Decision : CONF 201 VI.20
Sangay National Park (Ecuador)
The Bureau recalled that the site was inscribed in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to threats from poachers, boundary encroachment and unplanned road construction. A technical assistance project from the World Heritage Fund is underway. The equipment component of this project was carried out in 1994. Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre received in March 1995 a preliminary report by INEFAN (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Are-as Naturales y Viola Silvestre) on the environmental impact of the construction of the Guamote-Macas road in the Park and a final report of the Commission (Ministry of Public Work/INEFAN) was received in May 1995. The Commission had studied the following issues: (1) the environmental impact of the first 7kms of the road, which havebeen constructed; (2) the measures to be taken to mitigate the environmental impact of the last 23 kms which still have to be constructed and (3) guidelines for the management of the Park to mitigate the negative impact of the new road.
From the report it is clear that the road has caused irreversible damage to the natural environment, as the construction has caused a number of landslides. The Commission recommended that the following measures should be taken: the “road should be made narrower (6 meters) ; manual labour should be used and not heavy machinery, to take care of the disposal of excavated material; the establishment of supervision by environmental experts; the setting-up of additional control posts at the entrance of the Park to halt spontaneous settlements; intensification of patrols in the Park to allow only government controlled eco-tourism; the creation of a small visitor centre for tourists; an inventory of the legal land owners in the Park should be made, and the new part of the road should be considered as an ‘environmental pilot stretch”.
The Representative of IUCN underlined that the impact on the site was worse than expected and that the local IUCN office will provide an update on conditions in the site in September 1995.
The Bureau asked the Centre to write to the Government of Ecuador to commend the authorities for the impact report and to transmit the concerns of the Bureau as well as to ask for clarification on the present situation of the threats to the site.