1.         Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia) (C/N 181quinquies)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (iii)(iv)(vi)(vii)(viii)(ix)(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/181/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/181/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/181/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: At its twenty-second session (June 1998), the Bureau noted that the Tasmanian Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA) signed by the Commonwealth and the Tasmanian Governments on 8 November 1997, has enabled: the establishment of a significantly increased reserve system for Tasmania’s Forest Estate; participation by the signatories in further World Heritage assessment of relevant Australia-wide themes; and initiation of discussions between the signatories on possibilities for further World Heritage nominations or additions to the present World Heritage site. The Bureau requested the State Party to keep the Centre informed of any potential boundary extensions that may be foreseen for the Tasmanian Wilderness and to provide a timetable for the implementation of the Regional Forestry Agreement. At its twenty-second extraordinary session (November 1998), the Bureau learned that negotiations between the Tasmanian and the Commonwealth Governments for setting a timetable, potentially involving the extension of the boundaries of the World Heritage site, were underway and the Australian authorities had agreed to provide the timetable when the two parties reach an agreement. The Bureau recommended that the Centre and IUCN maintain contacts with the Australian authorities to obtain information on the timetable and requested the Centre to transmit a report from the Australian NGOs to the State Party concerning the Tasmanian Wilderness for review.

New information:  IUCN has informed the Centre that the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) proposes to complete an assessment on the state of conservation of the Tasmanian Wilderness, based on inputs from NGOs and other interests in 2000. In principle, IUCN supports the RFA process as it represents a significant step towards a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system. IUCN considers that elements of the dedicated RFA reserve system may be relevant to identifying suitable extensions to the World Heritage site and believes that the RFA cements relations between state and federal governments on matters affecting the World Heritage site such as policy, management and funding. However, IUCN remains concerned about the RFA possible excluding important forest areas, already identified as having World Heritage value, from the reserve system. Threats posed by logging sanctioned by the RFA to the forest catchments that may be represented within the World Heritage site, are also a matter for concern.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to request IUCN to complete its review process on the state of conservation of this site, including specific concerns it has noted, and submit an up-to-date report to the twenty fourth-session on the Bureau in 2000.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

Twenty-second session of the Committee: Chapter VII.30 and page 101 of Annex IV

Twenty-third session of the Bureau– Chapter IV.48

 

New information: The twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau, in July 1999, requested the Australian Government to inform the Centre of (i) any potential boundary extensions that may be foreseen together with a timetable for the implementation of the Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA);  (ii) its assessment of the implications of the RFA on other areas identified as having World Heritage value and (iii) the potential impacts on forest catchments in the World Heritage site of other areas which may be logged under the RFA.

The Minister for Environment and Heritage in Australia in a letter dated 14 September 1999 transmitted the response of the Australian Government to the Bureau's request to the Centre.  The Centre has provided a copy of the Minister's letter to IUCN and the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) as had been requested by the twenty-third session of the Bureau.  The letter indicates that the Australian Government's priority is in enhancing the management regime for the existing World Heritage property and ensuring that all World Heritage values are protected.  Boundary extensions are not being actively considered at this stage.  In his letter the Minister notes the concerns expressed by IUCN relating to logging activities and provides assurances that he will take the necessary steps to protect World Heritage values if he was to consider they were being damaged.  The Australian Government considers that the issues associated with World Heritage were adequately addressed by the RFA and that it provides for the ecologically sustainable management of forests in Tasmania.

The Minister's letter provides information on the recently completed 1999 Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan developed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.  The Management Plan has been ratified by both the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments and presents a framework that includes the fostering of management practices in lands adjacent to the World Heritage Area to adequately protect the values of the property.  The Minister has also informed the Centre that a new Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which will come into effect no later than July 2000.

IUCN has informed the Centre that the Australian Committee of IUCN (ACIUCN) proposes to complete an assessment of the conservation status for the Tasmanian Wilderness within the next year.  IUCN notes and commends the recently completed 1999 Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan, and recommends that its effectiveness be regularly monitored over time.

