1.         Dorset and East Devon Coast (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (N 1029)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2001

Criteria  (viii)

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/1029/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1029/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1029/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

In reply to a request by the World Heritage Centre, the State Party by its letter of 7 February 2007 provided information about the accident of the container vessel MSC Napoli (registered in London) in the English Channel. The ship ran into difficulties on 18 January 2007 and a decision was taken to beach it under emergency conditions in Lyme Bay within the World Heritage property on 20 January 2007 to minimise further damage to the vessel and limit further environmental impacts.

The report analyses the impact of the accident. The main impacts reported are the leakage of an estimated 200 tons of heavy fuel oil (a small but significant portion of the 3,500t on board), loss of 103 containers overboard of which 50 beached until end of February, leakage from intact and damaged containers and scavenging on the beached containers. Local environmental impacts were also noted, including impacts on access and tourism reputation as well as cost and time involved in response both for local and national authorities. The report concludes that the preparedness arrangements have worked well and can be considered as a model. Major impacts have been minimised through rapid response and by good weather conditions. However, lessons have to be learned on security, and possibly on alternatives to beaching in the event of a similar accident, as well as improvements to the response by the property management and the authorities. The State Party notes that the international aspects of the case need to be recognised and that it could provide a messages to sensitize State Parties on shipping standards, response arrangements and more generally on marine litter, in particular for coastal and marine World Heritage properties.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.33

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Regrets the MSC Napoli accident in the English Channel impacting on the World Heritage property of the Dorset and East Devon Coast;

3.       Welcomes the rapid response by the British authorities and the detailed reports and briefings provided to the World Heritage Centre;

4.       Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on any further potential impact on the property and on lessons learnt in the implementation of the Risk Preparedness plan;

5.       Also requests the State Party to consider requesting designation as an Area to be Avoided (ATBA), and precautionary measure associated with Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).