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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7A.17
Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7A.54 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved in implementing the corrective measures, and notes with satisfaction that the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD), ‘Canal-111 South Dade’ (C-111), Everglades Construction Project, and the Combined Operational Plan (COP) are operational;
  4. Commends the State Party for continuing to implement restoration projects in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and also notes with satisfaction the additional funding commitments of almost USD 1.5 billion;
  5. Also welcomes the positive trend for some of the DSOCR indicators, but notes with concern that almost two thirds of the sub-indicators still remain below the restoration targets needed to achieve the DSOCR, and therefore requests the State Party to continue to strengthen current restoration efforts, including the State of Florida’s Restoration Strategies Project, and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) with the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir project;
  6. Appreciates the new legislation and additional resources for the management of invasive alien species (IAS), and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure a continued, long-term allocation of resources to control IAS within the property, and for the management strategy to emphasize prevention and early detection combined with rapid response measures;
  7. Notes with concern the increasing impacts of climate change on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including the climate change-induced shift of habitat of some species outside the property, and requests the State Party to strengthen current restoration efforts to increase the resilience of the property and to develop a climate change adaptation strategy for the property, building on adaptation and mitigation measures identified in the General Management Plan (GMP) and emerging climate change challenges including sea level rise;
  8. Welcomes the purchase of approximately 8,000 ha of land and drilling rights in the Everglades Protection Area to permanently prevent oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction in this area;
  9. Expresses its utmost concern about the reported adverse impact of the planned extension of the SR 836 / Dolphin Expressway on the Greater Everglades wetland ecosystem and urges the State Party to identify alternatives that do not negatively impact on the OUV of the property, and to assess potential impacts of any proposed development on the OUV in line with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, and to submit the assessment to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  10. Requests the State Party to work with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to update the corrective measures, including a timeline for their implementation, and that the DSOCR be reassessed to take into account recent progress and challenges and to consider potential impacts on the OUV due to climate change and invasive species, and recalls that any changes to the corrective measures and the DSOCR should be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies and proposed to the Committee for approval;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, an updated report on the SR 836/Dolphin Expressway, and by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session;
  12. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Context of Decision