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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.66
Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park (Costa Rica, Panama) (N 205bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 43 COM 7B.25 and 44 COM 7B.197 adopted at its 43rd (Baku, 2019) and its extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the States Parties’ continued efforts to monitor and control illegal activities within the property, despite resource constraints, including through the establishment of new partnerships and projects;
  4. Also welcomes the resumption of bilateral efforts following temporary border closure and Costa Rica’s increasing involvement of indigenous peoples, and encourages continued engagement and meaningful indigenous participation in the management and governance of the transboundary property;
  5. Notes the upcoming finalization of the Management Plan for the Panamanian part of the property, and requests the State Party of Panama to complete the process of finalizing the Management Plan as soon as possible;
  6. Commends the States Parties on the completion and submission of an amended and approved version of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA);
  7. Recalling that any development of new hydropower projects prior to the finalization and adequate review of the SEA for the entire property would represent a danger to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, further welcomes that the construction project of the Changuinola II (CHAN II) dam has not been re-activated to date and also notes the State Party of Panama’s reaffirmed commitment to its obligations under the Convention and its confirmation that, should re-activation of the project be considered again, prior consultations with the World Heritage Centre would be undertaken;
  8. Also notes continued efforts by the State Party of Panama to monitor activities of the operating CHAN I and Bonyic dams, and reiterates its request to the State Party of Panama to continue these efforts to establish long-term monitoring programmes for the projects, and use the findings to design appropriate mitigation measures to ensure the OUV of the property is not negatively impacted;
  9. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7.2 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou /online, 2021), which reaffirmed the increasing importance of effective buffer zones to support the protection and management of the OUV and building greater resilience of properties to external threats, also encourages the States Parties to identify and establish a formal buffer zone for the property;
  10. Finally, requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, 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.
Context of Decision