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Committee Decisions

28 COM 14B.8

Nominations of Natural Properties to the World Heritage List (Ilulissat Icefjord)

The World Heritage Committee,


1. Inscribes the Ilulissat Icefjord, Denmark, on the World Heritage List on the basis of natural criteria (i) and (iii):


Criterion (i): The Ilulissat Icefjord is an outstanding example of a stage in the Earth’s history: the last ice age of the Quaternary Period. The ice-stream is one of the fastest (19m per day) and most active in the world. Its annual calving of over 35 cu. km of ice accounts for 10% of the production of all Greenland calf ice, more than any other glacier outside Antarctica. The glacier has been the
object of scientific attention for 250 years and, along with its relative ease of accessibility, has significantly added to the understanding of ice-cap glaciology, climate change and related geomorphic processes.


Criterion (iii): The combination of a huge ice sheet and a fast moving glacial ice-stream calving into a fjord covered by icebergs is a phenomenon only seen in Greenland and Antarctica. Ilulissat offers both scientists and visitors easy access for close view of the calving glacier front as it cascades down from the ice sheet and into the ice-choked fjord. The wild and highly scenic combination of rock,
ice and sea, along with the dramatic sounds produced by the moving ice, combine to present a memorable natural spectacle.


2. Recommends that the authorities revise the management plan to better take into account the growing pressures from tourism and to focus more attention on the
biological resources of the site. Specific issues that should be taken into account include:


   a) ensuring that hunting, fishing and tourism activities are undertaken according to principles of sustainability and environmental capacity,
   b) formulating and implementing a zoning plan to define tourism limits;


3. Requests that the State Party submit a report by 1 February 2007 on progress achieved for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: Denmark
Properties: Ilulissat Icefjord
Session: 28COM