World Heritage Centre http://whc.unesco.org?cid=305&l=en&action=list&searchDecisions=&year_start=2000&year_end=2000&mode=rss World Heritage Centre - Committee Decisions 90 en Copyright 2019 UNESCO, World Heritage Centre Tue, 23 Jul 2019 05:00:47 EST UNESCO, World Heritage Centre - Decisions http://whc.unesco.org/document/logowhc.jpg http://whc.unesco.org 24 BUR IV.A.2 Iguacu National Park (Brazil) The Bureau noted that the Ministry of Environment of Brazil had taken all possible measures to close the Colon Road. In particular: (a) a technical report prepared by the Brazilian Environment Agency (IBAMA) on the environmental impacts caused by the illegal opening of the Colon Road and its continuing use has been submitted to the Courts; and (b) the Federal Court of Parana has ratified the Brazilian Government’s decision to close the road and to impose prison sentences on those who continue to refuse to comply with the Government’s decision. The Supreme Court of Brazil has ordered the road closed and will impose a fine of US$ 500 on any vehicle using the road.

IUCN informed the Bureau that it was collaborating with the WWF Offices in Brazil and Argentina and with several other national organisations to develop a long-term strategy for biodiversity conservation in the broader Atlantic Forest Eco-region. IUCN noted that a workshop was held in Iguacu National Park of Brazil from 25 to 28 April 2000, which noted that the main issues concerning the state of conservation of this site continue to be related to the closure of the road, effective and co-ordinated planning for the conservation of the area involving all countries concerned and local communities in the management of the site.

The Observer of Brazil agreed with the observations of the Centre and IUCN and said that his Government is doing its best to close the illegally opened road despite resistance from local communities against its complete closure. He expressed the hope that his Government would be able to enforce the legal decision to close the road by the time of the twenty-fourth session of the Committee in Cairns, Australia, during November-December 2000.

The Bureau commended the State Party for its persistence to strictly enforce the legal decision to close the Colon Road and encouraged it to continue its efforts and to provide an up-to-date progress report to the Centre on the impacts of the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Federal Court of Parana on the effective closure of the Colon Road by 15 September 2000. The Bureau recommended that, if the State Party confirms the effective closure of the road before the next session of the Committee, then the Committee might consider initiating steps to remove the Iguacu National Park of Brazil from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5765 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.3 Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria) The Bureau noted that a workshop held from 25 to 27 September 1999 at this site had brought together twenty-eight participants from Government institutions, staff of the Reserve and NGOs. The workshop focused on linking the applications of the World Heritage Convention, Ramsar Convention, Biosphere Reserve concept and other Europe-wide initiatives, such as those of BirdLife Network, Natura 2000 and the European Habitat Directive, to the conservation of Srebarna Nature Reserve. The workshop also explored possibilities to involve the local population in the conservation of the site and to orient management to improve the living standards of the local people resident in and around the Reserve.

The Bureau was informed that investigations conducted by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences on the potential effects of a recent cyanide spill in the River Danube on the conservation of Srebarna had revealed that:

Cyanide levels in Danube water samples near Srebarna were not higher than 0.012 mg/l; such levels are considered to be dangerous only in cases of long-term, chronic pollution;

Srebarna Lake is linked to the River Danube via a channel with two locks which were closed at the time of the cyanide spill; at that time the water level in the Lake was also higher than that in the River, and hence the chances of cyanide seepage into the Lake were further curtailed; and

Pollution due to heavy metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons and other pollutants originating from lands immediately surrounding the Lake are potentially of greater concern than the impact of the cyanide spill to the long-term conservation of Srebarna.

The Bureau noted that monitoring of cyanide levels in the Lake had commenced in February 2000 and suggested that the State Party continue to monitor the impact of the cyanide spill as well as that of other major pollutants entering the Lake.  On the overall impact of the cyanide spill, also refer to paragraph IV.45.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau encouraged the State Party and the relevant national authorities to continue their efforts to link the different initiatives at the national, European and international level to mitigate threats to the site. The Bureau requested the State Party to submit a state of conservation report by 15 September 2000, addressing amongst others, effectiveness of the rehabilitation programme currently being implemented by the State Party. The Bureau asked the Centre and IUCN to review that report and propose to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee, a process and a time-table for an assessment of the results of the restoration of Srebarna and its possible removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2001.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5766 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.4 Manovo-Gounda-St.Floris National Park (Central African Republic (CAR)) The Bureau expressed its concern that the President of the State Party had not yet responded to letters from the Director-General and the Chairperson, transmitting the recommendations of the twenty-second (Kyoto, Japan, 1998) and the twenty-third (Marrakesh, Morocco, 1999) sessions of the Committee. The letters invited the President’s urgent intervention for the preparation of a detailed state of conservation report and a rehabilitation plan for the conservation of the site. The Bureau noted the information reported by IUCN that poachers entering CAR from other countries in the region continue to have serious impacts on this site and that the CAR Government has sent a number of armed military personnel into the area to mitigate the poaching threat.

The Bureau, once again, reiterated the Committee’s decision, taken at its twenty- second and twenty-third sessions, and invited the President of the State Party to directly intervene in favour of the conservation of the site to prepare a state of conservation report and an emergency rehabilitation plan. The Bureau instructed the Centre to co-operate with the Ambassador of CAR in France and the Permanent Delegate of CAR to UNESCO, as well as with site representatives who may attend the periodic reporting workshop for West and Central Africa to obtain an official response from the President of CAR to the afore-mentioned letters.  This Workshop will be convened by the Centre in Senegal during early July 2000. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5767 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.6 Virunga National Park; Garamba National Park; Kahuzi Biega National Park; Okapi Wildlife Reserve; Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)) The Bureau was informed that, as requested by the Committee at its last session in Morocco (November – December 1999), the Director-General of UNESCO had written to the Heads of States of the DRC and of the neighbouring states implicated in the war in Eastern DRC, namely Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda, drawing their attention to the need to respect the international law protecting the five World Heritage sites in the DRC and soliciting their support to create an environment enabling resident site staff to effectively protect the sites. The Minister for the Environment of the Government of the DRC had responded to this letter affirming his Government’s commitment to the conservation of the five sites. The Bureau was informed that the Permanent Delegate of Sudan to UNESCO, via a letter dated 29 April 2000, had informed the Director-General that his country is not party to the war in Eastern DRC. The letters sent to the Rwandan and Ugandan authorities have not yet elicited a response from authorities concerned.

