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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.94
Gros Morne National Park (Canada) (N 419)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7B.18 and 38 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Requests the State Party to ensure that substantive measures are introduced before the existing moratorium on onshore and onshore-based petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing expires, in order to prevent any future oil or gas licences from being issued inside the property, or issued outside the property where they could adversely impact its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4. Notes that the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the western portion of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area, which is adjacent to the property, was nearing completion when the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment was published and that therefore, an assessment of impacts on OUV was not included in the SEA;
  5. Nevertheless, also requests the State Party to incorporate into the SEA, through an addendum or other appropriate means, an assessment of the impacts on the OUV of the property, including its conditions of integrity, and to identify appropriate measures to ensure that any such impacts are avoided or adequately mitigated;
  6. Also notes that the State Party, in consultation with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, concluded that the existing legislation and regulation provides a sufficient and effective framework to ensure the long term protection of the property without defining a buffer zone, but considers that the property may no longer be adequately protected against oil and gas exploration if the aforementioned moratorium expires before other appropriate protection measures are in place, and therefore further requests the State Party to consider establishing an appropriate buffer zone as part of wider protection measures;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the risks to the property’s OUV of petroleum exploration in its vicinity, in case the moratorium on acceptance of such applications is discontinued without putting in place other appropriate measures for maintaining the OUV of the property;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Decision Code
40 COM 7B.94
Conservation, Reports
State of conservation reports
2016 Gros Morne National Park
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision