State of Conservation (SOC)
Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (2003)
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; July 2003: joint WHC/IUCN monitoring 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
Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve is another of the pilot sites included in the UNESCO/IUCN project “Enhancing Our Heritage: Monitoring and Managing for Success in World Natural Heritage Sites” (EOH Project), financed by UNF. In relation to the implementation of this project, IUCN Regional Office for Meso-America and the Protected Areas and Wildlife Department (DAPVS) organized a workshop in Tegucigalpa from 5 to 8 February 2002. The main outputs of the workshop include: a better understanding of the project and the management effectiveness framework, identification of the detailed schedule for the first year of the project, and expression of interest by GTZ to integrate its Project Biosphere (Proyecto Biosfera) into the EOH Project.
IUCN received a report on the initial assessment that was implemented under the EOH project. This report, prepared by the State Forest Administration (SFA) noted that a number of problems are still affecting the integrity of this site, such as: (a) immigration flow to colonize areas around the site; (b) agricultural and cattle raising activities by local communities within the site’s boundaries which are leading to forest destruction and subsequent erosion of wetlands and dunes within this site; (c) illegal logging and hunting, and; (d) introduction of non-native species, such as Tilapia sp in a number of rivers. The report also asserts that the State Party has continued its efforts to improve conservation of the site by increasing financial support for the management of the site, commencing the implementation of the Master Plan for the site and by increasing institutional presence of the Reserve’s management authority.
The site is also a pilot site for the UNF-funded project “Linking Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Tourism at World Heritage Sites”. The project is assisting the protected area administration in tourism planning and is providing guidance on how tourism can be used as an economic alternative to extractive resources. Training in micro-enterprise development is taking place in a number of communities, while nature guide training is in the process of planning. A monitoring programme is in place to track how project interventions will impact identified site threats. A representative of the site participated in a meeting to discuss sustainable financing of World Heritage sites held at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, from 28 to 30 April 2003.
Reports from various sources indicate that encroachment continues to be a serious problem in the southern and western part of the site. In a letter dated 7 February 2003, the Centre requested the State Party for more information on the state of conservation of the site and the follow up on the recommendations presented by the UNESCO/IUCN mission of November 2000. No reply has been received from the State Party so far. It needs to be noted that the UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission report recommended a follow-up evaluation mission to be held in 2003 in order to examine progress in management and the protection of the site and to consider possible removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The new information provided above has been proposed on a consensual basis between IUCN and the Centre.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Expresses satisfaction with the work being carried out to assist property management under the "Enhancing our Heritage" (EOH) Project and the Sustainable Tourism and Biodiversity Conservation Project, both financed by the United Nations Foundation (UNF);
2. Commends the State Party for its efforts to continue to improve management of the property;
3. Further commends the State Party for inviting an IUCN/UNESCO mission to the property which is currently taking place, as recommended by the earlier mission in 2000 in order to systematically assess progress and establish benchmarks and timeframes that may facilitate the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
4. Decides to retain the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-03/27.COM/7A),;
2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
- Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, Afghanistan (27 COM 7A.21)
- Butrint, Albania (27 COM 7A.26 )
- Tipasa, Algeria (27 COM 7A.17)
- Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin (27 COM 7A.15)
- Angkor, Cambodia (27 COM 7A.22)
- Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, Central African Republic (27 COM 7A.12 )
- Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea (27 COM 7A.4)
- Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
- Sangay National Park, Ecuador (27 COM 7A.13)
- Abu Mena, Egypt (27 COM 7A.18)
- Simien National Park, Ethiopia (27 COM 7A.3)
- Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras (27 COM 7A.14)
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, India (27 COM 7A.9)
- Group of Monuments at Hampi, India (27 COM 7A.23)
- Old City of Jerusalem & its Walls (27COM7A.29)
- Timbuktu, Mali (27 COM 7A.16)
- Air & Ténéré Natural Reserves, Niger (27 COM 7A.5)
- Bahla Fort, Oman (27 COM 7A.19)
- Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan (27 COM 7A.242)
- Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru (27 COM 7A.28)
- Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Philippines (27 COM 7A.25)
- Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Senegal (27 COM 7A.6)
- Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia (27 COM 7A.8)
- Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda (27 COM 7A.7)
- Everglades National Park, United States of America (27 COM 7A.11)
- Historic Town of Zabid, Yemen (27 COM 7A.20)
Draft decision : 27 COM 7 (a) 14
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Expresses satisfaction with the work being carried out to assist site management under the EOH Project and the Sustainable Tourism and Biodiversity Conservation Project, both financed by the UNF at the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve;
2. Commends the State Party for its efforts to continue to improve management of the site;
3. Notes that in response to an invitation from the State Party, an IUCN/Centre mission to the site, as recommended by the earlier mission in 2000, is currently taking place in order to systematically assess progress and establish benchmarks and timeframes that may facilitate the removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
4. Requests that IUCN and the Centre submit the findings and recommendations of the mission and any follow-up actions to the 28th session of the Committee; and
5. Decides to retain the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve on 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”).