In his letters addressed to the Heads of States mentioned above, the Director-General had informed them of the imminent launch of the UN Foundation (UNF) financed project for the conservation of biodiversity in the five World Heritage sites in the DRC. The project will pay salaries and allowances to site staff, meet their essential equipment and training needs, undertake monitoring activities to update knowledge on the state of conservation of key species in the five sites and support local community activities benefiting World Heritage site conservation. Furthermore, the Director-General has written to the UN Secretary General, the Director General of FAO and the Paris-based Ambassadors of all States Parties to the Convention requesting their support to influence the leaders of the DRC and the nearby States implicated in the war in Eastern DRC, calling upon the need to provide a safe working environment for site staff and to strengthen conservation of the five World Heritage sites. The Director General of FAO has acknowledged the letter of the Director-General of UNESCO and informed that his organisation was studying the question of co-operation with UNESCO in the implementation of the UNF project.

The Bureau was pleased to note that the final version of the document of the UNF financed project for biodiversity conservation in the World Heritage sites in the DRC, was signed by the Government of the DRC, UNESCO and UNFIP on 5 May 2000 during a ceremony held at UNESCO, Paris, and attended by the Minister of Environment of the DRC. Subsequently, UNFIP has transferred the first year's funds of about US$ 959,000 to UNESCO on 7 June 2000. The Bureau was informed that the Centre and the Division of Ecological Sciences of UNESCO participated at a meeting of the Core-Group, that co-ordinates the execution of this project and comprises UNESCO, UNF/UNFIP, ICCN and its partners and representatives from all five sites, held in Naivasha, Kenya from 6 to 9 June 2000. The Representative of the IUCN Central African Regional Office also attended the meeting. At the Core-Group meeting, UNESCO and the executing partners, namely GTZ (Germany), IRF, GIC, WWF and WCS discussed administrative and co-ordination arrangements that will enable an early launch as well as effective execution of the first year of activities of the 4-year project. Activities financed by the UNF project will begin in July 2000.

In accordance with another recommendation made by the twenty-third session of the Committee in Morocco (November-December 1999), the Chairperson had approved, in April 2000, a sum of US$ 48,000 as emergency assistance in support of the following actions: (a) organisation of an intermediary mission to the DRC and neighbouring States (US$ 27,000); and (b) providing pension benefits to staff due to retire from services in the Central and Northern sectors of the Virunga National Park (US$21,000). The intermediary mission was fielded from 8 May to 11 June 2000 and was carried out by a two-person team comprising Drs. Jean-Pierre d‘Huart (Belgium) and Terese B. Hart (USA). The Bureau reviewed a summary report of the mission based on a brief presentation made by Dr. Jean Pierre d‘Huart and the document WHC-2000/CONF.202/INF.14 and noted the following conclusions of the mission:

  1. The situation in the World Heritage sites of the DRC, though variable from site-to-site, is alarming and the decision of the World Heritage Committee to place them in the List of World Heritage in Danger is fully justified. The overall situation in some sites (Kahuzi Biega, Garamba) appears to be improving slowly, while in other sites (Virunga and Okapi), it is, on the contrary, deteriorating. If peace returns quickly (within a maximum period of 12 months), it is hoped that the UNF Project could significantly contribute towards reversing such deteriorating trends in the sites referred to above. On the contrary, if the conflict situation persists, the degradation caused to the biological diversity of the sites, coupled with the anarchical trends in the country and the weakening of ICCN staff, could constitute severe constraints on the Project’s ability to attain its objectives.
  2. Despite the fact that the threats and responsibilities for the damage caused, to the sites are attributed by the government authorities (formal and rebel) to a wide range of groups, it appears that the UNF Project could count on the understanding and support of all persons met by the mission team. Each of them, within the limits of their responsibilities and ability to act, committed to respond positively to specific requests for action which they would have to carry out to contribute to the protection of the sites and to the execution of the Project.
  3. Similarly, possibilities for certain specific types of support were offered by the United Nations Agencies (including the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Congo (UNOMC)) or by bilateral and multilateral development co-operation agencies. They viewed the launch of the UNF/UNESCO Project for the whole of DRC, currently divided into regions controlled by three different governance regimes, as an innovative pilot initiative and the organisational, administrative and financial aspects of the execution of the UNF project might present a model that could eventually contribute to resolving some of the problems that the implementation of other UN programmes currently have. The interest to search for synergies between the projects of different UN agencies enables the envisaging of a number of collaborative actions that require specific follow-up.
  4. Rapid follow-up on all specific actions requested and offers of support received by the intermediary mission must be ensured in a co-ordinated manner. A concerted and urgent approach to enable close co-ordination of this Project that concerns five different sites and a multitude of actors must be put into place urgently.
  5. The responsible authorities in regions neighbouring the World Heritage sites have a poor understanding of the problems of the sites and their present and future consequences and the national and international legal obligations of their government. This appears to directly result from the low importance assigned by site managers in the past for establishing regular formal and informal contacts with such authorities in the neighbouring regions.
  6. With the UNF project supporting the network of five World Heritage sites about to commence, the total lack of communication and co-ordination between authorities responsible for ICCN and the sites is a serious concern. The operations in these sites are actually under the authority of individuals who are part of three different governance regimes (Salonga - : Government of the DRC, Kinshasa; Garamba, Okapi and the northern sector of Virunga - rebel authorities based in Bunia and Beni; and the southern sector of Virunga and Kahuzi Biega – rebel authorities based in Goma and Bukavu). Improving co-ordination between certain key persons shall benefit the protected areas of the DRC and ICCN in general, and the UNF Project in particular. The case of the Virunga National Park is illustrative: it is divided into two sectors by the boundary separating the zones of influence of two different rebel groups. The two zones are also occupied by two different foreign armed forces. The two sectors of the Park are under different management and exploitation regimes and there are no communications between ICCN staff from the North and South, or with their Headquarters in Kinshasa.
  7. GTZ (Germany) project’s institutional support to the ICCN Directorate appears very efficient in the development of new plans, programmes and procedures emanating out of Kinshasa. The Project may have to give greater attention to a re-examination of the deployment of personnel in relation to the functions, problems and challenges confronting ICCN.
  8. Despite the large number of personalities met by the mission and the volume of actions undertaken, support at the highest level needs to be re-ascertained and strengthened with a view to concretising the willingness for collaboration expressed into actions on the ground. The follow-up of the several requests addressed to the Governments of the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda by the mission justifies that a high-level, diplomatic mission of UNESCO is fielded to the three capitals as soon as possible.

