1.         iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa) (N 914)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1999

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/914/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2003-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 20,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/914/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Lack of institution coordination

Additional Details:

Conflicting land use 

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/914/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN received the State Party’s report in February 2004. The report noted that all decision-making within the Park takes place under the framework of the World Heritage Convention Act (WHCA), the Wetlands Park Regulations and other relevant legislation pertaining to environmental impact assessment. Further, an Integrated Management Plan (IMP), as required by the World Heritage Convention Act is in  process of being refined and the public consultation process is expected to be completed in mid 2004. The Wetlands Park Regulations make provision for interim planning measures until such time as the IMP is adopted.


The World Heritage Centre and IUCN noted that the Wetlands Park Authority has drafted a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). This builds on earlier processes such as the environmental impact assessment for the mining of St Lucia and the Strategic Environmental Management Framework (SEMF) developed for the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative region, including the Wetlands Park. The status of the World Heritage property as an ecologically sensitive site, has been taken into account by relevant technical and planning assessments under the SEA.


An important principle guiding the implementation programme of the Authority is the empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities living in and around the Park.


The report noted that the Authority is working towards the settlement of land claims in the Park. This has involved an ongoing process of consultation and capacity building with local Land Claims Committees. To date, approximately 60% of the Park is now claim free, with three land claims settled and approximately 6 outstanding. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.5

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Acknowledges the efforts by the State Party to put in place administrative and juridical structures and requisite infrastructure for reinforcing the conservation and the protection of the property;

2. Commends the State Party for the steps taken in ensuring the effective conservation and management of the Park through the implementation of major ecological programmes; tourism evaluation; and the inclusion of land claimants and local communities as mandatory partners in the Park's development;

3. Recommends that the State Party keep the World Heritage Centre informed on further progress in the implementation of these actions.