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Iguaçu National Park

Brazil
Factors affecting the property in 2005*
  • Commercial hunting
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illegal road construction; lack of transboundary cooperation; excessive aircraft traffic.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2005
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2005**

UNESCO/ IUCN mission March 1999; UNESCO/IUCN mission March 2005;

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The Committee, at its 25th session (Helsinki, 2001) removed Iguaçu Nationa Park from the List of World Heritage in Danger after the State Party had taken the necessary measures to close down an illegal road (Estrado do Colono) that crossed the Park.  The Committee requested a joint UNESCO/IUCN mission to take place in 2002/03.  This UNESCO/IUCN mission was delayed for various reasons, and finally took place in late March, 2005. 

The mission reports major improvements in relations between the National Park authorities and the surrounding communities.  A number of coordinated initiatives between the Park staff and the communities in environmental education, sustainable tourism and organic products are ongoing.  Additionally, some community members have been involved and participated in the implementation of key elements of the Management Plan.

The mission confirmed during the visit to Estrada do Colono that the road remains closed, with plants already growing on the path.  The reintroduction of native plants and trees is visible; however, the present park policy is to let the natural regeneration of the forest take its course.  It was also noted that there is on going and increasing collaboration between the Brazilian and Argentinean properties particularly in the fields of public use, control and law enforcement, research and environmental education.

Although progress has been made, the report notes that community issues and perceptions still need to be redressed.  It is hoped that the forthcoming revision of the Management Plan of the Park will enhance community participation.  The report noted that the following issues remain to be resolved:

a)  helicopters are still a source of conflict, although improved because they no longer take off or land inside the Park;

b)  hunting - the main purpose being commercial, with a small but resident market for bush-meat in the area surrounding the Park to the north;

c)  illegal cutting of heart of palm, mostly in the areas to the south of the Park; and

d)  plans exist for a new hydroelectric dam on the Iguacu River, called the “Baixo Iguacu” dam.  The proposed property for the dam is only 500 meters from the eastern limit of the Park.  The potential impact is high, and is a matter of serious concern though the extent to which the plans are being taken seriously at this point remains unclear.

The mission noted that the World Heritage designation of the park is not fully understood, and more communication and outreach work is needed to explain the exceptional characteristics of this World Heritage property and the responsibilities associated with this designation.  The risk of another violent conflict affecting the property is today greatly diminished, but tensions remain.  The present work of the National Park staff should be maintained and strengthened.  There are significant funding constraints, which are a concern and need to be addressed.  A request for International Assistance for promotional purposes may be considered by the State Party. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2005
29 COM 7B.28
Iguaçu National Park (Brazil)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.32 adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Expresses satisfaction with the progress made by the State Party of Brazil on the state of conservation of the World Heritage property and on the preservation of the values for which the property was inscribed; as well as with progress made in interagency cooperation and international cooperation with the Argentinean authorities;

4. Commends the State Party for its co-operation with the surrounding communities noting that significant progress has been made in forging meaningful partnerships with various stakeholders;

5. Notes with concern the need for sustained financing of the property especially relating to ongoing programmes with communities and encourages the State Party to seek international assistance of the World Heritage Fund and extrabudgetary funding in addressing these needs;

6. Also notes with concern the existence of plans for the development of a hydroelectric dam with significant potential impacts on the World Heritage property and urges the State Party report on its intentions with regard to the dam and hydropower projects in the region;

7. Requests that the State Party continue to provide update information on the conservation status of the property and to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2006 for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).

Draft Decision: 29 COM 7B.28

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev,

2.  Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.32adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3.  Expresses satisfaction with the progress made by the State Party on the conservation status of the Park and for the preservation of the values for which the property was inscribed; as well as with  progress made in interagency cooperation and international cooperation with the Argentinean authorities;

4.  Commends the State Party for its co-operation with the surrounding communities noting that significant progress has been made in forging meaningful partnerships with various stakeholders;

5.  Notes with concern the need for sustained financing of the property especially relating to ongoing programmes with communities and encourages the State Party to seek International Assistance and extrabudgetary funding in addressing these needs;

6.  Also notes with concern the existence of plans for the development of a hydroelectric dam with significant potential impacts on the World Heritage property and urges  the State Party report on its intentions with regard to the dam and hydropower projects in the region;

7.  Further requests that the State Party continue to provide update information on the conservation status of the property and to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2007 for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.

Report year: 2005
Brazil
Date of Inscription: 1986
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1999-2001
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 29COM (2005)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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