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Decision : 31 COM 7B.11
State of conservation of World Heritage properties - Arabian Oryx Sanctuary

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM.7B.10 adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Recalling that, according to Article 6.1 of the Convention, the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List constitute World Heritage, the protection of which is the duty of the international community as a whole and recalling further the duty of the international community to assist and to cooperate with States Parties in their endeavour to conserve such heritage,

4. Recalling that States Parties have the obligation under the Convention to protect and conserve the World Cultural and Natural Heritage situated on their territory, notably, to ensure that effective and active measures are taken for the protection and conservation of such heritage,

5. Further recalling the results of the vote by which the Committee decided not to delete the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary from the World Heritage List,

6. Noting with alarm that despite several years of intensive efforts, the wild population of Arabian Oryx in the property is in serious decline and its future viability is uncertain,

7. Also noting that most recommendations from the 2000 monitoring mission as well as from previous Committee decisions, in particular Decision 30 COM 7B.10, have not been implemented,

8. Notes with deep regret that the State Party failed to fulfill its obligations defined in the Convention, in particular the obligation to protect and conserve the World Heritage property of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary;

9. Regrets that the State Party has proceeded to significantly reduce the size of the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, in violation of Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines, thus destroying the property's Outstanding Universal Value and integrity;

10. Regrets that the entreaties of the World Heritage Committee, at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) failed to protect the property;

11. Further regrets that the State Party is seeking to pursue hydrocarbon exploration activities within the original boundaries of the property, as recognized by this Committee, thus contributing to the loss of Outstanding Universal Value;

12. Concludes with regret that, having further consulted IUCN and being convinced that as a result of the reduction of the Sanctuary under Omani Law, the property has deteriorated to the extent that it has lost its Outstanding Universal Value and integrity;

13. Decides to delete the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman) from the World Heritage List.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Oman
Year: 2007
Decision Code: 31 COM 7B.11