IUCN notes and supports, in principle, the 1997 Tasmanian Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA) process as it represents a significant step towards a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system, as well as potentially providing the basis for the ecologically sustainable management of forests in Tasmania.  IUCN also notes that the RFA consolidates relationships between state and federal governments on matters affecting the World Heritage site relating to policy, management and funding. 

IUCN considers it is important that options for any future extension of the World Heritage property should not be foreclosed.  IUCN thus considers that areas of the dedicated RFA reserve system which have been previously identified as having World Heritage value should be managed in a manner consistent with potential World Heritage status.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies

N/A

Decision Adopted: 23 BUR IV.B.48

At its twenty-second session (June 1998), the Bureau noted that the Tasmanian Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA) signed by the Commonwealth and the Tasmanian Governments on 8 November 1997, has enabled: (i) the establishment of a significantly increased reserve system for Tasmania’s Forest Estate; (ii) participation by the signatories in further World Heritage assessment of relevant Australia-wide themes; and (iii) initiation of discussions between the signatories on possibilities for further World Heritage nominations or additions to the present World Heritage site. The twenty-second session of the Bureau requested the State Party to keep the Centre informed of any potential boundary extensions that may be foreseen for the Tasmanian Wilderness and to provide a timetable for the implementation of the Regional Forestry Agreement. At its twenty-second extraordinary session (November 1998), the Bureau learned that negotiations between the Tasmanian and the Commonwealth Governments for setting a timetable, potentially involving the extension of the boundaries of the World Heritage site, were underway and the Australian authorities had agreed to provide the timetable when the two parties reach an agreement. The twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau recommended that the Centre and IUCN maintain contact with the Australian authorities to obtain information on the timetable and requested the Centre to transmit a report from the Australian NGOs to the State Party concerning the Tasmanian Wilderness for review.

IUCN has informed the Centre that the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) proposes to complete an assessment on the state of conservation of the Tasmanian Wilderness, based on inputs from NGOs, Government agencies and other interested parties in 2000.  In principle, IUCN supports the Regional Forest Assessment (RFA) process as it represents a significant step towards a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system.  IUCN considers that elements of the dedicated RFA reserve system may be relevant to identifying suitable extensions to the World Heritage site and believes that the RFA cements relations between state and federal governments on matters affecting the World Heritage site such as policy, management and funding. However, IUCN remains concerned about the RFA possibly excluding from the reserve system important forest areas, already identified as of potential World Heritage value.  Threats posed by logging, sanctioned by the RFA, to forest catchments that may be represented within the World Heritage site, are also a matter of concern to IUCN.

The Bureau wishes to request ACIUCN to complete its review process on the state of conservation of the Tasmanian Wilderness, including specific concerns it has noted, and submit an up-to-date report to the twenty fourth-session on the Bureau in 2000. 

To enable ACIUCN to undertake its assessment of the state of conservation of this site, the Bureau invites the State Party to inform the Centre by 15 September 1999 of the following: (i) any potential boundary extensions that may be foreseen together with a timetable for the implementation of the Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA), (ii) its assessment of the implications of the RFA on other areas identified as having World Heritage value and (iii) the potential impacts on forest catchments in the World Heritage site of other areas which may be logged under the RFA.

Decision Adopted: 23 COM X.B.29

X.29 Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia)

The Committee recalled the reports from the twenty-third ordinary and the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on the state of conservation of this property and adopted the following decision:

"The Committee requested the Australian Committee for IUCN (ACIUCN) to complete its review process on the state of conservation of the Tasmanian Wilderness with the aim of submitting an up-to-date report to the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in 2000. ACIUCN's review should include reference to any continuing concerns, such as those noted at the twentythird ordinary session of the Bureau, and suggestions relating to any future extension of the World Heritage property and the management of areas of the dedicated Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) reserve system which have been previously identified as having World Heritage value.

The Committee commended the State Party for the recent completion of the 1999 Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan, and recommended that its effectiveness be regularly monitored over time."