Committee Decisions

35 COM 7A.14

Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.29, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Notes the conclusion of the 2011 World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property continues to degrade due to an inadequate level of water flow and quality into the property;

4. Notes with appreciation that the State Party has developed significant plans during the last three decades to provide more natural flow of water and improve water quality, but expresses its concern that the projects necessary to achieve these goals have not been fully implemented nor are they fully underway and that there are considerable ongoing delays in project funding that largely prevent the park authorities from implementing and completing the nine corrective measures identified in 2006;

5. Requests the State Party to implement, in addition to the remaining corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), the following additional corrective measures:

a) Strengthen the cooperation among all partners involved in the restoration projects through adoption of a common vision which includes conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property as a consistent high priority. This common vision should be integrated in the General Management Plan expected in Spring 2011,

b) Ensure that the importance of an entire catchment scale approach to land and water planning and management in South Florida is fully recognized across all relevant agencies and stakeholders (e.g., through cross-compliance) and that decisions far upstream do not further impact the conservation of the property. The catchment scale approach should be reflected in and implemented through the General Management Plan expected in Spring 2011,

c) Address the delays in the implementation of the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD), C-111 and Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects, and related water quality initiatives which will result in continued degradation of the property and likely reduce the resilience of the Everglades ecosystem in the face of climate change,

d) Ensure progress on the further modifications on the Tamiami Trail to include extending the bridging to a further 5.5 miles together with additional road raising and other associated infrastructure changes to reduce groundwater seepage losses from the property whilst also addressing the concerns of other stakeholders,

e) Resolve uncertainties upstream of the property arising from the legal actions linked in particular to water quality;

6. Urges the State Party to strengthen efforts to implement all fourteen corrective measures, and to place the highest priority on the outstanding budget necessary for their full implementation;

7. Also requests the State Party to undertake an assessment of the effects of invasive species (flora and fauna) on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

8. Takes note of the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, provided in the report of the 2011 World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission, and further requests the State Party to refine and quantify all indicators so that progress towards their achievement can be measured;

9. Encourages the State Party to explore further practical and feasible measures (including the feasibility to delineate water conservation areas 3A and 3B as buffer zones) which will reduce the source of nutrient enrichment from the Everglades agricultural area together with other locations and resolve conflicts among stakeholders which otherwise might prevent the actual delivery of the required volumes of clean water to the property (e.g. water conservation area 3B);

10. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1February2012, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, including on progress achieved in implementing the corrective measures, as well as the other points raised above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012;

11. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties: United States of America
Session: 35COM