Decision : CONF 204 IV.B.33
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
The Bureau noted with concern that this site faced considerable threats from a proposal of the national electricity company (EDELCA) to erect a series of power transmission lines, expected to extend 160 km across the Park, to supply power from the Guri dam to Brazil and to a mining site north of the Park. The traditional Pemon community who inhabit a portion of the Park are concerned that the power generation project will lead to increased mining and logging and hence are opposing the scheme. During recent years large scale mining operations have been started in areas outside of the Park and is resulting in significant loss of forests and pollution of rivers. INPARQUES, the national agency responsible for Canaima National Park have limited resources and have not yet intervened against the project proposed by EDELCA. An adequate environmental impact study had not been carried out and construction is expected to begin soon. It is not known whether funds for the completion of the power lines project have been guaranteed by either the Venezuelan Government or international donors.
The Bureau noted that the Committee, at the time of inscription of this World Heritage Site in 1994, had made several recommendations, including the finalization of the boundaries of the World Heritage area, which have not yet been implemented. Hence, the Bureau suggested the Centre to transmit its concerns regarding the integrity of Canaima National Park to the Venezuelan authorities and discuss with them the feasibility of fielding a high level mission to Venezuela in order to gather information and discuss and resolve problems facing the conservation of Canaima National Park.