing our heritage: monitoring and managing for success in World Natural Heritage sites". Both projects are of 4-year duration and are expected to generate new information that will aid the systematic monitoring of the state of conservation of the site, while also promoting the implementation of recommendations from the 2000 UNESCO/IUCN mission. The project, aiming to link biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism development, could generate income and employment opportunities to the local communities resident near the site.

V.37       The Bureau, once again, invited the State Party to submit its responses on the conclusions and recommendations of the IUCN/Centre mission to the site in October 2000. The Bureau urged the Centre, IUCN and other partners to ensure effective execution of the two UNF-financed projects where Rio Platano is included as a pilot site and submit a brief update on the progress achieved in initiating project activities to the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in December 2001.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5850 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.38-41 Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) V.38       The Bureau was informed that the IUCN/Centre mission to the site, foreseen for May 2001, is now postponed until October/November 2001 due to climatic and security related reasons. IUCN has received reports that indicate continuing insurgency in the area. Alleged in-fighting within the United Liberation Front of Assam is speculated to have caused a movement of insurgents into the Sanctuary in December 2000 from the Bhutan side of the transborder Manas ecosystem. The Chief Minister of Assam has informed the State Assembly that offensive operations were underway against 35 insurgents suspected to have entered the Barpeta District.

V.39       The Bureau noted the view of IUCN that poaching continues to be a significant threat to key wildlife species in the Sanctuary, e.g. populations of rhino, elephants and swamp deer. The construction of a road through the Bhutan side of the Manas ecosystem has significantly increased traffic and access to the core areas of Manas World Heritage site of India. However, IUCN also noted that the efforts of the Forest Department and village communities have led to the establishment of 25 "Manas Bandhu" ("Friends of Manas") groups. These groups of young volunteers from the villages around the Sanctuary have been conducting awareness campaigns and contributing to conservation work. A Forest Department Workshop on Wildlife Conservation conducted in September 2000 at Bansbari Range to explore possibilities of co-operation between these volunteer groups and NGOs, generated self-employment opportunities for some local villagers and increased people's support for the conservation of Manas.

V.40       The Bureau learnt that Manas is also a pilot site included in the UNESCO/IUCN/UNF-UNFIP project entitled: "Enhancing our heritage: monitoring and managing for success in World Natural Heritage sites". As part of the project a site-specific monitoring regime, including indicators and benchmarks tracking the state of conservation of the site and which could signal the time of removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger, will be elaborated and tested over a 4-year time frame.

V.41       The Bureau urged the State Party, Centre and IUCN to organize the field visit as early as possible and submit a detailed report to the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in December 2001. The Bureau welcomed the co-operative approach of the Forest Department to solicit the support of local communities for conservation and encouraged the work of the "Manas Bandhu" groups. The Bureau encouraged the site authorities to co-operate with their counterparts in the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan to curtail illegal activities threatening wildlife populations within the World Heritage site. The Bureau however, reiterated the urgent need for Bhutan's ratification of the Convention and requested the Director-General of UNESCO to invite His Majesty, the King of Bhutan to ratify the World Heritage Convention as early as possible.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5851 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.42-44 Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) V.42       The Bureau was informed that since the end of the rebellion in the area, a number of visits to the Reserves have been fielded by the national agency responsible for the management of the site. Local people have regained their confidence and are actively participating in development activities. The Programme of Support for the Management of the Natural Reserves held an extraordinary session of its Pilot Committee on 7 February 2001 and a new phase of project activities is due to be in place before the end of 2001 or early 2002. Danish and Swiss bilateral aid agencies are committed to financing the new phase. The outcome of the donor mission concluded during 9-16 February 2001 is awaited. The GEF Project for the site is also still under negotiation. The Fonds Francais pour l'Environment Mondial (FFEM) is providing financial assistance to the conservation of the Sahelo-saharan antelopes in the framework of the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) and that assistance will benefit conservation activities in some parts of the Reserves. The population status of addax, gazelles and wild sheep is improving and Reserve staff undertakes regular anti-poaching patrols.

V.43       Unfortunately, the ostrich population appears to have been completely wiped out during the rebellion. US$ 25,000 from the World Heritage Fund to implement the rehabilitation plan will enable the State Party to experiment with an ostrich re-introduction programme. Implementation of other aspects of the rehabilitation programme approved by the Committee in 1999 is also progressing. A new request for US$ 20,000 to organise a workshop for members of the local Committee for the development and the management of the site has also been approved by the Chairperson of the Committee.

V.44       The Bureau recalled the fact that the State Party had informed the last session of the Committee of its wish to complete the implementation of all activities of the rehabilitation programme before inviting the Committee to consider removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the improving conservation status of the Reserves and requested the Centre and IUCN to find ways and means to expedite the design and development of the GEF project for the conservation of the Reserves. The Bureau requested the Centre to transmit the Bureau's appreciation of the efforts of the Danish and Swiss Governments and the FFEM for the conservation of the site and urged those donor States Parties to the Convention to make long-term commitments for the protection of the Reserves. The Bureau recommended that the IUCN/Centre mission to evaluate the outcome of the rehabilitation programme be delayed until 2002 to allow time for the completion of all planned activities to be undertaken as part of the rehabilitation programme.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5852 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.45-50 Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal) V.45       The Bureau recalled that at its last session (Cairns, 2000), the Committee approved a sum of US$ 130,475 for a project on the "Fight against Salvinia molesta in the Delta of the Senegal River at Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary". Since then, the Centre and IUCN, together with the Ramsar Secretariat and the State Party, have been developing a plan to eradicate and control invasive species in the Wetlands of the Senegal River Delta and the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary.

V.46       A two-person expert mission to the site was fielded from 31 March to 10 April 2001 to start work on the development of the plan, to be incorporated as part of the management plan of the Sanctuary. The mission reviewed the following issues: (a) role and functions of relevant Government agencies and the interests of major donors and partners; (b) co-ordination mechanisms to promote synergies between the major stakeholders and for integrating the invasive species plan as part of the long-term management of the site and the Delta; (c) evaluation of the need for further studies to better understand the ecology of the Delta; and (d) development of the institutional, organisational and budgetary aspects of the plan and the identification of indicators and actions for implementing monitoring activities. The Bureau noted the conclusions and recommendations of the mission outlined in the Document WHC-2001/CONF.205/WEB.2.

V.47       The State Party has mobilised Government authorities, armed forces and the local population during the last six months to manually clear Salvinia molesta and protect key sites, notably those located at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Mechanical and manual removal of the invasive species are essential steps during a 2-3 year period when biological control measures will play a key role in invasive species control. The insect Cyrtobagus salvinae has been identified as the biological predator to control Salvinia molesta and about 1,200 insects have been imported and are presently being bred at the Djoudj Biological Station to increase their numbers. The Senegal Delta is threatened by other invasive plants too, e.g. Typha australis, and a comprehensive approach to mitigate the spread of invasive species throughout the Delta is needed. Biological control measures are being implemented on the Mauritanian side of the Delta as well, and co-ordination mechanisms for the work of the two Governments are in place.

V.48       The Bureau was informed that a 2-year European Union project on "Policy research to identify conditions for optimal functioning of the Senegal River Ecosystem in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal" has begun. The Bureau agreed with IUCN’s view that the work of the different projects attempting to control the spread of invasive species in the Senegal River Delta needs to be co-ordinated and that the Centre should attempt to do all possible in this regard. 

V.49       The Directorate of the National Parks of Senegal has been designated by the Ministry of Environment as the lead agency for implementing the biological control measures. The Directorate is seeking support, both at the national and local levels, to: (a) improve staff presence in the Delta; (b) implement and monitor progress of the biological control measures; (c) co-ordinate and co-operate with national, regional and local institutions; and (d) access up-to-date information and knowledge in invasive species mitigation, particularly in respect to Salvinia molesta, and disseminate such information and knowledge to stakeholders and partners by means of technical meetings and training acitivities.

V.50       The Bureau noted that the report of the experts' mission to the site describes several measures, including manual removal of Salvinia, and biological control programmes, awareness-raising and co-ordination activities etc., that are being implemented by the Department of National Parks and the Ministry of Environment of Senegal to control and eradicate the spread of Salvinia. The Bureau agreed with the position of the authorities and experts against using chemical control methods; and recognised that programmes integrating manual removal with biological control programmes based on Cyrtobagus salvinae are likely to be the best option for control and eradication of Salvinia. The Bureau noted that the results of the biological control programme will only be known over time when sufficient numbers of Cyrtobagus salvinae are bred and released into Salvinia infested areas. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party and other international partners such as FAO and EU working with the State Party to establish a regime, including the identification of financial mechanisms, for monitoring the outcome of programmes to control and eradicate Salvinia. The monitoring regime needs to include measurable benchmarks and indicators that could signal to the Committee when it could consider that the control of Salvinia infestation in Djoudj and nearby areas is both effective and sustainable and hence would allow removing the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.  The Bureau also noted with satisfaction the positive response from donors.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5853 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.51-56 Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) V.51       The Bureau was informed that the total rainfall during the years 1999 and 2000 has been below average and insufficient to trigger the closing of the sluice gates at Oued Tinja, resulting in sea water flowing into the Lake. No release of water from other sources has been made in an effective manner during the years 2000 and 2001. Salinity of the Lake water has increased during this period, the composition of water birds has become dominated by salt tolerant species such as shelducks and shovelers.

V.52       At its twenty-third session, the Bureau noted that the rehabilitation of Ichkeul had to be based on a reasonable time frame since:  "Inter-linked indicators such as salinity, availability of preferred species of food plants for birds and the number of wintering birds arriving at Ichkeul could fluctuate significantly, based on annual variations in rainfall and evapo-transpiration which affect water levels in the Lake" (quoted from the Rapporteur’s Report of the twenty-third session of the Bureau, 5-10 July 1999). At that time, the Bureau had noted that plans for the provision of fresh water to the Lake would become operational by 2001. The Bureau noted that the Sidi Barrak Dam has been built and is now linked to the Tunisian water grid.

V.53       A high-level meeting was held in 2000 with the participation of the Minister of Environment and the Secretary of State for Agriculture in charge of water issues to discuss the situation at Ichkeul. The meeting had formally recognised the ecological need for providing the Lake with adequate freshwater. A GEF project has approved the first stage for preparing the management plans for three of Tunisia’s national parks, one of which is Ichkeul. In the work for elaborating a management plan for Ichkeul, the GEF consultants have informed the State Party that unless adequate volumes of fresh water are provided for the Lake, GEF does not consider it feasible to conserve the wetland biodiversity values of the Park. The consultants have therefore asked the Tunisian authorities, inter alia, to clarify urgently whether additional water can be provided.

V.54       The Delegate of Tunisia informed the Bureau that an Interdepartmental Executive Committee, with the participation of concerned ministries such as planning, agriculture, tourism etc., will be established to co-ordinate actions needed for the conservation of Ichkeul. In addition, a high-level multi-disciplinary scientific council will provide support to the Executive Committee on follow up on the implementation of all recommendations concerning the provision of adequate freshwater to the Ichkeul Lake. He confirmed that the construction of the Sidi Barak Dam has been completed and will serve the role of an ecological stabiliser of the Ichkeul Lake National Park. The Delegate observed that the Lake needs about 280 million cubic metres of water in total annually and any shortfalls in the future caused by low rainfall/high evapo-transpiration rates will be compensated by the waters from the Sidi Barak Dam. He wished that the Bureau and the Committee provide adequate time for determining the efforts of the State Party to rehabilitate Ichkeul and support the extension and strengthening of the scientific monitoring programme that has been established.

V.55       The Delegate of Canada stressed the need for the Centre and IUCN to work with the State Party to establish benchmarks and indicators for the Committee’s future monitoring of the state of conservation of Ichkeul.

V.56       The Bureau expressed its concerns over the deterioration in the ecology of the Lake during 1999-2000 due to lower than average rainfall. The Bureau invited the State Party to expand and strengthen the scientific monitoring programme for the site and ensure that sufficient amounts of freshwater are released, as and when needed, from the Sidi Barak Dam and other sources, in order to restore, preserve and maintain the integrity of the Ichkeul National Park. The Bureau recommended that the State Party consults with the Centre and IUCN, concerned national authorities, as well as Ramsar, GEF and suitable international and regional partners to establish a set of benchmarks and a suitable timeframe to guide the Committee’s future monitoring of the state of conservation of Ichkeul. The Bureau invited the Centre, IUCN and the State Party to work together to prepare a progress report on benchmarks and related timetable for monitoring of Ichkeul to the consideration at the forthcoming session of the Committee in Finland in December 2001.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5854 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.57-59 Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda) V.57       The Bureau was pleased to learn that security conditions in the Park have improved and that this Park will be re-opened to visitors in July 2001. Security has been improving since the beginning of 2000 through the efforts of the Uganda Police Department Force (UPDF). The Central Tourist Circuit has been opened and maintained as of March 2000. In preparing the Park for renewed visitation, the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UAW) intends to (a) equip the site with a VHF Radio System or other communication network; (b) repair the Kurt Shafer Bridge; (c) construct a Ranger Base at Nyabitaba; and (d) secure field equipment and gear, warm clothing and rescue equipment. The Bureau noted that the State Party has submitted an emergency assistance request for financing the purchase of this equipment and the proposed construction and repair work and that the request will be reviewed by the Bureau under agenda item 7.

V.58       Based on a report submitted on 15 April 2001, by the Executive Director of UAW, the Bureau noted that encroachment in the Mbuta, Kibwa and Musandama areas has been curtailed but requires constant surveillance. Illegal pit-sawing in the Bundibugyo District is on the increase; poaching by some Local Defence Units and individuals belonging to the Special Police, of monkeys and other small mammals is rampant. Chimpanzee poaching and trafficking is very common. The Park plans to conduct an assessment on the effect of war on wildlife and on the ecosystem. The Bureau expressed its concerns about the situation with regard to poaching on small mammals and chimpanzees and encroachment and requested IUCN and the Centre to continue to explore ways and means to assist the State Party in its assessment of the effects of war on wildlife and the ecosystem and efforts to rehabilitate the Park.

V.59       The Bureau noted that the Park area has been increased by a donation of land by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, and an additional 60 acres purchased by Ecotrust Uganda. The former land parcel needs to be surveyed and the payment for the latter finalized. The Park has no infrastructure such as Headquarters and outposts for Park monitoring. The Park authorities envisage undertaking new policies for Community Protected Area Institutions and for revenue sharing, and to focus on collaborative institutions to fill the vacuum created by the departure, more than three years ago, of foreign NGOs and inaction of the local ones.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5855 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.60-61 Everglades National Park (USA) V.60       The Bureau was informed that the State Party has provided a detailed report on the state of conservation of this site, updating actions taken during the first half of 2001. The salient features of the report are: 

  • Structural modifications and acquisition of key lands judged necessary for restoration on the periphery of the Park are progressing in a satisfactory manner and are facilitating the flow of an increasing volume of water through the slough into north-east Florida Bay. Since 1994, south Florida has in general experienced wetter weather conditions resulting in reduced salinity and algal blooms and this trend suggests that the restoration of water flow through the Park could result in the effective restoration of the ecological balance of the whole of the Florida Bay. However, past dry season cycles and delayed onset of rains have produced some of the driest conditions in south Florida and have required water use restrictions. The duration of these dry conditions and their impacts on Florida Bay are not yet known. Learning and assessment of impacts of increased water flow on the ecology of the Park is also likely to be a long-term process;
  • US Army of Corps of Engineers have completed environmental review processes and signed the Record of Decision to address impacts of increased flooding in an 8.5 square mile area of residential and agricultural property east of the Park’s eastern boundary. The Decision is a compromise among all stakeholders, including various Federal agencies and balances the Congressionally mandated environmental restoration goals of the Modified Water Deliveries Project, while minimizing the flooding impacts on the residents and agricultural interests in the 8.5 square-mile area. The Congress has provided US$ 62 million for meeting the current year costs of the Record of Decision;
  • On 3 November 2000, the Congress passed by an overwhelming margin, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) as part of the Water Resources Development Act. It was signed into law on 11 December 2000, as Public Law 106-541. The conceptual plan is estimated to cost US$ 7.8 billion and will require 36 years to complete. An initial US$ 1.4 billion has been authorised in the law to implement four pilot technology projects concerned with water storage, including aquifer storage and recovery, in-ground reservoirs, canal seepage management and wastewater reuse and eleven other initial projects. Reports to the Congress are due every 5 years; an independent scientific peer review process is required under the law and water quality remains a concern throughout all stages of the plan;
  • On 4 June 2001, President Bush visited the Park and confirmed continued support for CERP, and announced that his Administration will request US$ 219 million, i.e. US$ 58 million more than the previous fiscal year, for the year beginning from 1 October 2001 to 30 September 2002. This funding increase, if approved, will bring almost 50 additional science and technology staff to actively participate in design and implementation of the various CERP projects and ensure that the interests of the South Florida National Park Services are given full consideration;
  • As of May 2001, 93% of the authorized land acquisition foreseen for the expansion of the Park has either been completed or is underway;
  • Special efforts for the conservation of the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow are continuing and an analysis of this years field surveys, that would provide an indication of the success of conservation actions implemented in the year 2000, will be ready for submission to the Committee session;

V.61       The Bureau thanked the Government of the United States of America for the comprehensive report submitted and the human and technical resources reserved for the implementation of the CERP. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to undertake a detailed review of the report and discuss with the State Party future steps for the consideration of the Committee with regard to the monitoring of the state of conservation of the Everglades and the possible timing of the removal of the Everglades from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau recommended that the Centre, IUCN and the State Party submit a progress report on the outcome of the full review of the report and the associated discussions to the December 2001 session of the Committee in Finland.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5856 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.62-63 Yellowstone National Park (USA) V.62       The Bureau learnt that the State Party has provided a detailed report on the state of conservation of Yellowstone; the salient features of the report are:

  • Although the New World Mine had been acquired from its owner, i.e. Crown Butte Mines, for US$ 65 million and hence will not be developed, clean-up of old mining waste rock and tailings left over from 100 years of mining activity is critical to the ecological health of the Park; the US Forest Service has began remedial measures to mitigate the effects of historic mining in 2001;
  • Concerned Federal and State of Montana agencies have reached agreement in December 2000 on the long-term management of bison and have signed their respective Records of Decision. The Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture signed the Federal Record of Decision on 20 December 2000. The long-term plan for the management of bison uses adaptive management to reduce risk of transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle and conserve wild, free ranging bison. All Federal and State of Montana agencies will work together to prevent any future need for the widespread slaughter of bison witnessed in 1996-1997 and meet the twin objectives of maintaining the Yellowstone’s wild and free-ranging bison herd and Montana’s brucellosis class-free status;
  • Efforts to conserve the Yellowstone native cutthroat trout, threatened by invasive non-native lake trout, continue to progress; intensive gill netting and liberal angling regulations for controlling lake trout have been effective only for large adults and in spawning grounds. In the absence of effective control methods for reducing numbers of juvenile lake trout and halving lake trout populations each year, conservation of cutthroat trout is unlikely to be assured. Cutthroat trout populations are still declining; they are also threatened by possible spread of the whirling disease detected among fish caught from the Yellowstone Lake since 1998. Continued cutthroat trout declines could result in significant ecosystem wide effects;
  • All of the Park’s regulated fuel tanks have been replaced with double-walled tanks; many non-regulated ones have also been subjected to the same treatment or have been switched to propane that is less susceptible to contaminating water. Contaminated soils from the removed or upgraded tanks have been excavated and are stored for final treatment and disposal. The Park has had a number of sewage problems arising from the many outdated facilities and associated infrastructure over the past decades, but 2000 began to show some slow, but important improvements which continue in current and projected budgets;
  • Funding commitment has been established to allow road improvement projects to begin and continue through to 2004; an on-going programme is proposed through  2017 for upgrading remaining roads in the Park;
  • A decision to phase out snowmobile use in Yellowstone over the next three years was made in November 2000 with regulations promulgated in January 2001. The plan has been developed following years of research showing that the vehicles cause excessive pollution, placing Park visitors, employees, and wildlife at risk, as well as overwhelming the Park’s attractions with noise. Eventually multi-passenger snow-coaches will be the only motorised winter access to the Park over snow. The gradual phase out of snowmobiles is intended to allow local businesses that depend heavily on snowmobile tourism to increase the number of snow-coaches and adjust to the Park Service’s decision. The Park Service has begun to address summer visitation and is co-operating with a number of different institutions to find integrated solutions to transportation and energy for gateway communities and national parks in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

V.63       The Bureau thanked the Government of the United States of America for the comprehensive report submitted and commended the Park’s decision to replace snowmobiles with multi-passenger snow-coaches to serve winter visitors. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to undertake a detailed review of the report and discuss with the State Party future steps in the considerations of the Committee with regard to the monitoring of the state of conservation of Yellowstone and the possible timing of the removal of Yellowstone from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau recommended that the Centre, IUCN and the State Party submit a progress report on the outcome of the full review of the report and the associated discussions to the December 2001 session of the Committee in Finland.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5857 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.64-69 Butrint (Albania) V.64       The Secretariat informed the Bureau of the joint mission of UNESCO-ICOMOS-Butrint Foundation to Albania that was undertaken from 19 to 25 April 2001 at the request of the World Heritage Committee to assess the implementation of the programme of corrective measures that was adopted at the time of the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1997.

V.65       The mission concluded that very important measures had been taken by the Government of Albania in establishing the appropriate legal and institutional framework for the site. It noted, however, that there is still illegal construction taking place within the boundaries of the Park, that the site museum had not been re-installed as of yet and that the authority of the Park administration still needs to be strengthened. The mission concluded that the progress made to date needed to be consolidated and institutionalised by implementing the following actions:

  • Enlargement of the Butrint National Park Board to include, at the national level, all relevant authorities (e.g Ministry of Agriculture, Public Works, ….) and to permit an effective participation of local authorities, in order to ensure a strong and effective co-ordination for the management of the World Heritage site.
  • Clear identification of responsibilities between local authorities and the Park Directorate within the World Heritage site and its surroundings.
  • Identification of the amount of outstanding conservation work and prioritization and planning its execution.
  • Adoption of the Draft Management Plan.

V.66       The Bureau took note of the report of the joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-Butrint Foundation mission to Butrint. It commended the Government of Albania for the actions it had taken in response to the mission of October 1997, particularly the establishment of the Butrint National Park, the extension of the World Heritage site and the creation of the Butrint National Park Office. It endorsed the mission's conclusion that it is necessary to further strengthen and institutionalise the Park and its management structure and that particular attention should be given to regional co-ordination in order to prevent developments within and outside the Park that might affect the integrity of the site.

V.67       With regard to the World Heritage Fund Emergency Assistance, approved by the Committee in December 1997, the Bureau regretted that serious delays had occurred in its implementation. It requested the Government to take the necessary administrative measures and requested the Secretariat to work closely with the Government for the smooth completion of the assistance by the time of the twenty-sixth session of the Committee.

V.68       The Bureau requested the Secretariat to transmit the mission report to the Government of Albania for consideration and comments and requested the Government to submit a report by 15 September 2001 on its proposals for the implementation of its recommendations.

V.69       The Bureau recommended the World Heritage Committee to retain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger and to field another assessment mission to the site in October 2003 in order to allow the World Heritage Committee to review the progress made and in order to assess if the site can be deleted from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-eighth session (June 2004).

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5858 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.70-74 Group of Monuments of Hampi (India) V.70       The Bureau recalled that the inscription of this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1999 was prompted by the construction of two intrusive suspension bridges that dominate the extraordinary natural environment of the site. Noting that a large area of over 30 km2, including numerous archaeological ruins, fortifications, palatial complexes, and active religious centres of pilgrimage, are designated as World Heritage, the Bureau recalled that the Committee had requested the Indian authorities to elaborate, adopt and implement a comprehensive management plan in 1986. This request was again made at the time of the site’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

V.71       The Bureau was informed that consultations had taken place between national, state and local authorities, representatives and NGOs of the local communities of Anegundi, Hampi and Virapapura Gada Island since January 2001. These consultations had resulted in plans for the establishment of a special administrative body whose primary objective would be to co-ordinate the various development and cultural and natural heritage conservation activities within the protected areas of Hampi. The establishment of this “Hampi Development Authority” would assist in facilitating site management by bringing together the numerous local bodies with overlapping jurisdiction and varying functions. According to information received by the Centre, the Hampi Development Authority, to be chaired by the District Commissioner of Bellary, would (a) elaborate a comprehensive management plan together with UNESCO and other agencies concerned; (b) adopt and implement such a plan; and (c) ensure co-ordinated heritage conservation and sustainable development activities.

V.72       The Bureau was informed that the Centre, at the invitation of the concerned authorities, was organizing a mission led by an international rural development planner with experience in cultural heritage areas. The mission would take place in August 2001.  The expert is expected to work closely with the authorities to prepare and complete the needs and impact analysis of the two bridges; feasibility studies for possible alternative locations of the bridges; and possible solutions for removing the threats facing the site. The result of these activities will serve in the elaboration of the comprehensive management plan. Finally, the Bureau was informed that a mission by Centre staff is planned in July 2001 to discuss with the concerned authorities, a draft action plan to implement the 4-point recommendations for corrective measures drafted by the Centre.

V.73       The Bureau expressed its appreciation for the positive actions taken by the State Party to ensure the conservation of the World Heritage values of the site, in particular, its plans to establish the “Hampi Development Authority” involving the various authorities and stakeholders representing the local communities. This action directly responds to the Committee’s request for the establishment of a special administrative body, empowered to ensure integrated development and conservation of the whole World Heritage area. The Bureau requested that the State Party and the Centre continue to co-operate closely to complete the needs assessment and impact assessment of the two bridges, and to ensure the elaboration, adoption and implementation of the integrated conservation and management plan.

