State of Conservation (SOC)
Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (2003)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:0USD
February 2003: joint UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Commercial development in the area surrounding the site
- Redevelopment of a complex for visitor facilities
- Need for an integrated management plan
Current conservation issues
UNESCO and IUCN carried out a monitoring mission to this site from 16 to 19 February 2003, as requested by the 26th session of the Committee. The mission team was satisfied with the overall state of conservation of the site.
The mission report notes positive development in the preparation of the Management Plan for this area, which is managed by the Moyle District Council and the National Trust. There are two draft versions of the planning documents: “The Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan of Landscape Design Associate”, dated 5 December 2002, and the “Causeway Coast AONB Management Plan”, dated 5 February 2003. The final version of the Management Plan should be available in March 2003. Additionally, the authorities intend to prepare a separate Management Plan for the World Heritage site by February 2004.
The mission report notes several proposals for the development projects adjacent to the World Heritage boundaries, including the extension of the Causeway Hotel, the development of a golf resort, and a new visitor centre adjacent to the site. The mission was informed that the applications for these projects were sent to the Planning Service. However, no applications were submitted for reconstruction of the existing visitor centre that was damaged by fire. The mission report supports renovation of this centre. The mission report also notes that the buffer zone is not defined and that no projects should be allowed without clear demarcation of this zone.
The State Party provided comments on the report by letter dated 17 April 2003, proposing that the reference in the report concerning the small visitor centre at the entrance of the site should be referred to as Visitor Centre appropriate for a World Heritage site, taking into account the landscape, ecological and aesthetic sensitivities of the site. Referring to the issue that there is no buffer zone, the State Party commented that all development proposals have been scrutinized within a radius of 4km of the site. Furthermore it was underlined that the AONB Management Plan is being prepared. Concerning the Management Body, the authorities note that this will be addressed through the World Heritage site management plan – this will also cover tourism management. The authorities note that issues concerning development proposals will be addressed through the AONB Management Plan. The State Party furthermore submits an announcement for a tourism master plan.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
The World Heritage Committee ,
1. Notes the results of the UNESCO/IUCN mission to Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom);
2. Acknowledges the additional comments by the authorities on the mission report;
3. Commends the State Party for preparing "The Causeway Coast Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) management plan" as well as for the proposal to develop the World Heritage Property Management Plan by February 2004;
4. Encourages the State Party to work towards a consistent plan in co-operation with all relevant stakeholders;
5. Requests the submission to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2005 of the management plan for the property;
6. Encourages Moyle District Council to ensure that the new visitor centre is in keeping with the needs of the property;, is not intrusive in the landscape and is on the same scale as the previous visitor centre.
7. Requests the authorities to keep the World Heritage Centre and IUCN informed on any further development.
 Decision adopted following written amendments proposed by the State Party.
Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 21
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Notes the results of the UNESCO/IUCN mission to Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom),
2. Acknowledges the additional comments by the authorities on the mission report,
3. Commends the State Party for preparing “The Causeway Coast AONB Management Plan” as well as for the proposal to develop the World Heritage Site Management Plan by February 2004,
4. Encourages the State Party to work towards a consistent plan in co-operation with all relevant stakeholders,
5. Requests the submission by 1 February 2004 of a copy of the Management Plan to the Centre and IUCN for review,
6. Encourages the Moyle District Council to apply for the reconstruction of the existing facility under the condition that it does not extend in size and height from the previous one,
7. Requests the authorities to keep the Centre and IUCN informed on any further development.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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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”).