State of Conservation (SOC)
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau - paragraph IV. 43
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph X.27
Main issues: oil exploration in the Atlantic frontier, protection of marine area, management plan.
New information: At its twenty-third session held in Marrakesh, the World Heritage Committee made recommendations to expand the boundaries of the World Heritage site to include the surrounding marine area and to revise the management plan. IUCN reviewed a letter from the State Party dated 26 October 2000, updating progress on these recommendations as follows:
- Boundaries extension: A marine survey has been carried out to obtain the necessary data to inform the case of the extension of the site. The UK Government seeks to bring forward proposals for an extension to the site by June 2002.
- Management Plan: It has not been possible to start work on a new management plan before the determination of new boundaries. This work was expected to begin in early 2001 and is not likely to be completed in time to report to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau. If the new boundaries stretch beyond the six-mile limit this will raise issues related to the law of the sea administered by the International Maritime Organisation and the State Party may require the assistance of the World Heritage Centre.
- The UK Government has also placed a moratorium on all oil licences nearer St Kilda than those already licensed.
Action RequiredThe Bureau commends the State Party on progress made in addressing the Committee’s recommendations and requests the State Party to provide a further progress report on the implementation of recommendations from the twenty-third session of the Committee by 15 September 2001.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Ap proved: 0USD
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Proposed Oil exploration and production, and potential oil spills
- Need to expand the boundaries
Current conservation issues
The Scottish Executive provided a report on the state of conservation of St. Kilda dated 18 September 2001 that was transmitted to IUCN for review. It recalled that the Committee proposed that the boundaries of the site be expanded to include the marine area and the management plan be revised. The authorities informed the Centre that they would be targeting a submission date in time for the twenty-sixth session of the Committee.
On the basis of the State Party report IUCN would like to:
· commend the State Party on the research and surveys, both those completed and ongoing, which are mapping the seabed and identifying key seabird communities
· note the collaboration of a number of organisations in the process of delineating the proposed new boundaries of the site based on these research activities
· commend the State Party for maintaining the moratorium on the issuance of new oil licenses nearer to the site than those already in existence, and request that details of the risk assessment process to be put in place be provided along with the draft management plan as soon as possible
· encourage the State Party to include in the revised management plan strict prohibition of all oil, gas and other exploration, in both the site and the buffer zone.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
V.168 The Bureau recalled the World Heritage Committee recommendations to expand the boundaries of the World Heritage site to include the surrounding marine area and to revise the management plan. IUCN reviewed a letter from the State Party dated 26 October 2000, updating progress on these recommendations as follows: boundary extension: A marine survey has been carried out to obtain the necessary data to inform on the issue of the extension of the site. The UK Government seeks to bring forward proposals for an extension to the site by June 2002. Management Plan: It is not possible to start work on a new management plan before the determination of new boundaries. This work was expected to begin in early 2001 and is not likely to be completed in time to report to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau. If the new boundaries extend beyond the nautical six-mile limit, this will raise issues related to the law of the sea administered by the International Maritime Organisation and the State Party may require the assistance of the World Heritage Centre. The UK Government has also placed a moratorium on all new oil licences nearer to St Kilda than those already granted.
V.169 The Bureau commended the State Party on progress made in addressing the Committee’s recommendations and requests the State Party to provide a further progress report on the implementation of recommendations from the twenty-third session of the Committee by 15 September 2001.
Link to the decision
Reports on the state of conservation of natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List noted by the Committee
Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
Fraser Island (Australia)
The Sundarbans (Bangladesh)
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Gros Morne National Park (Canada)
Nahanni National Park (Canada)
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
Caves of the Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (Hungary/Slovakia)
The Committee noted that the issues raised concern only the Slovak part of this transboundary site.
Sundarbans National Park (India)
The Delegate of India informed the Committee that there is no National Waterways Project that is planned or likely to impact this site.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Lorentz National Park (Indonesia)
The Observer of Indonesia thanked the Australian authorities for their financial assistance. He informed the Committee that it would be difficult to comply with the deadline of 1 February and that a report could be provided by the end of March 2002.
Aeolian Islands (Italy)
The Observer of Italy confirmed that there was a court decision on 4 December 2001, which is not yet public, but that it is hoped to be available soon. She informed the Committee that the collaboration between the autonomous regional Government and the central Government has commenced and that a meeting will take place to find a solution.
Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania)
The Delegate of Egypt brought to the attention of the Committee the importance of protecting the wetlands, which are known to be important rest places for the migratory birds along their routes. He suggested that the World Heritage Centre should have a plan defining the wetlands, which are important for the birds and to use this information for establishing "satellite" World Heritage sites. IUCN informed of the co-operation between the World Heritage Centre and the Ramsar Convention as well as with Bird Life International for the protection of the wetlands. He also highlighted the importance of the surrounding areas to the World Heritage sites and the links with the Man and Biosphere programme for the protection of the sites. The Secretariat informed of the on-going discussions with the Secretariat of the Convention of Migratory Species to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between these two Conventions.
Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia)
Sian Ka'an (Mexico)
The Delegate of Mexico informed that the confirmation of the Ecological Land-Use Plan is in its final phase and consequently she asked that the deadline for the report requested by the Bureau be set for 15 May 2002 for examination at the twenty-sixth session of the Committee in June.
Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)
Western Caucasus (Russian Federation)
Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation)
Doñana National Park (Spain)
Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom)
St Kilda (United Kingdom)
Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America)
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision:
“The Bureau commends the State Party for the progress report provided and requests the authorities to submit a report by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Bureau. The Bureau encourages the State Party to complete the new boundary identification as soon as possible so that work can commence in earnest on the management plan. It requests the State Party to clarify the role and involvement of the site authorities in the decision-making process for issuance of licenses in the site, in the buffer zone and outside the buffer zone. The Bureau also welcomes the outcome of the consultation meetings held as part of the preparation of the management plan. The Bureau would like to remind the State Party that any revised nomination dossier for cultural values and revised boundaries should be submitted by the deadlines established by the Committee.”
- Management systems/ management plan
- Oil and gas
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”).