X.5 Sangay National Park (Ecuador)
The Committee was pleased to note that, in accordance with the recommendation of its twenty-second session (Kyoto, 1998), the State Party had invited a mission to the site. The mission had been undertaken by IUCN experts and representatives of WWF, Fundacion Natura and the Ministry for the Environment of Ecuador, from 10 to 14 June 1999. The State Party did not have adequate time to respond to the mission's findings at the time of the twenty-third session of the Bureau (5-10 July 1999). Hence, the Bureau had requested that the State Party provide a detailed report on the findings and recommendations of the mission to the site before 15 September 1999. The report of the mission, presented in Document WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.13, noted several positive developments with regard to the state of conservation of this site and made a number of recommendations. However, the mission team suggested that the Committee retain the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger until the outcome of efforts to implement the management plan and restore damage caused by the Guamote-Macas road is assessed. As requested by the July 1999 session of the Bureau, the State Party provided its views on the mission's findings and recommendations. In reviewing the position of the State Party, IUCN has made the following observations and suggestions:
- IUCN welcomes the completion of the management plan and activities underway to define strategies for its implementation. It acknowledges the contribution of the Project "Biodiversity Conservation and Participatory Management of Sangay National Park" in establishing base line information necessary for restoring areas damaged by the Guamote-Macas road and commends the Dutch Government for the support and guidance provided for the project;
- IUCN agrees with the State Party's suggestion that the site be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger and be continuously monitored, particularly with regard to ongoing activities to implement the management plan, including the restoration activities along the Guamote- Macas road;
- IUCN assigns high importance to the State Party's proposal to evaluate the effects of the inclusion of the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. IUCN recommends that the scope of such an evaluation and its application be extended beyond this site and include other sites inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. IUCN is of the view that a series of such evaluations could contribute to changing the negative perceptions associated with the inclusion of sites in the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee commended the State Party's positive and constructive approach to the inclusion of this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and using the Committee's decision to increase international support for the conservation of the site. The Committee commended the support of the Government of the Netherlands to the conservation of this site and invited donors to assign high priority to support projects to strengthen conservation of World Heritage sites in Danger. Furthermore, the Committee, in accordance with the suggestion of the State Party that has been endorsed by IUCN, called for evaluations of the impacts of the inclusion of Sangay and other natural properties in the List of World Heritage in Danger. Such an evaluation could provide lessons for the future and highlight the instrumental role of the Danger Listing in enhancing the conservation of sites.