Committee Decisions

33 COM 7B.33

Belize Barrier Reef System (Belize) (N 764)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.33, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes with great concern that the moratorium on mangrove cutting has expired and that the State Party has been facilitating the on-going sale, lease and development of lands within the property, resulting in ascertained danger to its Outstanding Universal Value;

4. Further notes the weak institutional coordination mechanisms with regard to the management and protection of Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Requests the State Party to implement the necessary legal measures to guarantee the permanent cessation of the sale and lease of lands throughout the property, and the cessation of mangrove cutting, coral dredging and other associated real estate development activities;

6. Urges the State Party to implement the following additional corrective measures:

a) Ensure that development rights on existing private or leased lands within the property are clearly defined and strictly controlled with a view to conserving the Outstanding Universal Value of the property,

b) Develop and implement a restoration policy for lands degraded by unauthorized activities,

c) Establish a clear institutional coordination mechanism ensuring that the conservation of the property receives priority consideration within relevant governmental decision-making processes,

d) Develop a legal framework for co-management under which the respective responsibilities of the State Party and conservation NGOs can be effectively established, monitored and evaluated in relation to the conservation of the property,

e) Systematically consider and address the threat of introduced species within the management plans for the property,

f) Make publicly available the information on land ownership for all lands within the property, including mangrove islands, in easily accessible format, to ensure transparency in land use and allocations,

g) Develop and implement a medium-term plan to increase the no take zones within marine reserves, establishing ecologically effective protection and replenishment areas for heavily exploited fin fish, conch and lobster,

7. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, to finalize the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and to provide a draft proposal for the desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including measures taken to permanently stop the sale and lease of lands for development within the property, the impact on its integrity from real estate development activities and on progress in addressing the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission noted above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

9. Noting the information received from the monitoring mission and the oral report presented by the World Heritage Centre, decides to inscribe the Belize Barrier Reef System (Belize) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Belize
Session: 33COM