VII.40 Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
The Committee recalled that, when it inscribed this site on the World Heritage List in 1994, it requested that IUCN and the State Party discuss and agree upon boundaries for the World Heritage site. Since then, although the boundaries of the World Heritage site still remain to be finalised, the national electricity company (EDELCA) has proposed to erect a series of power transmission lines across about 160 km of the Park. An adequate environmental impact study has not been conducted and traditional Pemon communities inhabiting the area are opposed to the project. The Venezuelan authorities have declined the Bureau's recommendation, made at its last session in June 1997, to invite a high level UNESCO mission to discuss alternative routes for erecting the power lines and resolve the question of the boundary of the World Heritage site. The IUCN Representative noted that the proposed transmission lines will cut through parts of undisturbed forests and that alternative routes, along a highway which will be less damaging, can be proposed for the erection of the lines.
The Committee invited the Director-General of UNESCO to write to the President of the State Party asking for his intervention to search for possible alternative routes for the erection of the power transmission lines and to initiate negotiations with IUCN and the Centre to determine the appropriate boundaries of the World Heritage site.