Decision : CONF 202 IV.7
Galapagos National Park (Ecuador)
The Bureau considered the report of the mission led by the Chairman of the World Heritage Committee (1-11 June 1996) to examine the situation of the Galapagos Islands and to formulate recommendations to improve the situation. The Bureau commended the Ecuador Government for its support to that mission and fully endorsed the recommendations contained in the report (see INF.12).
The Bureau concluded that serious problems exist, such that immediate remedial actions are essential to safeguard the values of the World Heritage site and the surrounding marine areas, while recognizing the considerable efforts already made.
i) Notably, the Bureau calls upon the President and the Congress of Ecuador to enact "special legislation" as an emergency measure, as discussed on the mission, most importantly to halt immigration from the mainland to the islands and to ensure the protection of the marine area surrounding the islands of the Galapagos.
ii) The Bureau requests that its Chairman transmit the mission report to the Ecuadorian authorities, outlining the threats to the site and actions necessary to redress the serious situation. The Bureau offers its continued collaboration and assistance in dealing with these problems and welcomes generous offers of assistance in training and preparing management schemes from the United States and Australia.
iii) The Bureau recommends further that the World Heritage Committee examines the measures taken by the authorities of Ecuador in the months to come on which the authorities are requested to report by 1 November 1996. The Committee will examine this information and decide whether the site should be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Upon adoption of the above text by the Bureau, the Delegate of Ecuador expressed his great satisfaction about the recognition of the problems that the management of Galapagos Islands is confronted with and the cooperative spirit with which the Bureau addressed this issue. He declared his gratitude for all international assistance provided to the Galapagos. He furthermore informed the Bureau that the President of Ecuador has received the final version of the special legislation for the Galapagos Islands and will submit it to the Congress within the shortest delay possible.