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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.115
Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection (Panama) (N 1138rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.28, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the finalization of Terms of Refence and initiation of a bidding process for the preparation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the property and its zone of socio-economic influence;
  4. Also welcomes the suspension of the plans to rehabilitate the airport landing strip within the property and the confirmation that this project will therefore not be considered by the SEA, however, requests the State Party to clarify whether this project has been completely abandoned or only suspended;
  5. Also recalling its request to the State Party to suspend the implementation of any new tourism infrastructure or other development projects within the property, including those envisaged in the Public Use Plan (PUP), until the SEA has been completed and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, also requests the State Party to clarify the status of other projects foreseen in the PUP and to ensure that the results of the SEA, once available, are fully taken into account in the future management of the property;
  6. Takes note of the ongoing monitoring and control activities following the removal of feral livestock from the property and encourages the State Party to continue these until the complete absence of feral livestock can be confirmed;
  7. Notes the additional information provided by the State Party regarding the fishing regulations adopted in 2018 for the Special Zone of Marine Protection (SZMP) of the property, however, reiterates its requests to the State Party to further improve the fishing regulations for the SZMP, in line with the recommendations of the 2014 and 2016 missions, by:
    1. Establishing additional no-take zones, including the Hannibal Bank Habitat Protection Zone, considering their critical importance as replenishing areas,
    2. Reconsidering the current approach to commercial fishing within the SZMP in line with regulations in place for Coiba National Park, in order to further reduce pressures from fishing on the property;
  8. Notes with satisfaction the expansion of the vessel monitoring system to the SZMP, but also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure the provision of adequate resources for the efficient enforcement of fishing regulations throughout the property, and the full functioning of the monitoring system envisaged for the SZMP, and to align this system with the existing monitoring activities within Coiba National Park;
  9. Further welcomes the initiative by the State Party to invite an IUCN Advisory mission to the property to help further refine the fishing regulations and provide advice on their implementation and also encourages the State Party to continue consultations with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN on this matter and facilitate the mission to be undertaken once conditions allow;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision