Decision : CONF 209 VIII.A.1
The Laurisilva of Madeira (Portugal)
Property: The Laurisilva of Madeira
Id. N°: 934
State Party: Portugal
Criteria: N (ii) (iv)
The Committee decided to inscribe the Laurel Forest of Madeira on the World Heritage List under natural criteria (ii) and (iv).
The site contains the largest surviving relict of the virtually extinct laurisilva forest type that was once widespread in Europe. This forest type is considered to be a centre of plant diversity containing numerous rare, relict and endemic species, especially of bryophytes, ferns and flowering plants. It also has a very rich invertebrate fauna. Endemic species include the Madeiran longtoed pigeon and some 66 species of vascular plants.
The Committee decided to: (a) commend the State Party on the protection afforded to the forest in a protected area less than 10 years old and on the commitment shown by the Autonomous Regional Government, (b) encourage the State Party to enhance interpretation of the area and envisage compatible forestry practices outside the site, (c) encourage discussions between the Portuguese and the Spanish authorities on the possibility of jointly proposing Garajonay National Park World Heritage site and the Laurel Forest of Madeira as a single World Heritage site representing laurel forest.
The Observer of Spain stated that his Government would agree to the suggestion concerning discussions in relation to a joint site of Garajonay National Park and the Laurel Forest of Madeira.