X.8 Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)
The Committee was informed that the State Party has not yet responded to the recommendation of the last session of the Committee (Kyoto, Japan, 1998), reiterated by the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau held from 5 to 10 July 1999, to invite an IUCN/Centre mission to the site. IUCN has informed the Centre that some reports it has received question whether the Patuca II hydro power project will get approval for its implementation. The damage caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998 appears to have revived concerns over the ecological vulnerability of the area where the hydro-power project has been proposed and raised doubts regarding the feasibility of the project's implementation. An EIA of the Patuca II project has been carried out but it has been criticized by a number of national NGOs and local people's organizations. Nevertheless, the National Enterprise on Electric Energy continues to stress the need for Patuca II and has even begun to speculate on the possibility of a Patuca III project. IUCN also informed the Committee that logging and illegal grazing by domestic stock are also issues that need to be addressed by the authorities concerned.
The Committee retained this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee requested the Centre to contact the State Party and obtain detailed information on the Patuca II project, including a copy of the EIA that has been prepared. Furthermore, the Committee reiterated its request made at its last session in Kyoto (1998) that the State Party consider inviting a Centre/IUCN mission to the site.