State of Conservation (SOC)
Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (2001)
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:198,000USD
|1996||Conservation strategy and preparation of a management plan for ...||30,000 USD|
|1988||Equipment for Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve||20,000 USD|
|1987||Consultant services, training and equipment for improving the ...||30,000 USD|
|1985||Strengthen protection and management of Rio Platano Biosphere ...||20,000 USD|
|1983||Implementation of protective measures, of training activities and ...||26,000 USD|
|1982||Financial contribution towards ecodevelopment programmes and ...||67,025 USD|
|1982||Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve||4,975 USD|
October 2000: joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Extreme pressure with the invasion of refugees and settlers into the Reserve;
- Illegal tree felling;
- Road construction;
- Patuca II hydro power project
Current conservation issues
Deforestation, buffer zone projects to benefit local communities and limiting expansion of agriculture.
The State Forest Administration informed the Centre in August 2001 of the actions taken to follow up on the recommendations of the IUCN mission fielded to this site in October 2000. Principal elements of the report submitted by the Honduran authorities are:
· Compensation for people living inside the core zone of Rio Platano has started and the first 52 families out of 152 have moved away voluntarily after receiving 3.7 million lempiras from the Honduran Government. The Ministry of Finance has made available funds for the second phase of compensation;
· Demarcation of boundaries of the core zone has begun and 26 km of the most critical stretches of the boundary have been marked in co-operation with local communities. Demarcation of the boundaries in the southern and western parts of the buffer zone have been initiated;
· A field office has been set up in response to the administrative and infrastructure needs of the World Heritage site protection in the region. Two more field offices will be set up in the near future;
· A multitemporal analysis on vegetation cover and expansion of the agricultural area within the reserve has been undertaken. This analysis allows systematic monitoring of the state of the ecosystem. Initial findings of the analysis points to a decrease in the rate of loss of the vegetation compared to the findings of a similar study undertaken during 1997-1999;
· A study of the threats on Rio Platano BR is being elaborated by the Regional Biosphere Reserve Programme (RBRP), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras and NGO’s. The national workshop under the UN Foundation financed project, " Enhancing our heritage: monitoring and managing for success in World Natural Heritage sites“ is expected to be convened soon and will look at threats and state of conservation related issues. These initiatives will contribute towards improved monitoring of the site’s conservation status;
· The first forest management plan was elaborated by the RBRP staff following the Transforma approach developed by CATIE (A regional Research and Training Institute in Costa Rica). Another plan for organisational and productive aspects for eight agroforestry cooperatives in specific locations in the southern part of the Reserve and nine community development plans coordinated locally are under preparation. These plans will identify priority actions for social and community infrastructure and for facilitating co-management and protection of the reserve. Establishment of a techinal commission to prepare a legal instrument for defining the recognition of land use rights within the Reserve has been proposed;
· Action has been taken to reinforce the staff in charge of the management of the site. A forest technician and three guards have been hired. Coordination with other partners like TNC (The Nature Conservancy) and WWF, Mesoamerican Biological Corridor Project, German Technical Co-operation and local NGOs has been strengthened;
· A three-year workplan of specific actions linking biodiversity conservation to sustainable tourism development in and around Rio Platano is to be finalized before the end of 2001; this work plan has been elaborated as part of the execution of another UN Foundation-financed global initiative attempting to link biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism development at World Heritage sites.
The Committee may wish to adopt the following:
"The Committee welcomes the range of initiatives undertaken by the State Party, and other partners including those undertaken as part of two UN Foundation financed projects that are contributing towards the implementation of the recommendations of the IUCN mission to the site undertaken in October 2000. These were endorsed by the Committee at its last session in Cairns, Australia. The Committee urges the Centre and IUCN to continue to collaborate with the State Party and partners concerned to sustain the momentum. The Committee recommends that a detailed assessment of the state of conservation of the site, including considerations of the possible removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger, be prepared for submission to the twenty-seventh session of the Committee in June 2003. The Committee decides to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger".
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
SOC Reports2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1991 1990 1989 1988
Detailed List of SOC reports
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 2011
Threats to the Site:
a) Illegal logging;
b) Illegal occupation;
c) Reduced capacity of the State Party;
d) General deterioration of law and order and the security situation in the region.
Threats to the Site:
At both its 19th and 20th sessions, the World Heritage Committee heard reports of commercial and agricultural intrusions into the site, threatening the World Heritage values for which it had been inscribed. The advancing agricultural frontier at the west side of the reserve, pushed by small farmers and cattle ranchers, is already reducing the reserve's forest area. The southern and western zones of the Reserve are subject to massive extraction of precious wood such as Caoba (Swietenia macrophylla). Uncontrolled commercial hunting of wild animals is also practised. The introduction of exotic species is threatening to undermine the complex ecosystem of the Reserve. The absence of any management plan and the fact that there is almost no park staff to manage the 525,100 ha site has compounded the problem.
An eleven-point corrective action plan, recommended by a 1996 IUCN conservation status report, has been endorsed by the Minister for the Environment of Honduras and the elaboration of a management plan for Rio Platano is being carried out with a World Heritage Fund contribution, as part of a large-scale project for strengthening the conservation of the site financed by the German GTZ-KFW.
A hydroelectric development project, Patuca II, is currently proposed for implementation near the reserve with potential negative impacts on the site. According to reports, the Government is promoting the rapid implementation of this project. Matters are further complicated by the fact that communications with relevant authorities in Honduras have become difficult following recent damages caused to the country's infrastructure by Hurricane Mitch.
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”).