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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.87
Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection (Panama) (N 1138rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.17, adopted at its 41st session (Kraków, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the continued progress made by the State Party in removing feral livestok from Coiba Island, and requests the State Party to establish a follow-up monitoring programme to confirm the successful removal of feral livestock from the island in the long term;
  4. Notes with serious concern that the Public Use Plan (PUP) foresees expansion of existing infrastructure and that potential negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property have not been properly considered when developing the plan, and therefore urges the State Party to:
    1. suspend the implementation of the PUP until an assessment of the potential negative impacts of its provisions on the OUV of the property, based on rigorous scientific data, is completed and submitted by 1 December 2019 to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN,
    2. ensure that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the airport infrastructure project is elaborated, in line with the IUCN World Heritage advice note on Environmental Assessments, and submitted by 1 December 2019 to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN prior to beginning works on the project,
    3. establish a comprehensive programme to monitor tourism impacts on the property in order to inform the elaboration of any future tourism-related plans and programmes;
  5. Also takes note of the revised fisheries regulations for the Special Zone of Marine Protection (SZMP) of the property, but also notes with serious concern that it remains unclear how these regulations would guarantee the long-term preservation of the OUV of the property, and also urges the State Party to:
    1. further revise the regulations for the SZMP in line with previous Committee requests to establish unequivocal no-take zones and seasonal closures of critical areas, in order to ensure that they are aligned with the existing regulations in place for Coiba National Park and guarantee the preservation of the property’s OUV,
    2. ensure the provision of adequate resources for the efficient enforcement of fisheries regulations throughout the property,
    3. establish a monitoring system to assess progress with the establishment and enforcement of regulations within the marine component of the property, as recommended by the 2014 and 2016 Reactive Monitoring missions;
  6. Recalls the conclusion of the 2016 mission that if issues related to fisheries management within the property cannot be resolved by the end of 2018 in a manner that will ensure the long-term preservation of the OUV in the marine portion of the property, consideration should be given to the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger during its 43rd session in 2019;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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, 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.
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision