1.         Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) (N 196)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1996-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

The following benchmarks were proposed by the 2003 IUCN/UNESCO mission and adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004) (28 COM 15A.13):

a) complete the compensation and relocation of the seven families and 32 land owners remaining in the core zone;

b) cancel all Honduras Forestry Development Commission (COHDEFOR) resolutions related to dead wood harvesting in the Olancho, Colón and Atlándida departments;

c) prevent unauthorized activities in the buffer zone, including: agricultural expansion, illegal logging and poaching, specifically by putting into operation permanent and temporary checkpoints located at critical access points;

d) develop inter-institutional work plans that provide clear definitions of the roles and responsibilities of the various public and private entities involved in the Reserve’s management; and

e) disseminate the environmental management plans related to the Ministry of Agriculture’s development strategy within the Sico’Paulaya Valley zone.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/196/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-1996)
Total amount approved: USD 198,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/196/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 60,000 within the framework of the IUCN/UNF/UNESCO “Enhancing our Heritage” Project

Previous monitoring missions

IUCN missions in 1995 and 2000; UNESCO/IUCN mission in 2003

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Illegal livestock grazing and agricultural intrusions;

b) Illegal logging;

c) Poaching;

d) Invasive exotic species;

e) Management deficiencies;

f) Potential impacts from hydroelectric development project Patuca II.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/196/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

At the time of preparation of this document, the report requested by the Committee by Decision 29 COM 7A.12 had not been received from the State Party of Honduras.

The IUCN/UNF/UNESCO Enhancing our Heritage Project (EoH), which includes Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve as a pilot site, reported in 2005 the completion of a revised assessment of the values and management problems confronting the property as well as initiation of monitoring programmes focussed on developing management targets to address existing conservation issues. Two staff members have been appointed by the Minister of the Environment of Honduras to support implementation of monitoring programmes using EoH project funding.

IUCN continues to receive reports on continued illegal logging and poaching occurring within the Park boundaries. The southern and western zones of the Reserve are subject to massive illegal extraction of precious wood such as Caoba (Swietenia macrophylla). This problem has been addressed in the report “The illegal logging crisis in Honduras” (available at www.eia-international.org) prepared by the Environmental Investigation Agency with the support of the Centre for International Policy. The report notes that illegal logging is still a serious conservation issue in the Park, impacting its rich wildlife. The report also notes that the illegal activity has extended into the core areas of the Park.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are concerned with the continued degradation of the Biosphere Reserve buffer zone. Large areas of the buffer zone, particularly in the Rio Seco watershed to the north and east of the core zone, have been totally degraded by cattle ranching. Although the buffer zone is not included in the World Heritage property, its ongoing degradation might affect the integrity of the property  

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15A.13 and 29 COM 7A.12, adopted at its 28th (Suzhou, 2004) and 29th (Durban, 2005) sessions respectively,

3. Regrets that the report provided by the State Party, as requested by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005), was received by the World Heritage Centre on June 30th 2006, leaving little time for a thorough review;

4. Notes that the State Party has reported to the World Heritage Centre that it has fulfilled two of the target benchmarks set by the Committee for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and that progress was made in the implementation of the recommendations of the joint 2003 UNESCO/IUCN mission, as requested by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005);

5. Requests the State Party to implement, before 2007, the remaining corrective measures proposed by the 2003 UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission in order to meet the benchmarks set by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004) for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger:

a) Prevent unauthorized activities in the buffer zone, including: agricultural expansion, illegal logging and poaching, specifically by putting into operation permanent and temporary checkpoints located at critical access points;

b) Develop inter-institutional work plans that provide clear definitions of the roles and responsibilities of the various public and private entities involved in the Reserve's management; and

c) Disseminate the environmental management plans related to the Ministry of Agriculture's development strategy within the Sico'Paulaya Valley zone;

6. Notes with appreciation the formal invitation from the State Party to UNESCO and IUCN, received in the letter of transmission of the report, to carry out a further monitoring mission to the property;

7. Requests the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to undertake a joint mission to assess progress in the implementation of the above noted benchmarks in view of a possible removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 31st session in 2007;

8. Decides to retain the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-06/30.COM/7A and WHC-06/30.COM/7A.Add.Rev),

2. Maintains the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

   • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 30 COM 7A.22)

   • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 30 COM 7A.23)

   • Azerbaijan, Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Decision 30 COM 7A.29

   • Benin, Royal Palaces of Abomey (Decision 30 COM 7A.16)

   • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.1)

   • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 30 COM 7A.31)

   • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.2)

   • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.3)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.8)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.6)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.7)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.4)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.5)

   • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 30 COM 7A.19)

   • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.9)

   • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.15)

   • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 30 COM 7A.13)

   • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 30 COM 7A.25)

   • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 30 COM 7A.20)

   • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 30 COM 7A.34)

   • Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (Decision 30 COM 7A.26)

   • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 30 COM 7A.10)

   • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 30 COM 7A.27)

   • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 30 COM 7A.32)

   • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 30 COM 7A.28)

   • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 28 COM 7A.17)

   • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.14)

   • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 30 COM 7A.33)

   • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 30 COM 7A.21)