State of Conservation (SOC)
Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (2005)
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:198,000USD
|1996||Conservation strategy and preparation of a management plan for ...||30,000 USD|
|1988||Equipment for Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve||20,000 USD|
|1987||Consultant services, training and equipment for improving the ...||30,000 USD|
|1985||Strengthen protection and management of Rio Platano Biosphere ...||20,000 USD|
|1983||Implementation of protective measures, of training activities and ...||26,000 USD|
|1982||Financial contribution towards ecodevelopment programmes and ...||67,025 USD|
|1982||Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve||4,975 USD|
IUCN missions in 1995 and 2000, IUCN/UNESCO missions in 2003.
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
a) complete the compensation and relocation of the seven families and 32 land owners remaining in the core zone,
b) cancel all Honduras Forestry Development Commission (COHDEFOR) resolutions related to dead wood harvesting in the Olancho, Colón and Atlándida departments,
c) prevent unauthorized activities in the buffer zone, including: agricultural expansion, illegal logging and poaching, specifically by putting into operation permanent and temporary checkpoints located at critical access points,
d) develop inter-institutional work plans that provide clear definitions of the roles and responsibilities of the various public and private entities involved in the Reserve’s management,
e) disseminate the environmental management plans related to the Ministry of Agriculture’s development strategy within the Valle de Sico’Paulaya zone
Current conservation issues
Based on the recommendations of the 2003 mission, the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004) established a series of benchmarks to be met in order for the property being removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and called for on-going monitoring of progress on reaching these benchmarks. It requested that an evaluation mission be carried out in early 2005 to assess whether the property could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 29th session in 2005.
Monitoring by IUCN during 2004 and early 2005 revealed that some progress in reaching the benchmarks had been made, specifically the relocation of the last families living inside the core zone and the elimination of a decree on the extraction of dead wood. Other issues still need to be redressed, in particular the declining integration of the work between NGO’s and Government, and illegal wood harvesting by local communities. IUCN further notes that a reduction of the protected area staff by 50% seriously compromises the property’s capacity to deliver results. A new forestry law is being reviewed by the Honduran Congress, which includes structural changes likely to affect the property.
The State Party requested that the mission contemplated for early 2005 be postponed to the end of the year. Given the limited progress on the 2003 benchmarks UNESCO and IUCN decided to postpone it until evidence that progress had been made was provided.
The property is participating in the UNESCO – UNF project “Enhancing our Heritage: Monitoring and managing for success in natural World Heritage properties”, which is contributing to reaching the said benchmarks.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee,1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29COM 7A and the Draft Decision 29 COM 7A.12.Rev,,
2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15A.13 adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),
3. Regrets that little progress has been made towards reaching the benchmarks for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger set by the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004);
4. Expresses its concern about the developments which affect the outstanding universal value of the property;
5. Recommends that the State Party of Honduras work closely with the “Enhancing Our Heritage” project to improve communication and cooperation;
6. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2006, a report on the implementation of the remaining recommendations made by the joint 2003 UNESCO/IUCN mission, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);7. Decides to retain the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Draft Decision: 29 COM 7A.12
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29COM 7A,
2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15A.13adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),
3. Regrets that little progress has been made towards reaching the benchmarks for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, set by the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004);
4. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2006, a report on the progress made towards attaining the benchmarks for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and the state of implementation of the remaining recommendations made by the 2003 IUCN/UNESCO mission, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session in 2006;
5. Decides to retain the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
SOC Reports2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1991 1990 1989 1988
Detailed List of SOC reports
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 2011
Threats to the Site:
a) Illegal logging;
b) Illegal occupation;
c) Reduced capacity of the State Party;
d) General deterioration of law and order and the security situation in the region.
Threats to the Site:
At both its 19th and 20th sessions, the World Heritage Committee heard reports of commercial and agricultural intrusions into the site, threatening the World Heritage values for which it had been inscribed. The advancing agricultural frontier at the west side of the reserve, pushed by small farmers and cattle ranchers, is already reducing the reserve's forest area. The southern and western zones of the Reserve are subject to massive extraction of precious wood such as Caoba (Swietenia macrophylla). Uncontrolled commercial hunting of wild animals is also practised. The introduction of exotic species is threatening to undermine the complex ecosystem of the Reserve. The absence of any management plan and the fact that there is almost no park staff to manage the 525,100 ha site has compounded the problem.
An eleven-point corrective action plan, recommended by a 1996 IUCN conservation status report, has been endorsed by the Minister for the Environment of Honduras and the elaboration of a management plan for Rio Platano is being carried out with a World Heritage Fund contribution, as part of a large-scale project for strengthening the conservation of the site financed by the German GTZ-KFW.
A hydroelectric development project, Patuca II, is currently proposed for implementation near the reserve with potential negative impacts on the site. According to reports, the Government is promoting the rapid implementation of this project. Matters are further complicated by the fact that communications with relevant authorities in Honduras have become difficult following recent damages caused to the country's infrastructure by Hurricane Mitch.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).