The Bureau learned that the remaining US$ 21,000 of the US$ 48,000 approved by the Chairperson as emergency assistance will be used for paying 70 staff members, at the rate of US$ 300 per person, who are due to retire from services in the Central and Northern sectors of the Virunga National Park. Similar retirement benefits to staff in the Southern sector of Virunga National Park and in the other four sites will be provided by ICCN‘s partners, namely GTZ-Germany, WWF, IRF, WCS and GIC. These partners have been paying allowances and salaries to site staff during the last three to four years when ICCN has been unable to meet such demands due to the deteriorating economic situation of the country. The UNF grant of US$ 2,895,912 will in part be used for meeting salaries of site staff over the next four years and hence all the partners of ICCN will save considerable amounts of expenditure. These savings will be used by the partners to settle the problem of paying retirement benefits to staff whose departure from regular services has been long overdue. This step will not only open up new employment opportunities for youth in areas near all of the five sites; it will facilitate the re-integration of the retiring staff into local communities and continue to support the conservation of the five sites. Conscious efforts to re-integrate the retiring staff into local community life are considered an important management task; otherwise, the knowledge and skills of these retiring officers may easily be co-opted by other groups opposed to the conservation interests of the sites.

During the Core-Group meeting of the UNF Project held in Naivasha, Kenya, from 6 to 9 June 2000, it became clear that several other donors were willing to study the feasibility to provide support to consolidate the UNF project. The Bureau recalled the information reported at the last session of the Committee (Marrakesh, 1999) that while UNF has provided a grant of US$ 2,895,912, the total cost of the 4-year project was estimated at US$ 4,180,600. Hence, additional support, currently being discussed with the European Union, the Cabinet of Development Co-operation of Belgium and the GTZ, Germany, could assist in the raising of the additional amount of US$ 1,284,666 needed and considerably increase the chances of success of the UNF Project.

Provision of direct support to site staff is helping to build staff morale in Garamba National Park where the impact of increased patrolling and surveillance has been monitored. The US$ 30,000 approved by the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau in July 1999 for paying motivational allowances for staff in Garamba National Park has partly contributed to the staff spending a total number of 8,788 guard-days, or 796 patrol-days, in 1999. This resulted in 51 contacts with poachers and the recovery of 9 automatic weapons, 226 rounds of ammunition, 4 grenades and numerous other items illegally possessed by the poachers. IUCN has reported that contacts between staff on patrol and armed groups in Garamba have steadily fallen since the last quarter of 1998. An aerial census of the northern white rhinoceros, unique to this site, was carried out by the IRF (International Rhino Foundation) between 14 and 21 April 2000; results showed that there are at least 24 rhinos in the area and there may be as many as 31 individuals in the Park. This number compares well with the pre-war population of about 35 individuals. The aerial census also counted 7 new-born calves and hence the prospects for the continued survival of this unique sub-species of the African rhino appears to be encouraging at present, despite the on-going war in this region.

Although signs of improvements in staff morale are evident, ability of site staff to access all parts in many sites remain severely restricted as different warring and armed factions occupy selected sections of such sites. In Kahuzi Biega National Park,  staff have access to only about 5-10% of the total area of the Park. In these accessible parts, 70 gorillas and traces of 5 elephants have been recorded. In 1996, the census data showed the presence of 258 gorillas and 350 elephants in the whole of the Kahuzi Biega National Park. There are widespread concerns that elephant populations in the Park may have been severly poached and the loss of elephants may have indirect ecological consequences for the gorillas; elephants are thought to be responsible for opening up forests and areas of secondary-growth which are preferred feeding habitats of gorillas. Elephants may also play a role in the germination of certain plant species eaten by the gorilla. The ICCN-PARCID Project in Kahuzi Biega National Park regularly issues a newsletter that heightens awareness of the leaders and the public of the need to conserve flagship species such as the gorillas and the elephant in Kahuzi Biega. The Project also maintains an electronic mailing list for disseminating accurate information on the status of such flagship species and on the overall state of conservation and needs of the Kahuzi Biega National Park. These regular communications are beginning to have impacts on raising the interests of concerned conservation groups; for example the international Ape Alliance Group is launching an appeal to protect the gorillas of Kahuzi Biega National Park. In addition, regular communications also appear to have contributed to international pressure being brought upon one of the neighbouring country governments whose forces occupy the area; the movements of these forces into the Park area have considerably reduced, although the DRC rebel factions continue to occupy the Park.

The Bureau was concerned in particular about the cases of Okapi and Virunga where the mission team felt that the conditions were deteriorating more than in other sites. The separation of Virunga into a northern and southern sector, with each sector being controlled by different rebel groups under the influence of different foreign armies, is a major concern.

Salonga National Park, in the central parts of the DRC, and the only one of the five sites in the DRC still under the direct authority of the ICCN Office in Kinshasa, has also been experiencing increased poaching, particularly on the endemic bonobo chimpanzees. A centre for protecting orphaned chimpanzees is helping to protect these species. The war in the eastern parts of the DRC appears to have disrupted the flow of essential foods across the country and local people and armed factions appear to be turning increasingly towards wildlife as the main source of their protein supply. Salonga has also recorded significant increases in elephant poaching, a trend directly resulting from increased supply of arms and ammunition caused by the war in eastern DRC.

