Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1979
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger 1992-1997
Previous Committee Decisions see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 46,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
February 1992: IUCN expert mission; September 1992: Joint UNESCO/IUCN mission; September 1993: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission; May 1996: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2017: 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/98/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 31 January 2018, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, a summary of which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/98/documents/. Following the World Heritage Centre’s request on 5 February 2018, the State Party submitted further information on 7 March 2018. On 15 March 2018, the State Party submitted a draft Management Plan, including a draft Visitor Management Plan, which was commented upon by the World Heritage Centre on 19 April 2018. A State Party decision on Amendments to the Spatial Plan for the property was submitted on 18 April 2018.
Overall, the State Party reports the following:
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
In its Decision 41 COM 7B.3, the Committee considered that the significant and unsustainable expansion of tourist facilities inside the property with associated visual impacts as well as pressures on the property’s sensitive hydrogeology presented a potential danger to its OUV. It further noted that in the absence of substantial progress in addressing these threats the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger would be considered during the current session.
The State Party has made commendable progress in responding to the Committee’s concerns, resulting in strengthened regulations monitoring of compliance with construction and water permits, and a significant reduction in the number of issued building permits. It is also noted with appreciation that PIPLNP has enhanced its monitoring of aquatic ecosystems and continues to exercise its right to pre-emptively purchase land within the property. PIPLNP’s involvement in issuing building permits inside the property thanks to the amendments recently introduced to the Nature Protection Act should also be welcomed. The high number of violations of the existing legislation and permits recorded during recent inspections demonstrates the imperative of continuing these efforts. It is recommended that the Committee commend the State Party’s decision to develop amendments to the Spatial Plan, which also envisages a SEA that considers impacts on OUV, including the conditions of integrity of the property and cumulative impacts, in line with decisions 40 COM 7B.95 and 41 COM 7B.3. It is further recommended that the preparation of a new Management Plan for the property, including the Visitor Management Plan, is fully harmonized with the procedures foreseen for the SEA and for the amendments to the Spatial Plan, in order to ensure that the overall management framework is fully consistent with the protection of OUV. While the State Party’s commitment to share the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of all the planned projects with the World Heritage Centre is appreciated, it is recommended that the cumulative impacts of all known plans is nevertheless also assessed as part of the SEA.
It is also appreciated that the State Party is planning to upgrade water infrastructure in order to improve wastewater treatment and water supply management and ensure compliance with the EU Directive concerning urban wastewater treatment (UWWTD) by 2023. While noting that the installation of a mobile wastewater treatment plant and the restoration of the water supply line were initiated as an emergency measure in 2018, it is of concern that – amid water permit violations and exponentially growing tourist numbers – only 20.68% of the pollution load is currently treated in accordance with UWWTD.
Growing visitation is likely to increase the pressure on the property’s sensitive hydro-ecological system. The draft Visitor Management Plan includes provisions for a redistribution of visitors and a limit to visitor numbers at peak times, but it focuses on the carrying capacity of the park’s infrastructure and how it could be expanded rather than on the carrying capacity of the ecosystem and the attributes that demonstrate its OUV. It is therefore recommended that the Visitor Management Plan is further elaborated in order to emphasize the preservation of the property’s OUV as the primary objective and to establish carrying capacity based on strict scientific criteria.
While substantial progress has been made, it is considered that until key outstanding actions have been completed, including the upgrade of water infrastructure, the completion of the SEA, amendments to the Spatial Plan and the finalization of the management and visitor management plans, the continued exponential growth of visitation at the property represents a potential danger to its OUV, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.74
The World Heritage Committee,