1.         Sangay National Park (Ecuador) (N 260)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/260/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1985-1993)
Total amount approved: USD 58,500
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/260/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March 1989: IUCN

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/260/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

At its last session, the Committee was informed that colonisation, and small scale mining activities had been stopped, a new management plan was nearing finalization and that several conservation projects funded by WWF had begun. The Committee urged the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, agreement with the State Party and possible support from WWF, to plan and organise a site visit to address the problem of the Guamote Macas road construction project and other threats to the integrity of the site.

IUCN informed the Centre that the on-going construction of the Guamote-Macos road is still the main issue facing this park. The road is being built primarily for strategic purposes and there has not been an EIA despite the Committee's requests. Construction has been slow but very destructive to the environment. Although only a small section of the road is inside the World Heritage site, the remainder forms its southern limit. As the completion of construction is likely inevitable, IUCN recommends that: (1) higher standards of construction to lessen the damage caused to the remaining sector needs to be encouraged; and mitigation measures for the disturbed sections are also encouraged and indeed will be required if the road is to stay open; (2) urges the State Party to complete the management plan which has been in preparation for three years but is still not completed;  (3) review the expanding presence of livestock in certain portions of the park. It is assumed that the management plan will address this problem; (4) The fourth area of concern is unconfirmed reports that an oil exploration concession was awarded in early 1998 which includes the northern part of the World Heritage site.

On the positive side, WWF has received US$1.6 million from the Dutch Government (DGIS) to support protection of the park. The project is being implemented over the next five years by a local NGO, Fundacion Natura.

IUCN has submitted to the Centre a budget for its staff, based in Quito, Ecuador, for undertaking a monitoring mission to the site. The Centre is urging IUCN and the State Party to minimise costs of the site-monitoring mission by seeking greater co-operation of WWF which is currently implementing a conservation project for Sangay. The outcome of these on-going negotiations between the Centre, IUCN, State Party and the WWF will be reported at the time of the twenty second session of the Bureau.

Action Required

The Bureau recommends the Committee to retain Sangay on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requests the Centre to write a letter to (1) strongly encourage the Government of Ecuador to improve the standard of construction of the Guamote-Macos road, (2) to undertake mitigation measures for the damaged sections. The Bureau furthermore requests the Government to complete the long over-due management plan and to provide clarification for any oil exploration concession that may have been given over part of the park. The Bureau commends the Government of the Netherlands and for their efforts to assist INEFAN to improve protection of the site through the Fundacion Natura.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

At its last session, the Committee was informed that colonisation and small-scale mining activities had been stopped, a new management plan was nearing finalisation and that several conservation projects funded by WWF had begun. The Committee had urged the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, and agreement with the State Party and possible support from WWF, to plan and organise a site visit to address the problem of the Guamote-Macas road construction project and other threats to the integrity of the site.

The Bureau, at its twenty-second ordinary session (June, 1998) was informed that the on-going construction of the Guamote-Macos road was the main issue facing this Park and that a site-visit was considered not necessary for the moment. The road is being built primarily for strategic purposes and, despite the Committee's repeated requests, an EIA had not been conducted. Construction has been slow but very destructive to the environment. Only a small section of the road is inside the World Heritage site; the remainder of the road forms the Park’s southern limit. The Bureau was however, concerned with the prevailing view that it is inevitable that the construction of the road is likely to proceed to its completion.

Since the conclusion of the last session of the Bureau in June 1998, the Government of Ecuador has submitted a draft management plan to the Centre; the draft plan has been transmitted to IUCN for review. The State Party has also informed IUCN and the Centre that economic constraints have led to a halt in the activities related to the construction of the Guamote-Macos road. IUCN has noted that the 5-year, US$ 1.6 million project, financed by the Government of the Netherlands and jointly implemented by WWF and Fundacion Natura, will strengthen protection of the Park. IUCN has expressed its concern regarding the fact that the Government of Ecuador has not clarified whether or not an oil exploration concession has been awarded in 1998.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 22 BUR V.A.5

The Bureau noted that at its last session, the Committee was informed that colonisation and small-scale mining activities had been stopped, a new management plan was nearing finalisation and that several conservation projects funded by WWF had begun. The Committee had also urged the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, agreement with the State Party and possible support from WWF, to plan and organise a site visit to address the problem of the Guamote-Macas road construction project and other threats to the integrity of the site. 

The Bureau learnt that IUCN has received considerable information on the site from WWF-and that a site-visit had been considered not necessary at present. The Bureau noted that the on-going construction of the Guamote-Macos road as the main issue facing this Park. The road is being built primarily for strategic purposes and there has not been an EIA despite the Committee's requests. Construction has been slow but very destructive to the environment. Although only a small section of the road is inside the World Heritage site, the remainder of the road forms the Park’s southern limit. While the Bureau was concerned with IUCN’s view that the completion of the construction of the road is likely to be inevitable, it agreed with the recommendations of IUCN and:

(i) recommended that the Committee retain Sangay in the List of World Heritage in Danger;

(ii) strongly encouraged the Government of Ecuador to improve the standards of the construction of the Guamote-Macos Road and undertake mitigation measures for sections of the road where the environment has been adversely impacted;

(iii) requested the Government to complete the long overdue management plan, particularly with a view to reviewing the expanding presence of livestock in the Park;

(iv) invited the Government to clarify unconfirmed reports of any oil exploration concession that may have been awarded over a part of the Park; and

(v) commend the Government of the Netherlands for their efforts to assist the official Ecuadorean agency responsible for the management of the Park, i.e. INEFAN, and to improve protection of the site through co-operation with Fundacion Natura, Ecuador.

Decision Adopted: 22 COM VII.5/3

VII.5 Sangay National Park (Ecuador)

The Committee, at its last session was informed that colonization and small-scale mining activities had been stopped, a new management plan was nearing finalization and that several conservation projects funded by WWF had begun. The Committee had urged the Centre, in collaboration with IUCN, and agreement with the State Party and possible support from WWF, to plan and organize a site visit to address the problem of the Guamote-Macas road construction project and other threats to the integrity of the site. The Committee was informed that the Bureau, at its twenty-second session in June 1998, had noted that the on-going construction of the Guamote-Macos road was the main threat to this Park and an EIA had not been conducted. Construction has been slow but very destructive to the environment. Only a small section of the road is inside the World Heritage site; the remainder of the road forms the Park's southern limit. The Committee noted that since the conclusion of the last session of the Bureau in June 1998, economic constraints have led to a halt in the activities related to the construction of the Guamote-Macos road. IUCN has noted that a 5-year, US$ 1.6 million project, financed by the Government of the Netherlands and jointly implemented by WWF and Fundacion Natura, will strengthen protection of the Park.

The Committee was informed that the Ecuadorean authorities have submitted to the Centre several new documents, including the "Strategic Management Plan for the Sangay National Park" immediately before the beginning of the Committee's twentysecond session. The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that his Government has not issued any permits for oil exploration in Sangay and would welcome a Centre/IUCN mission to the site in 1999. The Committee noted with satisfaction the view of IUCN that conditions for strengthening the conservation of this site were improving and that it is possible that the planned mission in 1999 may recommend its removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and thanked the Delegate of Ecuador for inviting a Centre/IUCN mission in 1999 to review the state of conservation of Sangay National Park. The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party and with other partners such as WWF to field such a mission as soon as possible in 1999 with a view to submitting an up-to-date state of conservation report to the twenty-third session of the Committee.