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World Heritage Convention

Decision 41 COM 7B.17
Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection (Panama) (N 1138rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.76, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes progress made by the State Party on removing feral livestock from Coiba Island and introducing amendments to ensure that legislation continues to be in place prohibiting development (apart from low-impact infrastructure for ecotourism and scientific research) within the property;
  4. Also welcomes the development of a Public Use Plan (PUP) for the property and requests the State Party to finalize it by 1 February 2018, ensuring that it clearly improves the visitor experience to the island without expanding the space occupied by existing infrastructure, and sets out a biosecurity plan, and submit the draft PUP to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, as part of the updated report on the state of conservation of the property;
  5. Notes the information that measures to operationalize the Coiba Fund are expected to be completed by mid-2017 and urges the State Party to adhere to this deadline;
  6. Notes with increasing concern the conclusions of the 2016 IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission that while the terrestrial component of the property appears to be well preserved with previously identified threats gradually diminishing, the management of its marine component continues to face significant challenges, with declines having been reported for some key marine values, and with little progress reported in the implementation of the Committee’s requests related to the management and control of fisheries, and also urges the State Party to implement these requests as a matter of utmost priority;
  7. Also requests the State Party to fully implement all recommendations of the 2014 and 2016 missions;
  8. Takes note of the proposed draft regulations for the Special Zone of Marine Protection (SZMP), but notes with utmost concern that they include provisions for types of activities that would be incompatible with the World Heritage status of the property, particularly industrial fishing, and further urges the State Party to revise the proposed draft to ensure that no such activities are permitted within the property, and to submit the revised draft regulations for the SZMP to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  9. 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, with a view to considering, in the absence of substantial progress in protecting the property from unsustainable fisheries, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
41 COM 7B.17
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision