VIII.2 The Committee learned that the Colon road was effectively closed in June 2001 through the intervention of the Brazilian Federal Police. The Committee was informed that the State Party provided information by a letter dated 5 December 2001 to the Centre on several steps taken: on the one hand to ensure permanent closure of the road and rehabilitate areas damaged by the illegal use of the road; and on the other, to assist local communities affected by the closure of the road.To ensure permanent closure of the road, the
VIII.3 Brazilian authorities sunk a ferry boat, scarified the whole of the 18 km of the road to render it unuseable, destroyed three bridges along the road and established a guard-post at the entrance to the road manned by 12 Federal Police personnel to prevent any attempt by dissidents to begin illegal use of the road again. Soon after the closure of the road on 13 June 2001, 5000 seedlings of native tree species were planted to rehabilitate areas damaged by the road; an additional 20,000 saplings are being planted during December 2001.
VIII.4 An interministerial Working Group has been created with the participation of the State Government of Paraná, and under the leadership of the Ministry for National Integration, to promote sustainable development initiatives among local populations inhabiting the vicinity of the Iguaçu National Park. FUNPAR (Fundação da Universidade do Paraná) has been hired to carry out appraisal studies on how municipalities around the Park could benefit from projects and activities that will soon be launched. The Government of the State of Paraná has developed a joint project with the surrounding populations focusing on organic agriculture and sustainable use activities, including development of craftmanship and ecotourism. Private enterprises and public agencies have set up infrastructure projects with the aim of fostering ecotourism and organic agriculture. These projects will employ approximately 450 persons.
VIII.5 The twenty-fifth session of the Bureau that met in Paris from 25 to 30 June 2001 had recommended that if the positive developments are sustained, the Committee could remove this site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee concluded that the State Party had met the conditions it had set at its twenty-third session (1999), i.e. ensuring the permanent closure of the Colon road, to remove the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee invited the State Party to continue forest rehabilitation efforts and monitor their outcome and build co-operative programmes to enhance income generation and employment opportunities for local communities in municipalities bordering the Park. The Committee decided to remove the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested that IUCN and the Centre undertake a site visit during 2002/2003 to prepare a status report for submission to the twentyseventh session of the Committee in June 2003. Based on the suggestions made by the Delegate of Argentina and the Observer of Brazil, the Committee welcomed the idea to study a permanent mechanism for transborder co-operation between the World Heritage sites of Iguaçu (Brazil) and Iguazu (Argentina) National Parks, in particular for sustainable tourism.