Committee Decisions

CONF 202 21B.30

Kakadu National Park (Australia)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Expresses its concern to the State Party about new leaks of contaminated water at the Ranger uranium mine and the Jabiluka mineral lease adjacent to Kakadu National Park.  The Committee is also concerned about reported shortcomings in the regulatory reporting procedures at both mine sites and deficiencies in the management of ore stockpiles at the Ranger mine which reduce public confidence, in the management and monitoring of the two sites.  Finally, the Committee stresses the need to adopt a strict environmental regime appropriate to a World Heritage property;

2. Notes the report of the Supervising Scientist which concluded that the environment and people downstream of the mine were not at risk at any time during or after the incident.  Nevertheless, the State Party recognizes the need to follow international best practice.  To this end the Minister for Environment and Heritage has discussed these issues with the Traditional Owners of Kakadu, Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. (ERA) and the Supervising Scientist;

3. Notes that the State Party has reported that the mining company has made a commitment to meet ISO14001 standards of environmental management at both Jabiluka and Ranger by July 2003; 

4. Requests the State Party to provide details of how these new, more stringent conditions will be fully met by ERA;

5. Notes that the State Party will co-operate with the Australian Senate Inquiry which will examine the regulatory, monitoring and reporting regimes at Ranger, Jabiluka and uranium operations elsewhere in Australia.  The State Party will also co-operate with the Northern Territory technical review into the regulation of the Ranger and Jabiluka operations;

6. Welcomes the fact that the Minister has decided to appoint a suitably qualified conservation NGO representative to the Alligator Rivers Region Technical Committee (ARRTC), and will consult with NGOs on this appointment.  ARRTC, at the request of the World Heritage Committee, continues to monitor and review the water management and other environmental issues at Jabiluka and Ranger, including those referred to in document WHC-02/CONF.202/17;

7. Is pleased to note with satisfaction that a cultural heritage management workshop was recently organized by Australia ICOMOS and the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation with the support of Environment Australia.  The Committee requests ICOMOS to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of continuing co-operative efforts with Traditional Owners in this regard;

8. Requests that the State Party report on progress on all the issues raised above by 1 February 2003 for review by its 27th session in June/July 2003.
Documents
PDF Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
PDF WHC-02/CONF.202/17
Themes: Conservation
Focal Point: APA
States Parties: Australia
Properties: Kakadu National Park
Session: 26COM