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World Heritage Convention

Decision 35 COM 7B.44
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (South Africa) (C 1099)

The World Heritage Committee

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.52, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Reiterates its concern at the potential adverse impact of the approved mining site on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

4. Recalls its position on mining and World Heritage and the policy statement of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM);

5. Notes that the State Party has halted mining operations at the mining site 7 km from the property boundary to ensure full compliance with national legislation while a further heritage impact assessment is carried out;

6. Also notes that the State Party has acknowledged that there was no sufficient consultation of all relevant stakeholders during the process of issuing the mining license;

7. Acknowledges the State Party's commitment to supplement the Environmental Impact Assessment that was undertaken for the mining application with the Heritage Impact Assessment and further notes that the State Party has already developed the Terms of Reference for this additional work using the ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage properties and that the Terms of Reference had already been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and reviewed by ICOMOS;

8. Expresses its concern that the buffer zone and the proposed greater Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), as was envisaged at the time of inscription to protect the property within South Africa, have not yet been completed as a result of the slow pace of land acquisition, thus continuing to leave the area east of the property unprotected;

9. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, in order to assess the progress made in implementing the 2010 mission's recommendations, in particular the additional Heritage Impact Assessment and issues related to clarifying the boundaries of the property's buffer zone and the overall state of conservation of the property;

10. Welcomes the commitment of the State Party to continue halting the mining operations until the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission has taken place and assessed the results of the requested Heritage Impact Assessment;

11. Calls upon the Director-General of UNESCO, in consultation with the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, in the event of the mission concluding that the heritage impact assessment indicates that the proposed mining would not threaten irreversibly the property's Outstanding Universal Value, to consult with the State Party, in line with the provision of Decision 35 COM 7.2, paragraph 6, on any urgent mitigation measures and monitoring programmes that might be requested before mining operations were to commence;

12. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, including any negative impact on the property's Outstanding Universal Value identified within the Heritage Impact Assessment by the mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

Decision Code
35 COM 7B.44
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2011 Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
Decisions Adopted by the Word Heritage Committee at its 35th Session (UNESCO, 2011)
Context of Decision