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Sagarmatha National Park

Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Growing energy demands of the tourist industry

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Growing energy demands of the tourist industry 
  • Growing number of tourists
  • Need to revise the management plan of the site
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 7 (from 1980-1999)
Total amount approved : 232,097 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

Twenty-second session of the Committee – pages 97 and 98 of Annex IV.


New Information: In accordance with the recommendation made by the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 1998, the Centre and IUCN facilitated the conduct of a meeting of the International Centre for Protected Landscapes (ICPL), the Department for International Development (DFlD) of the United Kingdom and relevant authorities from His Majesty’s Government of Nepal (HMGN) Ministries of Soils and Forests, and of Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Chief Warden of Sagarmatha National Parks, in London, UK, in March 1999. This has been followed by a continuing dialogue between ICPL, the DFID Office in Kathmandu, Nepal and the concerned Nepalese authorities. The Chief Warden underwent a two-week training course in ICPL during August 1999 where he gathered valuable information, amongst others, on tourism development planning. The participation of Nepalese authorities in the London meeting and the training of the Chief Warden of the Park were financed by the World Heritage Fund under two separate projects approved by the Chairperson of the Committee.

Continuing negotiations between the parties concerned has increased the possibility that the DFID Office in Nepal will undertake an ICPL/HMGN project entitled, “Ecotourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park and the Solu-Khumbu District of Nepal”.  Project negotiations between HMGN/ICPL and DFID, Kathmandu, are currently underway.  The project is expected to commence in November 1999.  The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) of Nepal has organised consultation among various stakeholders in and around the Park, under a separate GEF Funded projcet, to facilitate the revision of the management plan for Sagarmatha in conjunction with its 25th anniversary celebrations in 2001. These consultations are contributing to improving the chances for the ICPL/HMGN project under the DFID Nepal programme. The aim of the ICPL/HMGN project is to strengthen rural livelihoods through the promotion of tourism and conservation in the Sagarmatha National Park and the nearby Solu-Khumbu District.  This is an interim project with a purpose to design and develop a larger project which would provide management assistance to the DNPWC of Nepal and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to improve management of the site. The proposed initiative seeks to produce:

1.  A revised national park management plan;

2.  An integrated ecotourism strategy for the Sagarmatha National Park, its buffer zone and the wider Solu-Khumbu District that supports the national park plan;

3.  A training and resources programme for the Sagarmatha National Park administration;

4.  A community-based training and awareness programme; and

5.  Improved tourism infrastructure for the region.

In addition to strengthening rural livelihoods throughout the Solu-Khumbu District, the programme will help to improve the planning and management of conservation and tourism at both the local and national levels.  An up-date on the outcome of the negotiations between ICPL/HMGN and the DFID Nepal Office will be provided at the time of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 COM X.B.28
State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee

X.28 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) included as Annex VIII to this report. Additional observations made during the Committee session are reflected below.

Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)

Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)

Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)

The Delegate of Australia thanked IUCN for the consultative process started, which could be a model for other State Parties. He also informed the Committee that the area of marine protection around Macquerie Island had been extended and now comprises 16 million ha, the world's largest highly protected marine zone.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)

Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)

Los Katios National Park (Colombia)

The Delegate of Colombia informed the Committee that a visit by a delegation from the Ministry for Environment to Los Katios was recently carried out. The visit included areas that were previously not accessible. He emphasized that the proposal to grant collective land ownership over 100,000ha would be outside the Park in the buffer zone. He commented that his Government would be pleased to receive the visit of the monitoring mission to this site in 2000. The Colombian authorities have enhanced transboundary co-operation with Darien National Park (Panama) and strengthened the protected area system.

Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

The Observer of the United States underlined his Government's role in safeguarding Galapagos Islands and congratulated the Government of Ecuador on progress made. He noted the landmark decision of the Galapagos Law and questioned whether it had been implemented, in particular concerning the forty-mile zone. The Secretariat informed the Committee that some threats related to illegal fishing have been reported. IUCN noted the implementation of this pioneering legislation is vital and specific regulations need to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. The Delegate of Ecuador provided information from the Ministry of Environment noting progress concerning control of introduced species and general improvements in relation to biodiversity conservation at the site. Concerning the control of the 40-mile zone, she stated that the law has not yet been implemented, but that the basis for the conservation and environmental control is there. She thanked the Committee for all its efforts to safeguard the Galapagos.

Kaziranga National Park (India)

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)

Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya)

Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)

The Observer of Nepal expressed his gratitude for the international support for the important project on tourism carried out at Sagarmatha National Park. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that it is a ground-breaking project.

Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)

The Delegate of Thailand noted the raised serious concerns raised by the Bureau regarding the management of this site, given the decline in numbers of the Arabian Oryx and the fact that the boundary marking and management planning is long overdue for completion. He recalled that the Committee inscribed the site without legislation and management plan in December 1994. He highlighted the Operational Guidelines in relation to the deletion of properties. The Delegate of Benin noted that rigour was not always applied in the past years and that a number of sites would not have been accepted if they were presented today. Concerning the question of deletion, a site would be put first on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand made it clear that he had not proposed the deletion of the site from the World Heritage List and that he was totally aware of the modalities in that respect. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that similar problems concerned a number of sites and that these issues would certainly be dealt with by the periodic reporting process. IUCN pointed out that it had consistently raised concerns about this site. IUCN noted that legislation does not have effect if there is not sufficient resources for its implementation. The Chairperson reminded the Committee members about the rarity of Arab natural sites on the List. In concluding, the Chairperson thanked the Committee for the debate and noted that awareness needs to be raised in countries about the World Heritage Convention, its obligations and World Heritage values to be preserved for future generations, in particular among decision-makers. He thanked the Delegate of Thailand for his statement and encouraged the Committee to further reflect on how to enhance the protection of World Heritage sites.

Huascaran National Park (Peru)

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)

The Observer of Russia requested that the information provided during the adoption of the report of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on this site be included in the Bureau report.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

Gough Island (United Kingdom)

Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)

Canaima National Park (Venezuela)

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)

The Bureau, in the light of up-to-date information on the ICPL/HMGN and DFID negotiations to be provided at the time of its twenty-third extraordinary session may take decisions and make recommendations as appropriate. 

Report year: 1999
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)

* : 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.