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Decision 41 COM 7A.2
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize) (N 764)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.32, adopted at its 40th Session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved with the finalization of the Draft Forest (Protection of Mangroves) Regulations, and requests the State Party to finalize the legal drafting and adoption of the Regulations as a matter of priority and to submit the final legal document to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as it becomes available;
  4. Also welcomes the commencement of the implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP) and encourages the State Party to continue to ensure that the resources required for the long-term implementation of the Plan are secured;
  5. Notes the progress achieved towards developing concrete regulations based on the Cabinet Decision to ban offshore petroleum exploration within the property, but reiterates its position that the adequacy of the one-kilometre buffer zone needs revision to secure the protection of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the full implementation of the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the exact maps of the areas where oil exploration will be prohibited by the proposed ban, as soon as they become available, and prior to completion of the legislation of the ban;
  7. Taking note of the ongoing revision of the Petroleum Exploration Framework, reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the protection of the property’s OUV is fully integrated into this process;
  8. Also taking note of the confirmation by the State Party that the voluntary moratorium on sale and lease of lands within the property remains in place, notes with concern that the cartographic information provided by the State Party shows a high proportion of private land within the property, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a legally binding instrument to ensure a permanent cessation of all sales and leases of state owned land throughout the property;
  9. Further welcomes the ongoing revision of the Environmental Impact Assessment system and urges the State Party to fully integrate the protection of the property’s OUV into this process to ensure that the revised regulations guarantee that no areas within the property and in its immediate vicinity can be developed in ways that would negatively impact on its OUV, consistent with the requirements under the DSOCR;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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;
  11. Decides to retain Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
41 COM 7A.2
Themes
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
Year
2017
Keywords
Marine
State of conservation reports
2017 Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
Documents
WHC/17/41.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision
WHC-17/41.COM/7A.Add
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