V.74       Finally, recalling the Committee’s request at its twenty-fourth session, the Bureau requested the State Party, with the assistance of the Centre, to report on the progress made in:

(a)     relocating the two intrusive bridges outside the World Heritage site;

(b)     implementing the 4-point recommendations for corrective measures of the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission in February 2000;

(c)     preparing a comprehensive management plan for the site;

for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5859 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.75-78 Bahla Fort (Oman) V.75       The Secretariat informed the Bureau of the results of the mission to Oman, recently carried out by the Centre, with particular regard to the good prospect for the restoration of the Fort and the scope and objectives of the Management Plan to be prepared for the conservation and presentation of the site. The Bureau was informed of the decision made by the Omani authorities to entrust the preparation of the Management Plan to a British consulting firm, based in Oman. The Secretariat reported that the consulting firm is to ensure that the Management Plan be used to develop long-term management and conservation policies at the site, and not be limited to a series of projects.  The Delegate of Morocco pointed out that Oman insisted on local experts but in this case there were no locals able to handle the conservation problems at hand.  The Secretariat addressed the concerns of the Delegate of Morocco, confirming that the Centre will closely supervise the team preparing the Plan, directly and through its experts. A British consultant firm had actually been engaged and the Centre had discussed with this firm the issue and was satisfied they were capable.  The matter would continue to be monitored.  Further information was provided on the intention of the Omani authorities to organize a Regional Seminar on the Conservation of Earthen Structures, and the assistance provided by the Centre experts for the elaboration of its concept and modalities.

V.76       The Secretariat suggested that the removal of Bahla Fort from the List of World Heritage in Danger might be considered if and when the Management Plan is completed and adopted. The Delegate of Zimbabwe pointed out that the completion of the Management Plan should not be considered as an end in itself, and that its implementation should be monitored for some years before de listing could be considered. ICOMOS strongly supported the idea of holding a Regional Seminar on the Conservation of Earthen Structures, given the large number of sites built with this technology in the area.

V.77       The Bureau thanked and congratulated the Omani authorities on the efforts made which have resulted in a considerable improvement to the state of conservation of the Bahla Fort. The Bureau encouraged the Omani authorities to continue supporting the conservation of the Fort and the preparation of a Management Plan, with a view to the establishment of a permanent management structure on the site.

V.78       The Bureau further recommended that a request of assistance for training activities be submitted by the State Party under the World Heritage Fund, to ensure the highest scientific level for the Regional Seminar on Conservation of Earthen Structures, and enable the participation of experts from less advantaged countries within the Region.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5860 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST
25 BUR V.79-81 Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) V.79       The Bureau examined the report on the state of conservation as presented within WHC-2001/CONF.205/4 concerning the Shalamar Gardens. The Bureau recalled that the property faced threats caused by the lack of a comprehensive management strategy and plan, urban encroachment and ad-hoc public works. The need for enhancing the capacity of site management authorities in conservation techniques, project elaboration, and site presentation was also noted. The Centre informed the Bureau that the reformulated international assistance request had been received for utilizing the US$ 50,000 emergency assistance granted to the State Party, This new information would be transmitted to the Advisory Bodies and the Chairperson for their evaluation.

V.80       The Observer of Pakistan expressed her Government’s appreciation to the World Heritage Committee and the World Heritage Centre for the special support being provided following the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. In particular, the Bureau was informed that her Government welcomed the initiatives being taken by the Centre to mobilize international technical and financial assistance through the European Union Asia-Urbs Programme. Finally, the Observer of Pakistan reassured the Bureau of her Government’s firm commitment to conserve the world heritage values of the Shalamar Gardens and to continue co-operating with the Committee and the Centre for enhancing the management and development of this property.

V.81       The Bureau welcomed the positive actions taken and being planned by the State Party and the World Heritage Centre for the rehabilitation of the Shalamar Gardens and for elaborating a comprehensive management plan for the site. The Bureau requested the State Party and the Centre to continue its close co-operation to ensure that an integrated conservation, management and development plan be elaborated, adopted and implemented as soon as possible. The Bureau requested the State Party and the Centre to report on the progress made in removing the threats facing the site for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fifth session.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5861 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 25 Jun 2001 00:00:00 EST