The Bureau expressed its satisfaction to note modest improvements in the conservation of Garamba but was deeply concerned with the continuing threats to the integrity of the other four sites. The Bureau recommended that the Centre, ICCN and its partners, IUCN and site staff do everything possible to ensure an early start and effective execution of the UNF-financed project. In addition, based on the findings of the two-person mission team, the Bureau made the following recommendations:

  1. Requested that the Director of the Centre review the requests contained in the memorandum submitted by the intermediary mission to the Chief of UNOMC and take decisions to ensure adequate follow up and assign a focal person for contacts between the UNF Project and UNOMC at Kinshasa.
  2. Requested the Centre to take all necessary measures to recruit a Co-ordinator for the UNF project as soon as possible, in consultation with the United Nations Foundation and assure that the budget foreseen for the co-ordination of operations enables the delivery of the quality of services needed.
  3. Requested the Centre to convene, as soon as possible, a meeting among the three appropriate technical authorities, representing the three different governance regimes within the territory of the DRC to discuss the best co-ordination and communication mechanisms to adopt with a view to optimising the work of ICCN. Such a meeting could be organised in Nairobi, financed under the budget of the UNF Project, and facilitated by a neutral person acceptable to the three parties. The agreements reached in such a meeting should ensure that activities in support of the conservation of the five sites are executed in a co-ordinated manner.
  4. Invited the Director-General of UNESCO to field a high-level mission to the capitals of the RDC, Uganda and Rwanda. It is suggested that the programme of the high-level mission be limited to meetings with:
  • Heads of States and the members of their Governments concerned with the implementation (or ratification) of the World Heritage Convention and the protection of the World Heritage sites in the DRC; particular emphasis would be placed on the possible role and the impact of armed forces on the preservation of these sites;
  • Chief of UNOMC with a view to discussing possible synergies between the operations of UNOMC and the execution of the UNF Project; and
  • Representatives of other United Nations agencies, with a view to reiterating the need to co-ordinate the strategic approaches of their respective programmes and to reinforce the impact of the UNF Project.

The Bureau noted that if the high-level mission could have the participation of the Directors- General of UNESCO and UNEP then it could have a major impact on the Heads of States and other decision-makers who would be met during the visit of the high-level mission.

The Delegate of Zimbabwe underlined the importance of co-ordination among the ICCN staff from the different parts of DRC and the need to ensure that the funds made available by the UNF are spent on activities directly benefiting sites rather than for administrative activities distant from the sites. The Delegate of Australia concurred with the observations of the Zimbabwe Delegate and said that recommendations of the Bureau on the state of conservation of sites in the DRC should be realistic and have a good chance of being executed without any major difficulties.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain all five sites of the DRC in the List of World Heritage in Danger.  However, as suggested by IUCN, it commended the staff at the site for their commitment to their work, and thanked the UNF for its generous financial assistance.  The Bureau also invited the States Parties to undertake bilateral co-operative actions.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5768 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.6 Sangay National Park (Ecuador) At its last session in Morocco (November – December 1999) the Committee expressed its agreement with the State Party's proposal that the effects of the inclusion of Sangay in the List of World Heritage in Danger should be evaluated. In accordance with that recommendation, the Centre and IUCN intend to invite a paper from the Ecuadorean authorities for presentation at a workshop on the ²Role of the List of World Heritage in Danger in promoting international co-operation for the conservation of World Heritage sites². This workshop is planned to be convened at the time of IUCN‘s World Conservation Congress, from 3 to 10 October 2000, in Amman, Jordan. Several other States Parties that have experience in using the List of World Heritage in Danger as an instrument for international co-operation will also be invited to submit presentations at the workshop.

The Bureau was informed of a meeting involving Centre staff and the Minister for the Environment of Ecuador, and which took place in UNESCO, on 22 May 2000. The Minister informed the Centre that the Guamote-Macas road is now completed and his Government will explore the actions required to minimise impacts of this road. The Bureau concurred with the view of IUCN that the mitigation of impacts of the Guamote Macas Road and the effective implementation of the new management plan for the site are the priorities for improving the state of conservation of this site.  The Representative of IUCN noted that the case of the Sangay National Park illustrated the usefulness of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau encouraged the State Party to describe in detail, as part of the paper it will be invited to present at the Amman Workshop, positive and negative impacts of the inclusion of the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and their relevance to the long-term conservation of the site. As part of the deliberations during that Workshop, the Bureau invited the Ecuadorean authorities, the Centre and IUCN to elaborate a plan, including the description of indicators and benchmarks, for the continuous monitoring of the state of conservation of Sangay and for the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau invited the State Party to provide the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Committee with a summary of its presentation due to be submitted at the forthcoming Workshop in Amman, and a plan for further monitoring leading to possible removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.   

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5769 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.7 Simen National Park (Ethiopia) The Bureau was informed of a meeting between the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia to UNESCO and the Director and concerned staff of the Centre, convened on 16 February 2000, when the Director recalled the decisions of the Bureau and the Committee since the site's inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1996. In particular, the Director of the Centre referred to the recommendation of the twenty-third session of the Committee (Morocco, 1999) that the Chairperson undertake a mission to Ethiopia to meet with relevant national and regional authorities and to re-establish a basis for regular exchange of formal communications between the State Party and the Committee.  In accordance with the wish of the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia, the Director sent a letter, dated 22 February 2000, to His Excellency the Ambassador of Ethiopia to France, proposing a 4-5 day mission of the Chairperson and suggesting possible dates for the mission. In addition, the letter suggested that: (a) the Director of the Centre accompany the Chairperson on the mission to Ethiopia; (b) the Ethiopian authorities organize consultations between the mission team and national as well as regional authorities responsible for Simen National Park; (c) the mission team be given the opportunity to visit the site and learn of the conditions that may have led to Simen being included in the List of World Heritage in Danger and of rehabilitation measures that are being implemented by the Ethiopian authorities; and (d) the Chairperson and the Director prepare a report for submission to the twenty-fourth  session of the Committee to be convened in Cairns, Australia from 27 November to 2 December 2000. The Bureau noted with satisfaction that the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia via a letter of 14 April 2000 had informed the Centre that his country, including the Regional authorities where the site is located, are ready to receive the visit of the Chairperson and the Director of the Centre.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requested that the Centre co-operate with the State Party to field the mission to be led by the Chairperson and assisted by the Director of the Centre as soon as possible, and submit a detailed report on the state of conservation of the site, progress achieved in the rehabilitation efforts undertaken so far and additional measures needed for the restoration of World Heritage values of the site to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee. 

