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World Heritage Convention

Decision 38 COM 7B.79
Doñana National Park (Spain) (N 685bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.27, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Notes the information provided by the State Party that populations of bird species and Iberian Lynx are recovering, as well as the progress reported by the State Party on the implementation of the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/Ramsar reactive monitoring mission of 2011 and on addressing the requests from the World Heritage Committee, and requests the State Party to continue these efforts;
  4. Also notes that dredging to deepen the estuary of the Guadalquivir River has not commenced, and also requests the State Party to make a permanent commitment to not permit plans for dredging to deepen the Guadalquivir River, considering the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  5. Expresses its utmost concern about the continued reported decline in the condition of the Doñana aquifer, reported plans to increase water use for irrigation of rice paddies upstream of the property, to legalise illegal water use under the revised Strawberry Plan, and to construct a dam on the Guadiamar River, as well as the absence of a plan of action to address unsustainably high levels of water extraction, and further requests the State Party to provide more information about these plans to the World Heritage Centre, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and to take urgent measures to address this situation, including through the enforcement of existing regulations to combat illegal water use;
  6. Urges the State Party to ensure that any future projects increasing water use upstream of the property will not be allowed to proceed if they would impact adversely on the property’s OUV, and considers that the continued depletion of the Doñana aquifer, if not urgently reversed, could represent a potential danger to the OUV of the property, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Also urges the State Party to ensure that potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on the property’s OUV from mining and gas exploitation and storage projects in its vicinity are thoroughly assessed, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  8. Further urges the State Party, in light of the concerns noted above, to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Guadalquivir River Basin, particularly in relation to water supply scenarios, agricultural, industrial and commercial development, in order to prepare revised plans and actions for water management and use in the river basin, which will provide long-term protection for the OUV of the property;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite an IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, including an invitation to the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, to assess its state of conservation as well as potential threats to its OUV;
  10. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, including on progress with the implementation of the actions mentioned above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.
Decision Code
38 COM 7B.79
Conservation, Reports
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2014 Doñana National Park
Report of the Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014)
Context of Decision