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State of Conservation (SOC)

Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve
Date of Inscription: 1982
Nomination records (Year): 1981
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List: Yes
  • Crop production
  • Human resources
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Legal framework
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Lack of infrastructure and services for small producers and potential tourism initiatives hinder sustainable economic development and are underlying causes for poverty, leading to over-exploitation of natural resources

Inscription on the Danger List
Year: 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.

Year: 1996 -2007
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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.