1.         iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa) (N 914)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1999

Criteria  (vii)(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/914/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 20,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/914/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/914/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

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. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.6

The World Heritage Committee [3],

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.

[3]  Decision adopted without discussion