1.         Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve (France) (N 258)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/258/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/258/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/258/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 31 January 2013, a report was submitted by the State Party on the state of conservation of the property, accompanied by a draft Management Plan of the Scandola Reserve.

The State Party notes that so far the prospection license for liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons has not yet been extended and is still under consideration. No exploration work is currently on-going. It further states that the request concerns the extension of an existing exploration license to confirm the existence of biogenic gas 180 km away from the property and would not allow exploratory drilling. Any request for a permit for exploratory drilling would necessitate an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which would need to take into account the ecological sensitivity of the area. The report further notes that any hydrocarbon exploration or exploitation would be subject to the conditions of the Barcelona Convention and the new regulations of the European Commission, which will enter into force in 2013.

The report confirms that pressure from tourism has increased significantly since the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in 1993 and notes that the Council of Europe accompanied the renewal of the European Diploma to the Scandola Nature Reserve with a number of conditions and recommendations, in particular to limit the impacts of the mooring of yachts on seagrass beds and of nautical tourism activities. The report notes that the draft Management Plan of the Reserve foresees activities to address this issue. In addition, the State Party notes some other actions which are foreseen to deal with tourism pressure in the larger site. Among them are the construction of a new sewage treatment station for the city of Porto, the enlargement of the D424 road to Osani and the D81 road which borders the property at the level of the Calanche and crosses the property north of Porto. All need to obtain ministerial approval, given the protection status of the site.

The report further notes that many actors are involved in the management of the overall site and that so far no single management authority exists, nor an overall management plan for the site. As a first priority, the management plan for the Scandola Nature Reserve is being revised and expected to be finalized by September 2013.

 

The report also notes that an extension of the marine part and the core area of the Scandola Reserve is being considered, from Capu Rossu to the Bay of Elbo.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN take note of the fact that the gas prospection license has not been extended so far and that any exploratory drilling would require an EIA. They consider that the EIA would need to assess the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in particular its marine ecosystems and should be submitted to the World Heritage Committee, for review.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are of the view that the World Heritage Committee should express its concern about the increase in tourism pressure on the property and they note that the draft management plan, while recognizing the problem, does not include a concrete strategy or a set of measures to address the issue. They also recommend that the Committee urge the State Party to provide further details on the proposed construction of a new sewage treatment station for the city of Porto and the possible enlargement of the D424 and traffic management on D81 roads, in line with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

 

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also recommend that the Committee welcome the efforts made by the State Party to revise the Management Plan of the Scandola Nature Reserve but note that a management plan should be developed for the entire property, which should clarify the management responsibility. They further strongly support the proposed enlargement of the Reserve and are of the view that the State Party should consider reflecting this enlargement of the property following the appropriate procedures for boundary modifications as outlined in the Operational Guidelines, in particular the proposed extension of the marine area included in the Reserve.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.19

The World Heritage Committee,

1.         Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.         Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.19 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.         Takes note of the fact that the gas prospection license has not been renewed so far and considers that any exploratory drilling would require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which would need to assess its potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in particular its marine ecosystems, and be submitted to the World Heritage Committee for review;

4.         Requests the State Party to develop on overall management plan for the entire property and to clarify the existing management arrangements;

5.         Notes with concern the increase in tourism pressure on the property and its possible impact on the OUV, and also requests the State Party to include in the Management Plan a sustainable tourism strategy and a set of measures to address the tourism pressure;

6.         Further requests the State Party to provide further details on the proposed construction of a new sewage treatment station for the city of Porto, and the possible enlargement of the D424 and D81 roads, in line with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

7.         Welcomes the proposed enlargement of the Scandola Reserve and recommends that the State Party consider reflecting this enlargement into the property, following the appropriate procedures for boundary modifications as outlined in the Operational Guidelines;

8.         Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2016, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, as well as of the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.