Decision : CONF 205 V.2-5
Iguaçu National Park (Brazil)
V.2 The Bureau was informed that the Minister of State for the Environment, by letter of 19 June 2001, notified the Centre that the Colon Road had been definitively closed as of 13 June 2001. Nearly 300 cadres belonging to the Brazilian Federal Police took part in the operation, sinking the raft used as transport and scarifying the 17 km road. Replanting of the impacted area with native species is now completed. The local people are not happy about the closure of the road and the Government of Brazil is seeking the co-operation of all concerned, including the World Heritage Centre, to improve relations with the people. The Minister has requested that since the legal order to close the Colon Road is now effectively enforced the Committee consider removing Iguacu from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
V.3 The Delegate of Brazil noted that a guard-post is being established at a point where the entrance to the road was located to prevent any illegal entry. A new management plan for Iguaçu is ready for implementation and includes measures to improve relations with local communities affected by the road closure. The Delegate noted that the declaration of Iguaçu as a World Heritage site in Danger by the Committee played an important role in his Government’s decision to enforce the legal mandate to close the road, despite opposition from local people, and thanked the Bureau, the Centre and IUCN for their support and co-operation to preserve the World Heritage values of the site.
V.4 Visitor facilities in the site have improved; introduction of bus transport in the Park is expected to reduce visitor traffic by 70% by the end of 2001 and an environmental impact assessment of helicopter flights over the waterfalls is proposed. In October 2000, the first workshop on the Management of Natural World Heritage sites in South America was convened in Foz do Iguaçu. Since then, staff of Iguacu of Brazil and Iguazu National Park of Argentina meet on a monthly basis for transborder co-ordination of management activities.
V.5 The Bureau commended the Government’s courageous and decisive action in closing the Colon road. The Bureau noted that the closure of the road has alienated the local communities and invited the State Party, IUCN and the Centre to co-operate to build goodwill and support of the people for the conservation of Iguacu. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the efforts taken by the State Party to improve visitor flow and management in the Park and welcomed the increasing transborder co-operation with the Iguazu National Park of Argentina. The Bureau recommended that, subject to continued positive developments, the Committee, at its forthcoming session, would consider the removal of Iguacu from the List of World Heritage in Danger.