1.         Los Katíos National Park (Colombia) (N 711)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1994

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2009-2015

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/711/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/711/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/711/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The state of conservation of this Park was the subject of an extensive review submitted by a representative of Colombia's Ministry of Environment at a Regional World Heritage workshop held in Everglades National Park in November 1997. IUCN brought the attention of the Centre to serious threats to the integrity of this Park, caused by a breakdown of law and order in the area. The Centre has contacted the Colombian authorities for confirmation of reports received by IUCN on the state of conservation of Los Katios.  The Delegation of Colombia informed the Centre on 28 November 1997 that further information would be made available from the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the receipt of that information is awaited.

Action Required

The Bureau, based on additional information that may be available at the time of the twenty-second session of the Bureau, may recommend appropriate actions to the consideration of the State Party and/or the Committee as well as the Centre and IUCN.

22nd extraordinary session of the Bureau in 1998:

In November 1997, a representative of Colombia's Ministry of Environment informed IUCN that the security situation in this site is threatened by conflicts between armed groups. A significant portion of the Park area is off-limit to staff due to the presence of such armed groups and tourism to the area had come to a halt. At its twenty-second ordinary session (June 1998), the Bureau, noted that the Colombian authorities had provided a report to the Centre and requested IUCN to review that report and submit its findings to the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau. IUCN has informed the Centre that a major restructuring of Columbia’s conservation administration is currently underway, for devolving responsibilities for the management of Los Katios to the provincial level. At a meeting with the Centre on 24 September 1998, the Permanent Delegation of Colombia to UNESCO confirmed this fact. IUCN is gathering further information on the decentralisation process to assess its implications for the conservation of Los Katios. However, IUCN has informed the Centre that it believes that the site is under serious threat and should be considered for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision required: The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau requests the Centre and IUCN to consult with the State Party in order to find out whether the State Party wishes to include Los Katios in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requests the Centre to report on the results of those consultations to its twenty-third session in mid-1999.”

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

In November 1997, a representative of Colombia’s Ministry of Environment informed IUCN that the security situation in this site was threatened by conflicts between armed groups. A significant portion of the Park area was off-limit to staff due to the presence of such armed groups and tourism to the area had come to a halt. At its twenty-second session, the Bureau requested IUCN to review a report submitted by the Colombian authorities to the Centre and submit its findings to the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau. The Bureau was informed that a major restructuring of Columbia’s, conservation administration was currently underway, for devolving responsibilities for the management of Los Katios to the provincial level. On 24 September 1998, the Permanent Delegation of Colombia to UNESCO confirmed this fact. IUCN has been gathering further information on the decentralization process to assess its implications for the conservation of Los Katios, but was of the view that the site is under serious threat and should be considered for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau was informed of a new report submitted by the Colombian authorities on 23 November 1998. This report notes that the Park was affected by the confrontation between guerrilla and paramilitary groups and during that time four sectors of the Park received only limited attention from the authorities. In 1997 and 1998, however, a’ number of activities were carried out, including the strengthening of the protection of the Park through control units, inter-institutional meetings, collaboration with communities living in the Park, work on the definition of the buffer zone of the Park and the elaboration of the management plan. Support for the creation and consolidation of the Darien Special Management Area (DSMA) to co-ordinate the management of the two World Heritage sites (Darien of Panama and Los Katios of Colombia) has been provided and actions will be taken to create a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In addition, a number of meetings of the Bi-national Commission of Colombia and Panama took place and a US$ 500,000 project for a rapid ecological evaluation of the area, funded by the Mac Arthur Foundation, is being implemented by the NGOs from both countries.

The Colombian authorities have concluded that although there have been impacts on the Park, it had not been invaded by colonists and the pressure on the Park and its natural resources had reduced considerably. Preventive measures have been taken for the security of the personnel and the Park has returned to a certain normality and calm, allowing the staff to control the area and to implement operations. The State Party does not see any need for inclusion of Los Katios on the List of World Heritage in Danger at present.

The Bureau took note of the report provided by the Colombian authorities. It requested the Centre and IUCN to keep in contact with the State Party to monitor progress made and to report back to the twenty-third session of the Bureau. The Bureau commended the Mac Arthur Foundation for its support for a conservation project in the “Darien Gap Region”. The Bureau reiterated the Committee’s recommendation made at the time of the inscription of the site to establish a single World Heritage site linking Darien (Panama) and Los Katios (Colombia) World Heritage sites.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 22 BUR V.B.24

The state of conservation of this Park was the subject of an extensive review submitted by a representative of Colombia's Ministry of Environment at a Regional World Heritage Workshop held in the Everglades National Park in November 1997. IUCN drew the attention of the Centre to serious threats to the integrity of this Park, caused by a breakdown of law and order in the area. The Centre contacted the Colombian authorities for confirmation of reports received by IUCN on the state of conservation of Los Katios. The Bureau noted that the Colombian authorities have provided a report on 19 June 1998 to the Centre and requested IUCN to report back on its review of this report to the twenty-second extraordinary session of the World Heritage Bureau.

Decision Adopted: 22 COM VII.27

VII.27 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/5) and included in Annex IV on the following properties:

The Committee noted that the Bureau's decision reflected the suggestion to establish an informal contact group on mining and World Heritage and that the IUCN "Draft Policy on Mining and Protected Areas" will be circulated.

The Committee noted the UN official name for the State Party: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.