Decision : CONF 201 V.A.5
Sangay National Park (Ecuador)
The Bureau noted that at its last session, the Committee was informed that colonisation and small-scale mining activities had been stopped, a new management plan was nearing finalisation and that several conservation projects funded by WWF had begun. The Committee had also urged the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, agreement with the State Party and possible support from WWF, to plan and organise a site visit to address the problem of the Guamote-Macas road construction project and other threats to the integrity of the site.
The Bureau learnt that IUCN has received considerable information on the site from WWF-and that a site-visit had been considered not necessary at present. The Bureau noted that the on-going construction of the Guamote-Macos road as the main issue facing this Park. The road is being built primarily for strategic purposes and there has not been an EIA despite the Committee's requests. Construction has been slow but very destructive to the environment. Although only a small section of the road is inside the World Heritage site, the remainder of the road forms the Park’s southern limit. While the Bureau was concerned with IUCN’s view that the completion of the construction of the road is likely to be inevitable, it agreed with the recommendations of IUCN and:
(i) recommended that the Committee retain Sangay in the List of World Heritage in Danger;
(ii) strongly encouraged the Government of Ecuador to improve the standards of the construction of the Guamote-Macos Road and undertake mitigation measures for sections of the road where the environment has been adversely impacted;
(iii) requested the Government to complete the long overdue management plan, particularly with a view to reviewing the expanding presence of livestock in the Park;
(iv) invited the Government to clarify unconfirmed reports of any oil exploration concession that may have been awarded over a part of the Park; and
(v) commend the Government of the Netherlands for their efforts to assist the official Ecuadorean agency responsible for the management of the Park, i.e. INEFAN, and to improve protection of the site through co-operation with Fundacion Natura, Ecuador.