State of Conservation (SOC)
Wet Tropics of Queensland
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
Summary of previous deliberations: The Bureau, at its twenty-second session (June, 1998) learned that the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment had determined that clearing of vegetation that may have occurred within this property did not place the World Heritage values of the site at risk. At its twenty-second extraordinary session (Kyoto, 1998), the Bureau was informed that the arrangements for the management of this site were fully effective and met with the full confidence of the Commonwealth Government of Australia. The Management Plan, effective as of 1 September 1998, had been prepared with the full involvement of all stakeholders, including Aboriginal groups, and provides the Wet Tropics Management Authority with a full suite of powers to act in the interests of the World Heritage values of the property. The Bureau noted that IUCN had received a report on the state of conservation of this site from its Australian National Committee and was in the process of reviewing that report. The Bureau requested the Centre to transmit the report from IUCN Australia to the State Party for review and recommended that IUCN provide an up-to-date state of conservation report on this site for the twenty-third session of the Bureau.
New information: IUCN has informed the Centre that preliminary advice it has received indicates that the central conservation in this site will be the effectiveness of implementation of the management plan. Effectiveness of plan implementation to mitigate impacts of invasive species and water extraction and for fire management, tourism development and involving Aboriginal people in site-management are particular concerns. IUCN has informed the Centre that ACIUCN has established a collaborative process to finalise a report on the conservation status of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. This report will be ready for submission to the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau (Marrakesh, Morocco, from 26 to 27 November 1999).
The Bureau may wish to request IUCN to submit an up-to-date state of conservation report on this site to its twenty-third extraordinary session in November 1999.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Ap proved: 0USD
early 1992: IUCN mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Lack of funds (issue resolved);
- Delayed planning process (issue resolved);
- Hydropower development project (issue resolved).
Current conservation issues
Twenty-second session of the Committee – page 94 of Annex IV
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.23
New information: The Australian Government informed the Centre in a letter dated 14 September 1999 that the consultative process involving the ACIUCN, the State Government of Queensland and other stakeholders to prepare an up-to-date state of conservation report for the Wet Tropics of Queensland is yet to be finalised
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
The Bureau, at its twenty-second session learned that the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment had determined that clearing of vegetation that may have occurred within this property did not place the World Heritage values of the site at risk. At its twenty-second extraordinary session (Kyoto, 1998), the Bureau was informed that the arrangements for the management of this site were fully effective and met with the full confidence of the Commonwealth Government of Australia. The Management Plan, effective as of 1 September 1998, had been prepared with the full involvement of all stakeholders, including Aboriginal groups, and provides the Wet Tropics Management Authority with a full suite of powers to act in the interests of the World Heritage values of the property. The Bureau noted that IUCN had received a report on the state of conservation of this site from ACIUCN and was in the process of reviewing it. The Bureau requested the Centre to transmit the report from ACIUCN to the State Party for review and recommended that IUCN provide an up-to-date state of conservation report on this site for the twenty-third session of the Bureau.
IUCN informed the Centre that preliminary advice it has received indicates that the central issue is the effectiveness of implementation of the management plan, in relation to issues such as invasive species, water extraction, fire management, tourism development and the effective involvement of Aboriginal people. IUCN has informed the Centre that ACIUCN has established a collaborative process to finalise its report on the conservation status of the Wet Tropics. This report will be ready for submission to the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 1999.
Link to the decision
X.28 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) included as Annex VIII to this report. Additional observations made during the Committee session are reflected below.
Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)
Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)
The Delegate of Australia thanked IUCN for the consultative process started, which could be a model for other State Parties. He also informed the Committee that the area of marine protection around Macquerie Island had been extended and now comprises 16 million ha, the world's largest highly protected marine zone.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
The Delegate of Colombia informed the Committee that a visit by a delegation from the Ministry for Environment to Los Katios was recently carried out. The visit included areas that were previously not accessible. He emphasized that the proposal to grant collective land ownership over 100,000ha would be outside the Park in the buffer zone. He commented that his Government would be pleased to receive the visit of the monitoring mission to this site in 2000. The Colombian authorities have enhanced transboundary co-operation with Darien National Park (Panama) and strengthened the protected area system.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Observer of the United States underlined his Government's role in safeguarding Galapagos Islands and congratulated the Government of Ecuador on progress made. He noted the landmark decision of the Galapagos Law and questioned whether it had been implemented, in particular concerning the forty-mile zone. The Secretariat informed the Committee that some threats related to illegal fishing have been reported. IUCN noted the implementation of this pioneering legislation is vital and specific regulations need to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. The Delegate of Ecuador provided information from the Ministry of Environment noting progress concerning control of introduced species and general improvements in relation to biodiversity conservation at the site. Concerning the control of the 40-mile zone, she stated that the law has not yet been implemented, but that the basis for the conservation and environmental control is there. She thanked the Committee for all its efforts to safeguard the Galapagos.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya)
Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)
The Observer of Nepal expressed his gratitude for the international support for the important project on tourism carried out at Sagarmatha National Park. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that it is a ground-breaking project.
Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
The Delegate of Thailand noted the raised serious concerns raised by the Bureau regarding the management of this site, given the decline in numbers of the Arabian Oryx and the fact that the boundary marking and management planning is long overdue for completion. He recalled that the Committee inscribed the site without legislation and management plan in December 1994. He highlighted the Operational Guidelines in relation to the deletion of properties. The Delegate of Benin noted that rigour was not always applied in the past years and that a number of sites would not have been accepted if they were presented today. Concerning the question of deletion, a site would be put first on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand made it clear that he had not proposed the deletion of the site from the World Heritage List and that he was totally aware of the modalities in that respect. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that similar problems concerned a number of sites and that these issues would certainly be dealt with by the periodic reporting process. IUCN pointed out that it had consistently raised concerns about this site. IUCN noted that legislation does not have effect if there is not sufficient resources for its implementation. The Chairperson reminded the Committee members about the rarity of Arab natural sites on the List. In concluding, the Chairperson thanked the Committee for the debate and noted that awareness needs to be raised in countries about the World Heritage Convention, its obligations and World Heritage values to be preserved for future generations, in particular among decision-makers. He thanked the Delegate of Thailand for his statement and encouraged the Committee to further reflect on how to enhance the protection of World Heritage sites.
Huascaran National Park (Peru)
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
The Observer of Russia requested that the information provided during the adoption of the report of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on this site be included in the Bureau report.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
Gough Island (United Kingdom)
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
"The Bureau urges the State Party and IUCN to finalise the consultation process as soon as possible with a view to providing a detailed and up-to-date state of conservation report on the Wet Tropics of Queensland, including a focused set of recommendations and a plan for their implementation as has been developed for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and submit them to the consideration of the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in the year 2000."
Wet Tropics of Queensland
- Management systems/ management plan
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”).