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5770 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.8 Mount Nimba Nature Reserve (Guinea/Côte d'Ivoire) The Bureau was informed of a meeting between a representative of CEGEN (Centre for Environmental Management of Mount Nimba) and Centre staff during the Representative's visit to the Centre from 17 to 21 April 2000. The Bureau noted with satisfaction several initiatives currently underway to revive international co-operation for the protection of Mt. Nimba. The feasibility study phase of a GEF project has already commenced and is expected to be followed by a medium-sized (US$ 300,000  or more) GEF grant. There are negotiations between GEF and other potential donors for mobilising additional resources for the long-term conservation of Mt. Nimba. The Centre has had discussions with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on possible collaboration to develop a project concept to address impacts and pressures caused by refugees resident in and around this site that straddles the border between Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. The Representative of the CEGEN informed the Centre that under the framework of the GEF project a sub-regional meeting of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as Liberia which also has parts of the Mt. Nimba ecosystem, and all concerned stakeholders is likely to be convened in the near future and that CEGEN will invite participation of the Centre and IUCN at that meeting. The meeting will provide an opportunity for implementing the recommendation of the Committee, made at its twenty-second (Kyoto, 1998) and twenty-third (Marrakesh, 1999) sessions, that IUCN's West Africa Office undertake a mission to the site and prepare a detailed state of conservation report. Furthermore, the Bureau noted that the Centre has established contacts with Birdlife International and Fauna and Flora International (FFI) which is developing initiatives for conservation of the Mt. Nimba ecosystem in Côte d‘Ivoire and encouraged the Centre to effectively use these opportunities to develop a harmonised transborder approach to the conservation of the Mt. Nimba ecosystem.   

The Bureau noted with satisfaction that new opportunities for strengthening conservation of this transborder World Heritage area are emerging under the GEF project. The Bureau requested the Centre to co-operate with CEGEN and GEF as well as the relevant authorities in Guinea and Côte d‘Ivoire in order to expedite the fielding of an IUCN mission to the site and the preparation of a detailed state of conservation report. In addition, the Bureau recommended that IUCN and the Centre co-operate with the States Parties and possible donors to re-explore possibilities for establishing a long-term financial mechanism, such as the setting up of a Foundation for Mt. Nimba, as suggested by the past sessions of the Bureau and the Committee, for the conservation of Mt. Nimba. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5771 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.9 Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) The Bureau was informed that the Centre staff, at a meeting held in early 2000, pointed out to the Permanent Delegate of Honduras to UNESCO the recommendation of the Committee that her Government consider inviting a UNESCO/IUCN mission to the site. Following that meeting and several formal and informal communications, the State Party, via a letter dated 21 June 2000 invited a Centre/IUCN mission and the Bureau was satisfied to learn that the mission is likely to be fielded in late September 2000. The Bureau was informed that a project of the German Technical Co-operation Agency, GTZ, is attempting to implement participatory resettlement programmes to minimize human impacts in the core zone of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. The project is supported by the GTZ and German Ministry for Economic Co-operation (BMZ) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KWF), at a total cost of 14 million German Marks.

The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to work with the relevant authorities of the State Party to field a site visit in September 2000 as foreseen and during the mission also obtain up-to-date information on the Patuca II project, including a copy of the EIA that has been prepared. The Bureau recommended that the report of the mission, including the recommendations for future action, be submitted to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee during November-December 2000. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve in the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5772 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.10 Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) The Bureau learned that the Deputy Inspector General of Forests (Wildlife) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi, India, via his letter dated 10 April 2000, had informed the Centre that the second phase of the rehabilitation plan for Manas for which the twenty-first session of the Committee (Naples, 1997) approved a sum of US$ 90,000, is currently being implemented. The Bureau recalled that the delay in utilising these funds for rehabilitation activities was caused by the unusually heavy rains experienced in 1998.  Also, the need to revise the rehabilitation plan to minimise construction activities in parts of the site where security conditions were not yet optimal for maintaining permanent presence of staff and for executing some community support activities to improve collaboration between staff and villagers also caused delays. 

The Bureau noted that implementation of this second phase of the rehabilitation plan is due to be completed by early 2001, and accepted the suggestion of the State Party that the Centre/IUCN mission to prepare a progress report, recommended by the twenty-third session of the Committee (Marrakesh, Morocco, 1999), be undertaken in 2001, instead in 2000 as previously foreseen. The Bureau urged that the Centre and IUCN, during the mission in 2001, take special efforts to review the status of the rhino population in Manas and the impact of rehabilitation measures implemented to counter poaching threats on the rhino. Reports received by IUCN indicate that recovery of the rhino population following the loss of more than 30 individuals during the peak of the Bodo militancy between 1989 and 1992 has been slow and continues to be a major concern for site management. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.    

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5773 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.11 Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) The Bureau was informed that, as part of the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, adopted by the Bureau at its session in July 1999, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife of Niger had organized a training workshop on the protection of natural heritage for Reserve staff from Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Departments, and others from the National Museums, University of Niamey,  border police, army, security services, tour operators,  and others concerned with the control of trade in wildlife products and artefacts. The Workshop was convened from 20 - 23 March 2000 in Niamey. A detailed report on the outcome of the Workshop, and a progress report on the implementation of the rehabilitation plan are currently under preparation and the main conclusions and recommendations of the Workshop will be presented to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee in Cairns, Australia from 27 November to 2 December 2000.

IUCN informed the Bureau that its network members have reported progress in the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for the site. IUCN and the State Party, under the terms of an MOU signed in 1999, are aiming to achieve the following results during the year 2000: (a) establishment of improved management mechanisms at the site; (b) strengthened operational capacity, including the reinforcement of support to partner organisations; (c) better conservation of natural and cultural values of the site; and (d) strengthened efforts to involve local communities.

The Bureau was pleased to note that the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, which it endorsed at its twenty-third session, is progressing satisfactorily. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party and submit a progress report on the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, including the State Party's views on when the site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee in Cairns, Australia. The report also should address, as per a suggestion made by the Delegate of Zimbabwe, progress made with regard to attaining targets set for the year 2000 and described in items (a) – (d) above. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5774 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.12 Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) The Bureau was informed that a four-person team representing IUCN, the Ramsar Convention and other international and regional organisations, visited the site from 28 February to 4 March 2000. The team reviewed the monitoring programmes currently in place and considered additional parameters and indicators that need to be included in an expanded programme to monitor the effectiveness of the rehabilitation measures currently being implemented by the State Party. The report of the mission team has been submitted to the State Party for comments.

