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Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park

Costa Rica, Panama
Factors affecting the property in 1993*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Need to review the boundaries; Possible oil exploitation (issue resolved); Road construction proposal

International Assistance: requests for the property until 1993
Requests approved: 8 (from 1982-1992)
Total amount approved : 256,450 USD
Missions to the property until 1993**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1993

The Committee, at its last session, noted that the Costa Rican authorities have not yet informed the Centre of their views on the recommendation of the Committee, made at its fifteenth session in Carthage in December 1991, to consider revising the boundaries of the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves by deleting four Indian Reserves in the northeastern Atlantic sector and submit a map showing the new boundaries of the site. The Committee also learnt of a proposal to construct a road through the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves and that the Costa Rican authorities have not yet responded to the Centre's request for information on the proposal and its potential impact on the state of conservation of the site.

The Costa Rican authorities, by letter dated 2 April 1993, have expressed their disagreement regarding the modification of the boundaries of the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves recommended by IUCN. The Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, has informed the Centre that regardless of the opinion expressed by IUCN, his Ministry, public opinion in Costa Rica and the position of the indigenous people in the Indian Reserves favour maintaining the current boundaries of the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves. He has also drawn the attention of the Centre to the need for technical advice to improve the people's situation in the Indian Reserves of the Talamanca-La Amistad, while giving adequate consideration to the protection of natural resources. The letter from the Vice-Minister has been transmitted to IUCN for review. A representative of IUCN will address this issue at the time of the seventeenth session of the Bureau.

The letter from the Costa Rican authorities does not make any reference to the proposed road construction project which was brought to the attention of the Committee by IUCN. Centre will contact the Costa Rican authorities once again to request detailed information regarding this proposal, including an assessment of the potential impact of this project on the state of conservation of the site.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1993

The Bureau was informed that the Costa Rican authorities were not in agreement with all the boundary modifications recommended by the Committee, at its fifteenth session. The Bureau noted that the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, which is responsible for the management of the Talamanca - La Amistad Reserves, and the general public, as well as the indigenous people resident within the site, were not in favour of all proposed modifications of the boundary suggested by the Committee.

A representative of IUCN informed the Bureau that specialists from IUCN's Regional Office in Costa Rica are discussing the boundary modifications proposed by the Committee with the Costa Rican authorities. These discussions have taken into consideration the need to accommodate the socio-economic aspirations of indigenous people in the Biosphere Reserve whilst protecting the World Heritage values of the site. The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to continue dialogue with the Costa Rican authorities in this important matter and report on the outcome during the forthcoming session of the Committee in December 1993.

On 10 September 1993 the Permanent Delegation of Costa Rica informed the World Heritage Centre that the observations made by the Bureau were transmitted to the competent national authorities.

According to information received by IUCN, on 8 October 1993 a tentative agreement on the La Amistad boundaries was reached through discussion with the Vice Minister who was formally responsible for the area. Following these discussions, the proposed boundaries have been transmitted to the Costa Rican authorities by IUCN. We are waiting for confirmation of these revised boundaries.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1993
17 EXT.BUR V.A.2.1.3
Examination of requests for International Assistance - La Amistad (Costa Rica/Panama)

A. NATURAL HERITAGE

A.2 Requests for which the Bureau formulated a recommendation to the Committee

A.2.1 Technical co-operation

A.2.1.3 Technical assistance request for La Amistad World Heritage site (Costa Rica/Panama)

The Bureau noted the request of the Costa Rican authorities for US$50,000 for the site. However, as agreement on the proposed new boundaries for the site have not been received by the Centre and Costa Rica has not paid its dues to the Fund, the request was deferred.

The Bureau requested IUCN to organize with its regional office in Costa Rica, a meeting to review the project in the light of the revised boundaries and information received on other sources of support.

17 BUR VIII.2
Talamanca-La Amistad National Park (Costa Rica-Panama)

The Bureau took note of the fact that the proposal to construct a road through of the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves of Costa Rica is unlikely to be implemented in the immediate future. The Bureau was informed that the Costa Rican authorities were not in agreement with all the boundary modifications recommended by the Committee, at its fifteenth session. The Bureau noted that the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines, which is responsible for the management of the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves, and the general public, as well as the indigenous people resident within the site, were not in favour of all proposed modifications of the boundary suggested by the Committee. The Bureau noted the interest of the Costa Rican authorities to receive technical advice on measures to improve living conditions of people resident in Indian Reserves within the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves. A representative of IUCN informed the Bureau that specialists from IUCN's Regional Office in Costa Rica are discussing the boundary modifications proposed by the Committee with the Costa Rican authorities. These discussions have taken into consideration the need to accommodate the socio-economic aspirations of indigenous people in the Biosphere Reserve whilst protecting the World Heritage values of the site. The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to continue dialogue with the Costa Rican authorities in this important matter and report on the outcome during the forthcoming session of the Committee in December 1993.

No draft Decision

Report year: 1993
Costa Rica Panama
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
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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