Decision : CONF 003 XI
Inscription: Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary
The Committee recalled that the nomination of Arabian Oryx sanctuary (then referred to as Jiddat-al-Harasis) was originally submitted in August 1992 and deferred for clarification of the legal structures, boundaries and management plan. It noted that the area was renowned for the success of the re-introduction of the White Oryx Project and acknowledged that the Royal Decree No. 4/94 of January 1994 concerning the legal responsibilities for the management of the area was a partial response to an earlier request of the Bureau for further strengthening the conservation of the site. The Decree, however, requires the issuance of appropriate byelaws and directives.
The Committee took note of Ambassador Musa Bin Jaafar Bin Hassan's letter of 21 November 1994 which included a preliminary response to the Bureau request for a Management Plan. The framework of the Plan submitted was considered to be technically sound and hence the Management Plan should provide clarification of the boundaries, as well as a zoning plan and improved management regime of the, site. The Committee was informed that due to the late arrival of the letter and the framework plan, IUCN was unable to apply its full evaluation process to the nomination but noted that in the evaluation of the 1992 nomination IUCN had said that the site had potential for World Heritage listing. The Committee was satisfied with the new information provided and the political will of the Omani Government to implement a management regime and inscribed this site on the World Heritage List under criterion > (iv) which focuses on the conservation of the site' s biodiversity, including the Arabian Oryx, the Houbara Bustard and other threatened wildlife species inhabiting the Sanctuary. The map representing the "essential values" of the Sanctuary prepared for the original nomination was accepted by the Delegate of Oman in consultation with IUCN and a representative of the World Heritage Centre, as the basis for the inscription.
The Committee recommended that:
- the Omani authorities continue to strengthen the management of the site by passing the byelaws and directives called for by the decree and appoint additional field staff to implement the management regime;
- the consultant who will prepare the management plan should clearly define the World Heritage values in accordance with the Operational Guidelines and should define the exact boundaries of the area, including a zoning plan which excludes any land uses that may be in conflict with World Heritage values;
- the consultant should make clear recommendations on the applicability of criterion (iii), by 1 April 1995;
- that the IUCN should present at the nineteenth session of the Bureau an evaluation of the revised boundaries and additional World Heritage criteria (if applicable), based on the consultant's report and whatever further information it required;
- that the Bureau should review at its nineteenth session the revised boundaries and additional criteria in accordance with its normal procedures.