Decision : 29 COM 7B.17
Miguasha National Park (Canada)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev and the Draft Decision 29 COM 7B.17.Rev,
2. Taking note of the report presented by IUCN during the 29th session (Durban, 2005) of the IUCN monitoring mission to the property which took place on 13 June 2005 with the effective support of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Hydro-Quebec, Quebec Parks and Parks Canada,
3. Notes the following key findings of the mission:
a) the drilling in the buffer zone of the property was clearly an error as a result of a lack of awareness of the existence of the buffer zone and management regulations associated to it. However, once the Ministry of Natural Resources found this error it immediately ordered the suspension of drilling activities;
b) the exploratory drilling operation has resulted in virtually no physical or visual impacts on the integrity of the property or the values for which the property was inscribed in the World Heritage List. The operation affected only 1ha in the buffer zone of the property and the subsurface drilling does not compromise fossil values. In addition, the area affected will be restored;
c) the authorities in Quebec have taken corrective actions to improve communication between the government agencies involved in this problem to ensure that such transgressions do not occur in future.
4. Commends the State Party of Canada for supporting the IUCN mission and for its ongoing efforts in the conservation of the property;
5. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of progress on the status and potential impacts of the Belledune toxic waste incinerator project and measures taken to mitigate adverse impacts on the property, as well as any implications to the state of conservation of the property if oil and gas deposits are discovered and move into production.