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World Heritage Convention

Decision 41 COM 7B.72
Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa (South Africa) (C 915bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.44, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Notes that the water monitoring programme has been effective in confirming that the main areas of high water pollution are located in the south west part of the property, but expresses concern that the polluted effluent from the current water treatment plant continues to present a high risk to fossil sites;
  4. Also notes the arrangements for water management within the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to provide more detailed information on:
    1. Water quality targets,
    2. The overall management framework of the property, including an update on the State Party’s engagement with stakeholders;
  5. Requests the State Party to prepare a risk prevention strategy for the vulnerable fossil sites and submit it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Welcomes the approval in principle given in May 2016 for the development of the second phase of the Western Basin treatment work project, which will improve the quality of water effluent, thus reducing the threat to the fossil remains, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit the design specifications for the project and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as they are available, and by 1 December 2017 at the latest, and before the parameters of the project have been determined and a construction contract awarded, in order that the review can inform the project;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, a progress report, and by 1 December 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 43rd session in 2019.
Decision Code
41 COM 7B.72
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2017 Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision