The World Heritage Committee reiterates that mining activities and oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
|Date year:||2016 2014|
|Threats:||Mining Oil and gas Quarrying Water (extraction)|
See for examples Decisions (4)
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7B.29 and 39 COM 7B.27, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
- Reiterates its concern that the majority of the Chapada dos Veadeiros component of the property continues to no longer benefit from National Park status, and that its integrity is therefore no longer guaranteed;
- Acknowledges the progress achieved by the State Party to restore the protection status of the Chapada dos Veadeiros component, including the undertaking of the public consultation process on the expansion of the park, but notes that a number of issues remain to be urgently resolved;
- Regretting that the State Party did not submit any proposal for a significant boundary modification of the property, in line with Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines and as requested by the Committee at its 37th and 39th sessions, urges the State Party to ensure that the Decree on the expansion of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is approved as a matter of priority and to submit, by 1 February 2017, a proposal for a significant boundary modification of the property to reflect the new boundaries of the National Park;
- Requests the State Party to continue its efforts in the implementation of the management plan of the Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area (EPA), which surrounds the property and in the undertaking of the land tenure regularization process;
- Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017, with a view to considering, in the case that significant progress to address the lack of protection of parts of the property has not been achieved, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.62, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
- Welcomes the progress made on implementing the recommendations of the 2014 joint Reactive Monitoring mission, as well as towards the application for the Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) designation of the property and its surrounding areas and encourages the State Party to pursue its efforts to submit a completed application to the International Maritime Organization in February 2017;
- Encourages the State Party to continue involving the local communities in the management and conservation of the property;
- Notes that no oil or mining exploration permits are attributed within the property and that the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) plan is in process, but expresses its concern about potential impacts if any of the ongoing exploration projects lead to exploitation, in particular, in oil blocks close to the property;
- Requests the State Party to ensure that all future projects that could impact on the property are subject to an assessment of their impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN:
- A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of developments at Chami, in order to identify measures to avoid and where necessary mitigate impacts on the OUV of the property,
- EIAs for any future developments at the Tasiast gold mine and for off-shore oil exploitation;
- Also requests the State Party to provide data on local and non-local use of the Nouamghar road collected by the new control points to ascertain that the road is not impacting on the OUV, in particular marine resources, of the property;
- Further requests the State Party to fully implement all recommendations made by the 2014 mission, in particular:
- Ensure the sustainability of the current suveillance system, and maintain the ban on fishing by the non-Imraguen communities, and on fishing by motorized boats,
- In consultation with scientific organisations and the Imraguen local communitiy, address the problem of fishing of endangered species (sharks and rays) in order to guarantee their conservation; additional studies to identify any pressures on populations of turtles (reproductive and migratory) within the park also desirable,
- Put in place a permit system in order to prevent fishing pressure related to the immigration of non-resident communities which have come to fish,
- Undertake research to determine the effects of overfishing outside the property on the biodiversity located within the property, and reinforce measures to ensure the sustainability of fisheries located outside the property but in Mauritanian waters, in particular through regional and international cooperation;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
- Notes the information provided by the State Party that the majority of the recommendations from the 2013 IUCN advisory mission are being implemented;
- Reiterates its request to the State Party to consider, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, potential modifications and alternatives to the golf resort development project to avoid potential adverse impacts;
- Expresses concern that a petroleum exploration license was awarded in February 2011, which overlaps with the property, and that the State Party did not inform the Committee as required by paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
- Also notes the confirmation provided by the State Party that no exploratory works have taken place within the property to date, nor that any planning applications for such work within the property have been submitted, and urges the State Party to ensure that no exploration activities will take place within the boundaries of the property and that any exploration activities outside the property do not have an adverse impact on its Outstanding Universal Value;
- Reiterates its position that oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, and also urges the State Party to exclude the property from the petroleum exploration license;
- Takes note of the State Party’s intention to submit a proposal for a boundary modification of the property, and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure that any planned modifications of the property’s boundaries would not result in a further overlap between the petroleum exploration license and the property;
- Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, including on the implementation of actions outlined above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
The World Heritage Committee
- Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
- Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.5, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
- Reiterates its concern over oil exploration activities throughout the lake, noting that an accidental spill would pose a potentially severe risk to the integrity of the entire lake ecosystem including the aquatic zone and shoreline of the property
- Notes that an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for oil exploration in the northern part of the lake is being carried out, and requests the State Party to ensure that this ESIA includes a specific assessment of potential impacts of oil exploration and subsequent exploitation on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
- Urges the State Party to cancel the oil exploitation permit which overlaps with the property and reiterates its position that oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status;
- Calls on Surestream and RAKGAS, who have been awarded oil exploration concessions on the lake, to make a commitment to not exploit nor explore for oil or gas in World Heritage properties;
- Also requests the State Party of Malawi to implement all the recommendations of the 2014 joint UNESCO/IUCN reactive monitoring mission:
- Demarcate the boundary of the outer limits of the aquatic zone of the property with floating buoys,
- Deploy patrol boats, other equipment and personnel to ensure enforcement of fishing restrictions and other measures aimed at protecting the OUV of the property,
- Design and implement an effective monitoring protocol to provide a basis for assessing changes in fish diversity and populations, other fauna, water quality and management parameters that could be used in adapting management interventions for better protection of the property’s OUV,
- Closely engage with communities in the village enclaves and in the periphery of the property to develop suitable resource management programmes,
- Promote low-impact eco-tourism ventures that comply with appropriate environmental and social impact standards;
- Also urges the State Party to revise the 2007-2011 management plan for the property, provide an electronic and three printed copies for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN as soon as it is available and to ensure that the revised management plan includes provisions for the implementation of the above-mentioned mission recommendations;
- Encourages the States Parties of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania to collaborate in identifying important localities for the protection of endemic fish and evolutionary processes with a view to incorporating such areas into an extended trans-national serial property, in cooperation with international conservation non-governmental organizations and scientific experts;
- Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
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