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  N/A

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

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-1988)
Total amount approved: USD 168,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/196/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The Centre received a report from the Fundación Río Plátano concerning the site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The report concerns the agricultural intrusion at the Western border of the site. Additional information was obtained on 12 April 1995 on the land reform programme and its implementation in North-eastern Honduras. The settlement programme threatens several protected areas. The Centre contacted the authorities concerned to obtain further information.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

The Centre informed the Bureau that a report was received from the Fundación Río Plátano concerning the site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The report concerned the agricultural intrusion at the western border of the site. Additional information was obtained on 12 April 1995 on the land reform programme and its implementation in north-eastern Honduras. The settlement programme threatens several protected areas. The Centre contacted the authorities concerned to obtain further information and has received additional reports about shortcomings of the conservation of the site by the national government. The site is seriously threatened by planned and unplanned colonization having negative effects upon the indigenous cultures, unauthorized forest operations and poaching.

The Bureau asked IUCN to verify the situation and to report back to the World Heritage Committee in December. Subsequently, the Centre received a letter from the Minister for the Environment requesting a mission to the site to evaluate the situation. The Centre contacted IUCN to define the terms of reference for such a mission. At the time of the preparation of this document the mission was under preparation and IUCN will report to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

On the basis of the report, the Bureau may reach the conclusion that the site is seriously threatened and may wish to recommend to the Committee that the site may be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 19 BUR VI.20

The Centre informed the Bureau that a report was received from Fundaciôn Rio Platano concerning the site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The report concerns the agricultural intrusion at the western border of the site. Additional information was obtained on 12 April 1995 on the land reform programme and its implementation in north-eastern Honduras. The settlement programme threatens several protected areas. The Centre contacted the authorities concerned to obtain further information. The Centre has received additional reports about inadequate commitment to the conservation by the national government. Planned and unplanned colonization is taking place, unauthorized forest operations, poaching of birds and game is extremely serious. Indigenous cultures are threatened by colonization of outside settlers. The World Heritage Centre advised the Permanent Delegate of Honduras the concerns in April 1995, however, no response has been received so far.requested the Centre to prepare a letter for the signature of the Chairman of the World Heritage Committee to the President of Honduras, transmitting the concerns of the Bureau.

Decision Adopted: 19 COM VII.A.2.14/16

VII.14 Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)

The Committee recalled that the Bureau at its nineteenth session took note of a report received from the Fundaci6n Rio Platano concerning the site, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982. The report concerned the agricultural intrusion at the south and western borders of the site and on the land reform programme and its implementation in north-eastern Honduras. The Bureau at its nineteenth session requested IUCN to verify the situation and to report back to the nineteenth session of the World Heritage committee. Subsequently, the Centre received a letter from the Minister for the Environment requesting a mission to the site to evaluate the situation.

The mission was carried out by the IUCN Regional Office based in Costa Rica in November 1995. The report of the mission outlines the major threats and concludes with eleven follow-up actions, including the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee took note of the report and requested the Centre to contact the authorities to obtain an official letter on the actions to be taken to protect the site.