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World Heritage Convention

Decision 3 EXT.COM X1.2
Decision of the Third Extraordinary Session of the World Heritage Committee concerning Kakadu National Park, Australia

The Committee,

(a) Recognizes, with appreciation, that the Australian Government, Australian Supervising Scientist, advisory bodies (IUCN, ICOMOS and ICCROM) and independent scientific panel (ISP) established by the International Council of Science (ICSU) have provided the reports requested by the twenty-second session of the Committee (Kyoto, 1998);

(b) Acknowledges that there are indications that a new dialogue between the Mirrar Aboriginal people and the Australian Government has begun in relation to issues concerning the Jabiluka uranium mine and mill. The Committee considers this to be an essential step in finding a constructive solution to the issues raised by the UNESCO mission to Kakadu National Park and encourages the Australian Government to intensify their efforts in this regard and pursue with vigor the deepening of its dialogue with the Mirrar Aboriginal people;

(c) Notes that the Australian Government has stated (in document WHC-99/CONF.205/INF.3G entitled "Protecting Kakadu National Park" submitted by the Australian Government) that "full scale commercial mining at Jabiluka would only be reached about 2009 following the scaling down of production at the Ranger mine so that two mines would not be in full production simultaneously". The Committee further notes that the Minister for Environment and Heritage has stated that there shall be no parallel commercial scale operation of the Ranger and Jabiluka uranium mines located in enclaves surrounded by, but not included, in Kakadu National Park. The Committee considers that it is the clear responsibility of the Australian Government to regulate the activities of a private company, such as Energy Resources of Australia, Inc, in relation to the proposed mining and milling activities at Jabiluka to ensure the protection of the World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park;

(d) Notes that the Australian Supervising Scientist (ASS) has assessed the report of the independent scientific panel (ISP) established by the International Council of Science (ICSU) and seeks a dialogue with the ISP to resolve outstanding questions relating to scientific issues concerning mining and milling at Jabiluka.

WHC-99/CONF.205/5 Rev.
Report of the Rapporteur of the third extraordinary session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision