VII.5 Sangay National Park (Ecuador)
The Committee, at its last session was informed that colonization and small-scale mining activities had been stopped, a new management plan was nearing finalization and that several conservation projects funded by WWF had begun. The Committee had urged the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, and agreement with the State Party and possible support from WWF, to plan and organize a site visit to address the problem of the Guamote-Macas road construction project and other threats to the integrity of the site. The Committee was informed that the Bureau, at its twenty-second session in June 1998, had noted that the on-going construction of the Guamote-Macos road was the main threat to this Park and an EIA had not been conducted. Construction has been slow but very destructive to the environment. Only a small section of the road is inside the World Heritage site; the remainder of the road forms the Park's southern limit. The Committee noted that since the conclusion of the last session of the Bureau in June 1998, economic constraints have led to a halt in the activities related to the construction of the Guamote-Macos road. IUCN has noted that a 5-year, US$ 1.6 million project, financed by the Government of the Netherlands and jointly implemented by WWF and Fundacion Natura, will strengthen protection of the Park.
The Committee was informed that the Ecuadorean authorities have submitted to the Centre several new documents, including the "Strategic Management Plan for the Sangay National Park" immediately before the beginning of the Committee's twentysecond session. The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that his Government has not issued any permits for oil exploration in Sangay and would welcome a Centre/IUCN mission to the site in 1999. The Committee noted with satisfaction the view of IUCN that conditions for strengthening the conservation of this site were improving and that it is possible that the planned mission in 1999 may recommend its removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and thanked the Delegate of Ecuador for inviting a Centre/IUCN mission in 1999 to review the state of conservation of Sangay National Park. The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party and with other partners such as WWF to field such a mission as soon as possible in 1999 with a view to submitting an up-to-date state of conservation report to the twenty-third session of the Committee.