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Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

Honduras
Factors affecting the property in 1997*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Extreme pressure with the invasion of refugees and settlers into the Reserve;
  • Illegal tree felling;
  • Poaching;
  • Road construction
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1997
Requests approved: 7 (from 1982-1996)
Total amount approved : 198,000 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

At its last session (Merida, 1996), the Committee, following on the Bureau's recommendation made at its twentieth session (Paris, 1996), included Rio Platano in the List of World Heritage

in Danger and urged the Honduran authorities to implement the eleven-point corrective action, endorsed by the Honduran Minister for the Environment, and keep it informed, on a regular basis, of measures taken to safeguard this property.

The Centre received a letter from Honduran authorities dated 24 November 1996,  indicating a breakdown of expenditures foreseen for the US$ 30,000, approved by the Bureau at its twentieth session (Paris, 1996) for preparing a management plan for the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. The items of expenditures proposed in that letter did not correspond with those indicated in the project proposal approved by the Bureau. Hence, the Centre, via letter dated 17 December 1996, requested the Honduran authorities for a revised budgetary breakdown. A reply from the Honduran authorities is awaited.

IUCN has informed the Centre that it will submit a written report on Rio Platano for the Bureau meeting. In addition, a representative from Honduras is expected to submit a state of conservation report on Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve at the World Heritage Workshop, to be convened during the First Latin American Parks Congress in Santa Marta, Columbia, (21-28 May, 1997).

Action Required

Based on additional information to be made available at the time of its meeting, the Bureau may consider recommending that the Committee establish a time-table for implementing the eleven-point corrective action, including periodic review of progress by the Centre and IUCN.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The Committee, at its last session (Merida, 1996), included this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger, and requested the State Party to implement the eleven-point corrective action plan that had been endorsed by the Minister for the Environment of Honduras. The Bureau at its twenty-first session, in June 1997, was informed that a revised budget breakdown for the US$ 30,000 approved by the Bureau in 1996 had not yet been received and that new conservation projects were being initiated in co-operation with conservation organisations and bi-lateral donors. The Sub-Secretary for the Environment of Honduras, via letter of 12 September 1997, has provided a description of the proposed use of the US$ 30,000 approved by the Bureau in 1996: to be used mainly for equipment purchase and travel, per-diem and medical expenses of staff who will gather demographic, socio-economic and other necessary data from the different management zones of the World Heritage site and for communicating and disseminating information about the Reserve among local people. The funds provided by the Bureau will form a component of the larger GTZ-KFW (Germany) project, which during its preparatory phase of one-year, foresees the elaboration of a management plan as a priority activity. Together with the 5-year implementation phase, the 6-year social forestry project is expected to provide US$ 13 million (or 23 million German marks) for Río Plátano and surrounding areas.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1997
21 BUR IV.A.8
Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)

The Bureau recalled that the Committee at its twentieth session included Rio Platano in the List of World Heritage in Danger and urged the Honduran authorities to implement the eleven-point corrective action plan, endorsed by the Honduran Minister for the Environment, and keep it informed, on a regular basis, of measures taken to safeguard this property.

The Bureau noted that a revised budget breakdown requested from the Honduran authorities for a US$ 30,000 project, approved by the Bureau at its twentieth session for preparing a management plan for Rio Platano, has not yet been received. The Bureau was informed that major changes in the staff of the Ministry of Environment of Honduras had occurred and that a number of projects have been initiated in cooperation with Nature Conservancy, WWF and KFW (Germany). The Bureau noted that IUCN will provide a report on Rio Platano at the forthcoming session of the Committee.

The Bureau requested that the Centre contact the Honduran authorities to obtain the necessary information for the implementation of the management planning project and recommended that the Committee retain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

21 COM VII.B.18/20
SOC: Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)

VII.18 Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)

The Committee, at its last session (Merida, 1996), included this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger, and requested the State Party to implement the eleven-point corrective action plan that had been endorsed by the Minister for the Environment of Honduras. The Sub-Secretary for the Environment of Honduras, via letter of 12 September 1997, has provided a description of the proposed use of the US$ 30,000 approved by the Bureau in 1996. These funds will form a component of the larger GTZ-KFW (Germany) project, which in its first year preparatory phase foresees the elaboration of a management plan as a priority activity.

The Committee commended Honduras, with support from the GTZ and WWF, for launching a large scale programme for strengthening the conservation of Rio Platano. The Committee retained the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, to plan a site visit during early 1999 to review the state of conservation of Rio Platano.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

"The Committee commends the Honduran and German authorities for launching a large scale programme for strengthening the conservation of Río Plátano The Committee retains the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requests the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, to plan a site visit during early 1999 to review the state of conservation of Río Plátano "

Report year: 1997
Honduras
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1996-2007, 2011-present
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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