State of Conservation (SOC)
iSimangaliso Wetland Park (2003)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:20,000USD
|2003||Greater St. Lucia||20,000 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
The World Heritage Centre has received information from various stakeholders, organizations, including communities, conservation groups such as the Wildlife and Environment Society, user-groups and NGOs, on Saint Lucia Wetland Park expressing concerns of reported "new constructions inside Saint Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage site and the growing and intensified land conflict among the community members”.
These reports stress that:
- No overall environmental impact assessment has been completed or commissioned for new developments reported to be erected in ecologically sensitive areas of the Park; and no marketing assessment has been performed to justify the proposed 6000-7000 hotel beds planned to be built in the Park;
- The infrastructure for these facilities is commercially unviable;
- Many resident communities have not been informed of these initiatives; and
- The practice of falconry in and around the site.
It is reported through above correspondence to the Centre that there is a growing site management dispute resulting from claims and total breakdown in communication among stakeholders and some "illegal occupation" of the Park. The reports propose the need for skills training to promote the development of alternative livelihoods, negotiations and viable alternatives to alleviate the impact currently posed on the site.
The Centre received on 6 February 2003 a letter from Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Authority (GSLWP) transmitting a copy of a letter from the South African Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism to the South African Ambassador to France and the Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. The Minister informs that a dedicated management authority for St. Lucia was established to ensure that the World Heritage Convention obligations are met and that the objectives of the Park as set out in the World Heritage Convention Act 1999 (No 49 of 1999) are achieved.
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee ,
1. Taking note of the urgent need to re-establish co-operation and confidence among the stakeholders for the purpose of effective conservation and management of St. Lucia Wetland National Park,;
2. Expresses strong concern regarding the potential impacts that the reported developments and the lack of a comprehensive environmental assessment plan might have on the property;
3. Encourages the promotion of the development of new skills such as tourism among local communities for a better management of the property;
4. Requests the State Party to provide a report on these issues to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004.
 Decision adopted without discussion
Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 6
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Taking note of the urgent need to re-establish cooperation and confidence among the stakeholders for the purpose of effective conservation and management of St. Lucia Wetland National Park,
2. Expresses strong concern regarding the potential impacts of the reported developments and the lack of comprehensive environmental assessment plan might have on the site;
3. Encourages the promotion of the development of new skills such as tourism among local communities for a better management of the site;
4. Requests the States Party to provide a report on these issues by 1 February 2004.
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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”).