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Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park

Costa Rica, Panama
Factors affecting the property in 2004*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban Pressure, Poaching/Hunting 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2004
Requests approved: 9 (from 1982-1997)
Total amount approved : 276,350 USD
Missions to the property until 2004**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

Road construction between the Volcan Baru National Park (VBNP) and Amistad National Park World Heritage property (LANP), both on the Panama side of this transboundary World Heritage property, remains a very sensitive issue in Panama at the time of the preparation of this document.  A completion is expected within the next several weeks to months.  Although the road would not run within the boundaries of the LANP, it would create an ecological barrier to the movement of some species between the VBNP and LANP, which could affect the latter’s ecological integrity.  A socio-economic feasibility study (Economic Analysis of Three Road Investments Through Western Panama’s Baru Volcan National Park and Surrounding Areas) has demonstrated that greater benefits would accrue to local communities if the road were to be built along a different route, taking it out of the VBNP.  The World Heritage Centre received a copy of a letter from the World Bank dated 3 January 2003 to the Minister of Public Works and to the head of the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) expressing doubts over the project and requesting a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).  The World Heritage Centre had sent a letter in January 2002, followed by a second letter in mid-January 2004, requesting further information on the project in line with paragraph 68 of the Operational Guidelines.  No response to either letter has been received.  A much-criticized EIA was presented for public input in January 2004, but the director of the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) resigned after having refused to validate it.  The project is at a standstill and the ANAM has not yet received a revised EIA study to review.   

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2004
28 COM 15B.33
Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Notes the incoming Panama government’s intention of not proceeding with the road through Volcan Baru National Park and congratulates it for its concern over the integrity of the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves/ La Amistad National Park transboundary World Heritage property.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15B.33

The World Heritage Committee,

 1.   Regretting that no response to its request (27 COM 7B.24) for further information has been provided by the State Party of Panama,

 2.   Expresses its serious concerns regarding the possible negative impacts on the ecological integrity of Talamanca Range-La Amistad National Park World Heritage property;

 3.  Urges the State Party of Panama to take urgent measures, before the road is finalized, to avoid or mitigate the potential impacts to the integrity of the property associated to the construction of the road, such measures having to be based in the outcomes of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA);

 4.  Requests the State Party to provide a report on the results of the EIA and on the road construction project to the Centre by 1 February 2005 for examination by the  Committee at its 29th session in 2005.

Report year: 2004
Costa Rica Panama
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 28COM (2004)

* : 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.