The mission concluded that Ichkeul National Park would have to be retained in the List of World Heritage in Danger for a considerable number of years before a thorough assessment of the effectiveness of the rehabilitation programme currently being put in place by the Tunisian Government is feasible. There are several positive signs that indicate that the potential for the effective rehabilitation of the lakes and the marshes still exists. For example, germination tests have been carried out on seeds of Potamogeton collected in the sediments of the zone occupied by beds of this plant before 1996 (western part of the lake).  These laboratory tests, carried out under optimal salinity conditions for germination, were successful and proved that the lake still maintains its potential to reconstitute the beds of Potamogeton which have currently been replaced by beds of Ruppia sp.  The same is true for the restoration of rushes over large areas of marsh several years after the disappearance of the plants as they reappear when marshes are flooded during the right period for germination and also in pools of rain water in little depressions.

In respect of establishing a programme for monitoring the effectiveness of the rehabilitation programme, the mission team recommended that the National Agency for Environmental Protection (ANPE): (a) maintain the current programme for monitoring water quality and quantity; (b) introduce a new component to monitor the development of bathymetry of the lake; (c) maintain the current programme of monitoring the submerged flora, and extend it further by strengthening the monitoring team through the recruitment of specialized multidisciplinary staff; (d) initiate a monitoring programme for the flora of the marshes; (e) improve the monitoring of bird populations by targeting key-indicator species and by setting up an institution with the ability to collect, store, analyse and check the ornithological data, and by training the necessary staff; and (f) introduce a programme to monitor the flora and fauna of the mountain, particularly with a view to detecting changes in grazing pressure due to domestic stock.

The mission team suggested that the integrated management plan for the Park and its surrounding area be updated and improved, using the Ramsar Guidelines on management planning for wetlands. Furthermore the team has recommended the establishment of an institutional structure with the means and powers necessary to implement this integrated management plan.

The mission team identified the need for implementation of three urgent measures: (a) restoration of the Joumine marsh; (b) studies on the siltation of the lake; and (c) consideration of water releases from the dams in the spring of 2000. Furthermore, the mission team encouraged that the data gathered and analysed so far for the safeguarding of the Ichkeul National Park be published in an appropriate scientific journal.

The Bureau commended the efforts of the State Party to set up a systematic monitoring programme for Ichkeul and invited the State Party to consider the recommendations of the mission with regard to continuing certain aspects of the on-going programme, as well as adding new elements to it. The Bureau drew the attention of the State Party to the need to urgently restore the Joumine marsh, undertake studies on the siltation of the lake, and initiate water releases from the dams. The Bureau emphasised the need to develop adequate institutional capacity to implement the activities linked to the systematic monitoring programme that is likely to be implemented over a period of several years. The Bureau invited the State Party to submit a report to the Centre, before 15 September 2000, describing its response to the recommendations of the mission and the steps it has taken to implement the three urgent measures so that the report could be reviewed by the twenty-fourth session of the Committee. The Bureau agreed with the point of view expressed by the Moroccan Delegate that the State Party needs to be given all the encouragement possible to restore the site and that the results of the efforts to restore Ichkeul could set a precedent for monitoring the state of conservation of similar sites and restoration efforts elsewhere.   The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5775 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.13 Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda) The Bureau learned that the Centre had been informed by the IUCN Regional Councillor for Africa that high risks linked to security conditions in and around this site continue to prevent the implementation of meaningful conservation actions. The high Mountain altitudes are occupied by the rebel group, Allied Defence Forces (ADF) and the lower elevations of the Mountain are under the control of the Ugandan Government Forces (UPDF).  The UPDF is believed to be combing the habitats in the lower elevations to clear them of explosives planted by the ADF.  The report further mentioned that the rebel group ADF recently descended from the Rwenzori Mountain National Park and killed one Park Ranger and other persons in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, a site adjacent to the World Heritage site that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve.  The IUCN Regional Councillor observed that it will be some time before peace and stability in and around this World Heritage site can be hoped for.

The Bureau noted that the Park Headquarters continue to be located in the town of Kasese, outside of the Park, due to security considerations. Thirty rangers are in Ibanda, the Park Headquarters, where they try to co-operate with UPDF and other personnel to establish and maintain security. The Ugandan Wildlife Authority has reported to IUCN that it commenced rehabilitation work on tourist tracks in March 2000. However, there are insufficient resources and financial support for such rehabilitation work as well as for surveillance, monitoring, training, communications, personnel and other essential activities.

The Delegate of Zimbabwe made the observation that the situation in this site, related to rebel activity and security risks, was similar to the World Heritage sites in Danger in eastern DRC. Hence, the Delegate requested that the Centre, in co-operation with IUCN and others, attempt to initiate support programmes for this site similar to those developed for the sites in the DRC.  He also mentioned the possibility to send a mission to the site.

A representative of IUCN, responding to the question posed by the Delegate of Zimbabwe, noted that information from some of its members in the country indicated that equipment purchased as part of a World Heritage-financed project in the past may not have reached the site. The Bureau expressed its concern regarding the possibility of inappropriate use of the resources of the World Heritage Fund and requested the Centre to contact the concerned authorities in the State Party to verify the status of the equipment purchased as part of the project under consideration and submit a report to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau suggested that the Centre and IUCN explore possibilities to raise international awareness for the conservation of this site. Furthermore, the Bureau recommended that the Centre co-operate with the State Party and concerned UN units in the region to study ways and means, including the development of an international financial assistance package financed by appropriate donors, to support staff responsible for the protection of the site and minimise threats posed by militant and armed groups occupying the site.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5776 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.14 Everglades National Park (United States of America) The Bureau noted the findings of the IUCN review of the report submitted by the State Party, at the time of the last session of the Committee (Marrakesh, 1999) outlining the following: (a) the current status of the key threats to the site; (b) the mitigation measures being taken; and (c) requirements for the removal of threats. The report on Everglades addresses a number of threats, and in particular those posed by: (i) exotic species; and (ii) hydrological impacts, including the experimental water delivery project and its impact on endangered species.

The Bureau commended the approach taken by the State Party in preparing the report and noted that the approach could serve as a useful model for the preparation of state of conservation reports by other States Parties, particularly to identify measures to address threats and establish timelines for threat removal. The Bureau recommended that the Committee, in accordance with the wish of the State Party, retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau however, requested the Centre and IUCN to collaborate with the State Party to prepare a schedule of actions that would allow for the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.  The Bureau requested that a schedule of actions and a plan to monitor the implementation of the schedule of actions be submitted to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

The Observer of the State Party welcomed the recommendation of the Bureau and requested that the Bureau be more specific regarding the form of collaboration expected between IUCN, the Centre and relevant authorities in her country. The Bureau requested that the Centre and IUCN consult with the State Party to decide on the form of the possible collaborative effort, e.g. workshop, meeting or other such event with the participation of concerned authorities from the State Party, IUCN and the Centre, including the venue and timing of that event.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5777 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.15 Yellowstone National Park (United States of America) The Bureau noted the findings of the IUCN-review of the report submitted by the State Party at the time of the last session of the Committee (Marrakesh, 1999) and outlining the following: (a) the current status of the key threats to the site; (b) the mitigation measures being taken; and (c) requirements for the removal of threats. The report of Yellowstone addresses the following threats: (i) mining activities outside the Park; (ii) brucellosis infection of the bison population; (iii) lake trout invasion; (d) impacts on water quality; (iv) road construction; and (v) regulation of visitor use of the site. The Bureau commended the approach taken by the State Party in preparing the report and believes that the approach could serve as a useful model for the preparation of state of conservation reports by other States Parties, particularly to identify measures to address threats and establish timelines for threat removal. The Bureau recommended that the Committee, in accordance with the wish of the State Party, retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau, however, requested the Centre and IUCN to collaborate with the State Party to prepare for the twenty-fourth session of the Committee, a schedule of actions that would allow for the eventual removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger and a plan for monitoring the implementation of the schedule of actions.

The Observer of the State Party welcomed the recommendation of the Bureau and requested that the Bureau be more specific regarding the form of collaboration expected between IUCN, the Centre and relevant authorities in her country. The Bureau requested that the Centre and IUCN consult with the State Party to decide on the form of the possible collaborative effort, e.g. workshop, meeting or other such event with the participation of concerned authorities from the State Party, IUCN and the Centre, including the venue and timing of that event.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5778 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.16 Butrint (Albania) The Secretariat informed the Bureau that it had received on 29 May 2000 a communication from the Minister of Culture of Albania confirming that the area along the coast about which the World Heritage Committee expressed concern at its twenty-third session, would not be developed and would be included in the protected area that was subject of the request for extension of the site. A map was submitted to this effect.

The Bureau congratulated the Government of Albania for the positive response to the Committee’s recommendation that a part of the area along the coast be included in the World Heritage site. The Bureau noted that with this communication, the extension of the site as decided upon by the Committee at its twenty-third session would take effect immediately.

It requested the authorities to submit by 15 Spetember 2000 a report on the implementation of the recommendations made by the UNESCO-ICOMOS-Butrint Foundation mission in 1997. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5779 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.17 Angkor (Cambodia) After the presentation on the state of conservation of the site, the Delegate of Hungary requested that the Activity Reports and additional information relating to the infrastructural work undertaken in the vicinity of Angkor, such as the National Road 6 implemented by The World Bank, the hotel complex and the extension of the airport of Siem Reap be made available.  The Delegate of Greece supported this request and expressed her concern regarding the continuing illicit traffic of Khmers cultural heritage.

The Director of the World Heritage Centre informed the Bureau that the plenary session of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Angkor had recently completed their work at Phnom Penh and that the 1999 Activity Report was presented to H.E. the King of Cambodia on 27 June 2000.  He added that the provisional version of this document was available to the members of the Bureau.

The Bureau took note of the deep concerns expressed by its members concerning the looting and illicit traffic of Khmer cultural property and recalled the recommendations taken by the Committee at its  twenty-first (1997) and twenty-second (1998) sessions for the State Party to record and document the cultural properties in Angkor and in other sites on Cambodia's tentative list, and to enhance international co-operation to address this persisting problem. The Bureau also recalled the request made by the Committee to the State Party, and to UNESCO and the International Co-ordination Committee (ICC) presided by Japan and France, to monitor from the planning phase, all large-scale infrastructural projects for tourism development (rehabilitation of the National Road 6, extension of the Siem Reap airport, creation of a hotel complex) to ensure that they do not undermine the world heritage values of this exceptional site. In this regard, the Bureau requested UNESCO and the ICC to remind the State Party of paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines, and to inform the donor governments and institutions of Article 6 of the Convention.

The Bureau requested that the 1999 Activity Report of the International Co-ordination Committee  for Angkor be submitted to ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN for review.  It also noted that, to facilitate the monitoring of the infrastructure, a map showing the risks and rehabilitation of the National Road 6 was under preparation by The World Bank.

The Bureau also requested the State Party that in accordance with the afore-mentioned recommendations, a detailed report on the measures undertaken to combat illicit trafic and on the state of progress of major infrastructural and tourism development projects be submitted for examination by the twenty-fourth session of the World Heritage Committee.  The Bureau recommended that the Committee retains this property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5780 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.18 Group of Monuments at Hampi (India) Following the decision of the Committee to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-third session, a UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission was undertaken in February 2000. The objectives of the mission were to hold discussions with the national and regional authorities concerned to remove the threats facing the site as identified by the Committee, and to provide technical assistance for the development of a comprehensive management plan. In spite of the information provided during the World Heritage Committee session that the construction of the two bridges within Hampi had halted, the mission witnessed continued construction and advancement of the works on the large-scale vehicular bridge as well as the footbridge. In view of the alarming situation on-site, the UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Mission formulated a 4-Point Recommendation for Corrective Actions to remove the threats facing Hampi. These Recommended Actions were transmitted to the State Government of Karnataka and the Central Government of India, during and after the Joint Mission.

The Bureau was informed that since the site’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in December 1999, the Chief Minister of the State Government of Karnataka had constituted a Task Force in mid-January 2000 to examine the conditions of Hampi and to suggest long-term measures to preserve this World Heritage site. The Task Force examined closely the state of conservation of Hampi, on-going infrastructural development works within the site, and the 4-Point Recommendation for Corrective Actions of the UNESCO-ICOMOS Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission. In May 2000, the Task Force recommended that the two intrusive bridges should be relocated away from the World Heritage site. This Recommendation of the Task Force was unanimously accepted by the Council of Cabinet Ministers of the State Government of Karnataka in May 2000. On 16 May 2000, the Chairperson of the Task Force informed the Director-General of UNESCO on this decision taken by the State, which had been received favourably by the general public in Karnataka as well as within India.

However, the Bureau was informed that the Centre had received information in mid-June 2000 that the construction of the two bridges had again resumed on 31 May 2000.

The Delegate of Zimbabwe requested clarification on the intention of the Indian authorities on whether or not they wished to delete the site from the World Heritage List. The World Heritage Centre informed the Bureau that during consultations undertaken between UNESCO and the national and regional authorities concerned, both authorities had indicated their wish to remove the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger as soon as the threats facing the site were mitigated. The Bureau was also informed that the Archaeological Survey of India, the Central Government Authority responsible for the site, had informed the Centre through the UNESCO New Delhi Office, of its intentions to organize a national World Heritage cultural site mangers’ workshop in Hampi in October 2000, to discuss the state of conservation of Indian World Heritage cultural sites and enhancing management of such sites, using Hampi as a case study.

The Observer of the United Kingdom requested clarification on the degree of irreversible damage caused to the site by the construction work and what actions could be taken to mitigate further threats to the site. The Bureau was informed by the Centre that there were historic structures, such as the mandapa near Anegundi Gate, which have been dismantled and reconstructed using a combination of original and new building material in a different location, which even if returned to their original location, would have lost a degree of authenticity. The negative visual impact of the bridges, dominating the extraordinary natural setting of the site, could be reversed and removed entirely if the State Government carried out its decision to relocate the bridges outside of the World Heritage site. The Centre underlined that the greatest potential threat facing the site today was the damage expected to be caused by the dramatic increase in vehicular traffic once the large-scale bridge connects the two existing roads within Anegundi and Hampi which already pass through or adjacent to historic monuments of World Heritage value.

The Observer of Germany, recalling the request of the Committee and ICOMOS to the State Party since 1986 that a comprehensive management and development plan be elaborated for Hampi, underlined that the negative impact caused by the current development activities could have been mitigated if a comprehensive management plan had been prepared. The Observer of the United Kingdom drew the attention of the Bureau to the lessons to be learnt from the case of Hampi, and stated the need for the State Party to inform the Committee of such major public works prior to their construction, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines.

The Bureau examined the additional information presented by the Secretariat concerning the state of conservation of Hampi. The Bureau commended the Task Force for Hampi of the State Government of Karnataka for its work that led to the decision taken on 16 May 2000 by the State Government to relocate the two bridges outside the World Heritage site. However, the Bureau, deeply concerned with the new reports on the resumed construction of the two bridges within the World Heritage site since 31 May 2000, requested the Indian Authorities to implement the ICOMOS-UNESCO Recommended Corrective Measures to remove the threats facing the site, as identified by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-third session.

The Bureau, reiterating the Committee’s recommendation to the State Party at the time of the site’s inscription on the World Heritage List, requested the authorities concerned to develop a comprehensive management plan for the site. The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to continue to assist the State Party in developing this comprehensive management plan, in close co-operation with the authorities concerned and the advisory bodies. The Bureau requested the authorities to submit by 15 September 2000, a report on the progress made in (a) relocating the two intrusive bridges outside the World Heritage site; (b) removing the threats facing the site, (c) implementing the Recommendations made by the UNESCO-ICOMOS Mission in February 2000, and in (d) preparing a comprehensive management plan for the site.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Observer of India expressed his appreciation to the Bureau and the World Heritage Committee for their interest in safeguarding this unique site of outstanding universal value, attesting to the rise and fall of the Vijayanagara Empire. He assured the Bureau that the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger is being taken seriously by the Central Government of India and the State Government of Karnataka.  A high-level task force has been set up to examine the situation in Hampi.  The Observer underlined that the recent decision taken by the State Government of Karnataka to relocate the two bridges outside the World Heritage site would be implemented and that the authorities concerned were committed to protecting the site, following the Recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.  

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5781 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.19 Bahla Fort (Oman) Following the presentation of the state of conservation of the site and reports on the regular missions of specialists from CRATerre and the World Heritage Centre, a discussion took place concerning the techniques used for the restoration of the Fort.  The Delegates of Greece and Finland questioned whether it was a reconstruction of the site rather than a restoration.  After discussions that mainly related to the restoration of the earthen buildings, it was suggested that an international seminar, with the participation of ICCROM and ICOMOS, be convened in Oman on earth construction and restoration.  This would provide an opportunity to learn about the efforts being made by the Sultanate of Oman for its heritage and provide an exchange of experiences.  The Representative of ICCROM welcomed the idea of a seminar and suggested that his Organization participate with a view to initiating a training strategy.  This proposal was accepted by the Observer of the Sultanate of Oman. 

The Bureau commended the Omani authorities for the work undertaken and encouraged them to elaborate a management plan of the Fort and the Bahla Oasis and to provide it to the World Heritage Centre for submission to the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session.  The Bureau thanked the Omani authorities for having accepted to host an international seminar on the earthen constructions in 2001.  The Bureau expressed its wish that at its next session it could recommend to the Committee the removal of this site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5782 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.A.20 Chan Chan Archaeological Zone (Peru) As requested by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-third session, ICOMOS and ICCROM provided their views on the recently adopted Master Plan for this site.

ICOMOS commended the Government of Peru for the preparation and adoption of the Master Plan. It noted that the plan consists of nine volumes, is comprehensive and that its preparation was based upon the appropriate methodology. It suggested that to facilitate the use by on-site staff and to ensure its implementation: (1) a single volume summary of the plan be prepared that would actually constitute the Management Plan for the site (with the nine volumes providing background and reference material), and (2) the proposed actions be prioritised so as to ensure that, in case of limited financial and human resources, the most needed actions be undertaken first.

ICCROM informed the Bureau that it had been part of the planning process from the beginning. It considered the plan to be very comprehensive and addressing adequately management and conservation issues as well as social and economic ones. It noted that the first three volumes of the plan provide the summary and that the Government of Peru is considering producing a one-volume executive summary. ICCROM emphasized that the plan had been prepared with the involvement of all stakeholders and that it counts with the full support of the President of the country. He furthermore informed the Bureau that the establishment of an implementation unit was being considered.

The Observer of Peru thanked ICOMOS and ICCROM for the observations and assured that he would transmit these to the authorities concerned.

In conclusion, the Bureau congratulated the Government of Peru for the adoption of the Master Plan and encouraged the State Party to implement it. It requested the State Party to submit a progress report on the implementation of the Master Plan by 15 September 2000 for examination by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5783 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.22 State of conservation World Natural Heritage Properties of Australia

The Bureau noted that progress reports on the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics of Queensland would be reviewed by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau.

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http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5784 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST