1.         Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1993-2007, 2010-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The property was re-inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, on the request of the State Party, due to concerns that the property's aquatic ecosystem continues to deteriorate, in particular as a result of:

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1275 
Updated: see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1062 
Updated: see pages https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348 and https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4958/

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

April 2006: IUCN participation in a technical workshop to identify benchmarks and corrective measures; January 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 26 January 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/, and which describes the progress made in implementing the corrective measures adopted in 2010, as follows:

The report notes that the changes required for the corrective measures will need at least another decade to meet the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). The report also highlights a setback in implementing corrective measures due to the El Niño event in 2015. An exceptionally dry season, followed by a heavy rainy season resulted in unprecedented salinity levels, a die-off of seagrass and a consequential algal bloom as well as in a failure to meet the hydrology targets of the DSOCR.

An Invasive Exotic Species Action Framework and a Presidential Executive Order intend to address increasing numbers of invasive species but resources for implementation remain limited.

Finally, the report informs about a proposal of a utility transmission line on the property’s eastern border as well as the potential of hydraulic fracturing projects near the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The implementation of the corrective measures has progressed notably. However, the consequences of the 2015 El Niño event and the increasing abundance of invasive alien species (IAS) as well as potential hydraulic fracturing and transmission line projects raise concern.

It is noted that lionfish appear to have a more limited impact on the property than previously anticipated, but that a number of other marine, terrestrial and freshwater fauna and flora are threatening the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. Taking into account that a number of IAS have been identified outside of the property boundaries that have not yet been found inside, measures to proactively prevent their introduction to the property are critical.

The reported details on the utility transmission line on the property boundary are noted, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any development in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

With respect to hydraulic fracturing, it is of utmost concern that in 2013 a company operating in the vicinity of the property used an ‘acidization process’. Noting the potential for the contamination of surface water and groundwater aquifers, it is recommended that the Committee recall its position that oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status and that it request the State Party to ensure that any oil and gas development proposed near or upstream of the property are not permitted to proceed if they could have negative impacts on the OUV of the property.

The approval of the General Management Plan (GMP) in 2015 and the start of its implementation is welcomed. Considering the delayed approval, high priority should be given to its swift implementation.

While progress is being made, significant work remains to be done to meet the DSOCR. The changes required to achieve the DSCOR targets and corrective measures of 2010 will need at least another decade. Therefore, it is recommended that the World Heritage Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

In view of the fact that the implementation of the corrective measures, while well underway, will take at least 10 years to complete, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit a report in 2 years’ time only.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7A.17 and 40 COM 7A.50, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes with appreciation the continuous progress made by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures, but requests the State Party to accelerate its efforts towards the completion of the restoration projects that are vital to meeting the water quality and quantity targets, and that can secure the improvement of the ecological indicators for the integrity of the property;
  4. Welcomes the approval of the General Management Plan and the start of its implementation, encourages the State Party to establish its Advisory Committee without delay, and also requests the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the General Management Plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  5. Notes with concern the negative effects of the 2015 El Niño event on the property as well as the continuously increasing abundance of invasive species both within the property and in its proximity, and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure the provision of all resources necessary for their successful containment, eradication, as well as preventing the introduction of any additional invasive alien species;
  6. Also notes with concern the proposal of a utility transmission line along the eastern border of the property as well as the potential for hydraulic fracturing projects in proximity of the property, and further requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any development before making any decision that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and recalls its established position on the incompatibility of oil and gas exploration and exploitation with the World Heritage status of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019;
  8. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: