1.         Sangay National Park (Ecuador) (N 260)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/260/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1985-1993)
Total amount approved: USD 58,500
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/260/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March 1989: IUCN

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/260/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The site was inscribed in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to threats from poachers, boundary encroachment and unplanned road construction. A technical assistance project from the World Heritage Fund is under way. The equipment component of this project was carried out in 1994. Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre received in March 1995 a detailed report by INEFAN (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre) on the environmental impact of the construction of the Guamote-Macas road in the Park. The report states that the road construction will likely entail damage to the Park, such as uncontrolled human settlements (with side effects of poaching, waste deposit, small industries among others) and uncontrolled tourism. The first 8 kms of the works which have already been executed have led to serious, partially irreversible, environmental damage. The most serious issue is the impact on the Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon) consisting of landslides etc. and the inappropriate waste deposits which threaten the Upano River. The continuing road construction activities may have a negative impact, mainly with potential landslides. A number of suggestions were made to reduce the problems including to avoid the use of bulldozers, and to implement minimal drainage works. Necessary control mechanisms after the termination of the road project have been defined, including an inventory of landowners and a review of the legal owner situation, to control spontaneous settlements, to establish an intensified park control, control tourist development in cooperation with/through INEFAN. A technical commission will be established to look into the details and a final report is foreseen.

Action Required

The Bureau, taking note of the preliminary report on the state of conservation of Sangay National Park prepared by INEFAN (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre), decides to await the final report to define any further action.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The Bureau recalled at its nineteenth session that the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to threats from poachers, boundary encroachment and unplanned road construction. Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre received a preliminary report by INEFAN (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre) on the environmental impact of the construction of the Guamote-Macas road in the Park and a final report from the Commission (Ministry of Public Work/INEFAN) in May 1995. The Commission had studied the following issues: (1) the environmental impact of the first 7 kms of the road, which have been constructed; (2) the measures to be taken to mitigate the environmental impact of the remaining 23 kms still to be constructed and (3) guidelines for the management of the Park to mitigate the negative impact of the new road.

From the report it is clear that the road has caused irreversible damage to the natural environment, as construction work has caused a number of landslides. The Commission recommended that the following measures should be taken: the road should be made narrower (6 meters); manual labour should be used and not heavy machinery, to take care of the disposal of excavated material; supervision by environmental experts; the setting-up of additional control posts at the entrance to the Park to halt spontaneous settlements; intensification of patrols in the Park to allow only government controlled eco-tourism; the creation of a small visitor centre for tourists; an inventory of the legal land owners in the Park should be made, and the new part of the road should be considered as an "environmental pilot stretch".

The IUCN Representative underlined that the impact on the site was worse than expected and that the local IUCN office will provide an update on conditions at the site in September 1995.

At the time of the preparation of this document, no response had been received to the Centre's letter to the Government of Ecuador commending the authorities for their impact report, transmitting the concerns of the Bureau, and requesting clarification of the present situation with regard to the threats to this site.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The Bureau expressed its continuing concerns about the construction work causing negative environmental impacts and requested the State Party to take steps to ensure much stricter environmental regulations. The Bureau therefore recommends to the Committee that the site should be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 19 BUR VI.20

The Bureau recalled that the site was inscribed in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to threats from poachers, boundary encroachment and unplanned road construction. A technical assistance project from the World Heritage Fund is underway. The equipment component of this project was carried out in 1994. Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre received in March 1995 a preliminary report by INEFAN (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Are-as Naturales y Viola Silvestre) on the environmental impact of the construction of the Guamote-Macas road in the Park and a final report of the Commission (Ministry of Public Work/INEFAN) was received in May 1995. The Commission had studied the following issues: (1) the environmental impact of the first 7kms of the road, which havebeen constructed; (2) the measures to be taken to mitigate the environmental impact of the last 23 kms which still have to be constructed and (3) guidelines for the management of the Park to mitigate the negative impact of the new road.

From the report it is clear that the road has caused irreversible damage to the natural environment, as the construction has caused a number of landslides. The Commission recommended that the following measures should be taken: the “road should be made narrower (6 meters) ; manual labour should be used and not heavy machinery, to take care of the disposal of excavated material; the establishment of supervision by environmental experts; the setting-up of additional control posts at the entrance of the Park to halt spontaneous settlements; intensification of patrols in the Park to allow only government controlled eco-tourism; the creation of a small visitor centre for tourists; an inventory of the legal land owners in the Park should be made, and the new part of the road should be considered as an ‘environmental pilot stretch”.

The Representative of IUCN underlined that the impact on the site was worse than expected and that the local IUCN office will provide an update on conditions in the site in September 1995.

The Bureau asked the Centre to write to the Government of Ecuador to commend the authorities for the impact report and to transmit the concerns of the Bureau as well as to ask for clarification on the present situation of the threats to the site.

Decision Adopted: 19 COM VII.A.1.5

VII.5 Sangay National Park (Ecuador)

The Committee recalled that the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to threats from poachers, boundary encroachment and unplanned road construction. It took note of the preliminary report by INEFAN (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre) on the environmental impact of the construction of the Guamote-Macas road in the Park, and an extensive report of October 1995 provided by the IUCN Office in Ecuador. This report indicates that the road continues to be the main threat and has caused irreversible damage to the natural environment, both through direct (pollution, dynamite use, loss of biological corridors etc.) and indirect impacts (new settlements, poaching, cattle ranching etc.).

The Delegate of Ecuador provided further information on the situation at the site, underlining that measures are being taken to modify the situation and to reduce the impacts. He emphasised that the state Party will make more efforts to halt the damage in the future.

The Committee commended the state Party for the reports provided, however, expressed its continuing concerns about the construction work causing negative environmental impacts. It requested the Centre to send a letter to the Minister for the Environment for an environmental impact study and to urge the state Party to take steps to ensure much stricter environmental regulations. The Committee furthermore, requested the Centre to write to INEFAN commending them for their actions for modifications of the road, the tenure study and the initiative for an updated management plan. The Committee decided to retain on the List of World Heritage in Danger.