Iguazu National Park (Argentina) (N 303)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1984
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/303/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 20,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/303/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
September 2006: UNESCO Mission; April 2008: World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission.
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Proposed hydropower dams;
- Illegal logging and hunting;
- Uncoordinated development;
- Lack of transboundary cooperation;
- Lack of sustainable financing;
- Problems associated with public use and lack of public use plan;
- Alien invasive species
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/303/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014
On 31 January 2014, the State Party of Argentina submitted a joint state of conservation report, as requested by Committee Decision 36 COM 7B.28, although the State Party of Brazil subsequently submitted a separate report on the state of conservation of the contiguous property of Iguaçu National Park. The report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/303/documents/. This joint report informs of progress achieved in terms of transboundary cooperation as follows:
- Mutual participation in the planning processes aimed at updating the management plans for both properties;
- Analysis of public use in both properties in order to develop a joint vision and shared visitation plan, mainly based on conservation criteria, visitation capacity, infrastructure, transportation, impact assessment and sewage treatment;
- Joint analysis of major biodiversity conservation issues in both properties, namely monitoring of the water volume of the Iguazú River, road kill, alien invasive species (AIS) and monitoring of flora and fauna;
- Joint definition of a technical cooperation protocol as a formal framework to reflect the institutional relationship between the two protected areas.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
The joint report focuses on transboundary cooperation. While its positive intent is welcomed, the report provides insufficient information to assess current and planned activities. Given the many linkages between the contiguous properties, a formalized transboundary cooperation framework, as requested by the Committee on several previous occasions, is still needed to ensure adequate coordination and cooperation at both political and working levels.
Earlier reports and World Heritage Committee decisions refer to the Salto Caxias dam and water flows in the Iguazú River. At the time, the Committee recommended that both the State Party and the State Party of Brazil continue monitoring to identify possible impacts on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Given that the construction of another dam is reported to have started just outside the neighboring property in Brazil (Baixo Iguaçu Hydroelectric Project), there is some serious concern about the possible impacts of modified water flows on the OUV of both properties. The State Party should engage with the neighboring State Party of Brazil to ensure that current, cumulative and transboundary impacts are understood and mitigated as far as possible.
While not addressed in the State Party report, it is understood that public use of this globally renowned tourist attraction continues to require increased attention. Ongoing research on alien invasive species (AIS) reported from the adjoining property in Brazil indicates an alarming situation, and earlier State Party reports raised concerns about AIS in aquatic habitats. AIS are a serious threat to the property and require increased levels of attention and management.
The globally outstanding biodiversity importance of the Interior Atlantic Forest, which is a main justification for the property’s inscription (in addition to its spectacular waterfalls) is worth recalling. The loss, degradation and fragmentation of this rare forest type, remnants of which remain in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, continues to increase. Scientific research suggests that the potential for securing additional land for conservation may be highest in Argentina, an idea already evoked during the evaluation of the property and included in the Committee decision at inscription in 1984. The 2008 reactive monitoring mission suggested that the "Argentine Peninsula Bottleneck" was of utmost importance from an integrity and connectivity perspective. It is recommended that the Committee encourage a systematic analysis of the remnants of the Interior Atlantic Forest within Argentina with a view to a possible extension of the property.
The updating of the management plans in both Argentina and Brazil constitutes an opportunity to develop a coherent response to the many conservation challenges described above. This parallel process will benefit from mutual exchange under a formalized framework for coordination and cooperation between the two contiguous properties, separated only by an international border.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.81
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
- Regrets that the brief joint State Party report only commented on transboundary cooperation and did not address important conservation issues, including issues of transboundary significance, such as water flows and alien invasive species (AIS);
- Also regrets the lack of tangible progress in formalizing and operationalizing transboundary cooperation with the neighbouring property of Iguaçu National Park in Brazil, and reiterates its request to the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil to formalize transboundary cooperation between the two contiguous World Heritage properties to politically confirm and technically guide cooperation and coordination;
- Requests the State Party to ensure full coordination with the State Party of Brazil in updating both management plans, addressing in particular law enforcement, AIS, public use communication, education and awareness;
- Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the State Party of Brazil, to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 8D
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/8D,
- Recalling Decision 37 COM 8D, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
- Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitations of their World Heritage properties and commends them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;
- Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitations of such properties as inscribed are unclear;
- Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the annexes of Document WHC-14/38.COM/8D:
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC:
- China: Mogao Caves; Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor; Lushan National Park; Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area; Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area;
- Japan: Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyotot, Uji and Otsu Cities);
- Thailand: Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries;
EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA:
- Canada: Miguasha National Park; Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks;
- Canada / United States of America: Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek;
- France: Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley;
- Germany: Speyer Cathedral; Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier; Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch;
- Russian Federation: Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments;
- Spain: Route of Santiago de Compostela;
- United States of America: Redwood National and State Parks; Mammoth Cave National Park; Statue of Liberty; Yosemite National Park; Taos Pueblo;
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARRIBBEAN:
6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2014 at the latest.
- Argentina: Iguazu National Park;
- Argentina / Brazil: Jesuit Missions of the Guarani: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Senora de Loreto, Santa Maria Mayor, Ruins of San Miguel das Missoes;
- Brazil: Historic Town of Ouro Preto; Serra da Capivara National Park; Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda; Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia;
- Colombia: San Augustín Archeological Park; National Archeological Park of Tierradentro; Los Katíos National Park;
- Costa Rica / Panama : Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park ;
- Guatemala: Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua;
- Mexico: Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro; Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl; Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara; Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco;
- Uruguay: Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento.