Decision : CONF 204 IV.B.31
Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
At its twenty-second session, the Bureau was informed of a cable car construction project that would traverse this Park, proposed by a private individual concerned with tourism development. The feasibility of the project was questionable due to the heavy rains, high winds and the steep terrain that characterises this site. The Bureau noted that construction of such major access facilities was not consistent with the management plan of the Park and agreed with IUCN that the Dominican authorities need to exercise great caution when evaluating the feasibility of this proposal. At its twenty-second extraordinary session, the Bureau noted that the Government of Dominica has prepared the terms of reference (TOR) for an EIA of the proposal. The proposal and the TOR for the EIA have been reviewed by the Natural Resource Management Unit of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the TOR has been forwarded to the proponent of the cable car system.
Recent communications from the State Party indicated that the proposed alignment of the cable car will not enter into the Park, but will terminate on State Lands, 500 m from the boundaries of the World Heritage site. The State Party has assured UNESCO that the Government intends to maintain these adjoining State Lands as a buffer zone, limiting the activities to be undertaken there. IUCN noted: (a) that the cable car will be outside of the Park and that there will be no construction within the Park; (b) was concerned about the cable car development, as there needs to be effective planning to ensure that the increased visitation does not increase impacts on the World Heritage values; and (c) that the EIA should give more consideration to the aesthetic and visual impacts of the cable car on the site and to seek to minimise visual impacts.
The Bureau noted that the cable car would be located outside the World Heritage site. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide more detailed information on the operational plan, the location of the cable car in relation to the site, the potential visitor impact and the time frame for the implementation of this project. The Bureau furthermore requested the State Party to provide this information, as well as a report on the state of conservation of the site and the management planning, by 15 September 1999 in time for the twenty-third session of the World Heritage Committee.