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    1996-present

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

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-1996)
Total amount approved: USD 198,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/196/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

October 2000: joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission

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 2000

Summary of previous delibertions:
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph number – X.8
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – paragraph numberIV.7

New information: At a meeting held in early 2000, the Centre staff pointed out to the Permanent Delegate of Honduras to UNESCO the recommendation of the Committee that his Government consider inviting an UNESCO/IUCN mission to the site. No official letter inviting such a mission has been received from the State Party at the time of the preparation of this document.

The former Director of the Centre, based on meetings he had with the German Technical Co-operation Agency, GTZ, informed the Centre that a GTZ project is attempting to implement participatory resettlement programmes to minimize human impacts in the core zone of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. The project is supported by the GTZ and German Ministry for Economic Co-operation (BMZ) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KWF) at a total cost of 14 million German Marks.

Action Required

The Bureau reiterates the Committee‘s request that the State Party provide up-to-date information on the Patuca II project, including a copy of the EIA that has been prepared. The Bureau also encourages the State Party to respond to the recommendation of the Committee that the State Party consider inviting an UNESCO/IUCN mission to the site as soon as possible. The Bureau recommends that the Committee retain the Rio Platano National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

The State Party, via a letter dated 21 June 2000, invited a Centre/IUCN mission to the site. IUCN and the Centre have collaborated to identify  experts to undertake the mission from 22-29 October 2000 and a report on the findings of the mission will be provided at the time of the twenty-fourth session of the Committee. A representative of site-management is expected to present a case study on Rio Platano at the Centre/IUCN workshop on the "Role of World Heritage in Danger Listing in Promoting International Co-operation for the Conservation of World Natural Heritage", in Amman, Jordan, during 6-7 October 2000.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 24 BUR IV.A.9

The Bureau was informed that the Centre staff, at a meeting held in early 2000, pointed out to the Permanent Delegate of Honduras to UNESCO the recommendation of the Committee that her Government consider inviting a UNESCO/IUCN mission to the site. Following that meeting and several formal and informal communications, the State Party, via a letter dated 21 June 2000 invited a Centre/IUCN mission and the Bureau was satisfied to learn that the mission is likely to be fielded in late September 2000. The Bureau was informed that a project of the German Technical Co-operation Agency, GTZ, is attempting to implement participatory resettlement programmes to minimize human impacts in the core zone of the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. The project is supported by the GTZ and German Ministry for Economic Co-operation (BMZ) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KWF), at a total cost of 14 million German Marks.

The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to work with the relevant authorities of the State Party to field a site visit in September 2000 as foreseen and during the mission also obtain up-to-date information on the Patuca II project, including a copy of the EIA that has been prepared. The Bureau recommended that the report of the mission, including the recommendations for future action, be submitted to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee during November-December 2000. The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve in the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Decision Adopted: 24 COM VIII.10

VIII.10 Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)

The Committee was informed that the Centre/IUCN mission to this site was fielded from 24 to 30 October 2000. A preliminary report of the mission indicated that of the ten major recommendations of the previous (1995) Centre/IUCN mission which led to the inclusion of this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger 1996, five have been implemented. Some notable achievements made since 1995 include: completion of a participatory management plan; increasing on-the-ground management presence; establishment of inter-agency control posts in strategic locations; preparation and the beginning of the execution of an inter-institutional action plan; and organization of agro-forestry co-operatives. Continuing concerns regarding the integrity of the site centre around: deforestation rates in the buffer zone that exceed the national average (4%); resettling core-zone family units into the buffer zone and land-titling issues in influence zones; and unacceptable levels of logging and poaching. The mission report acknowledges and appreciates the support given by the German Government to the conservation of Rio Platano. The Committee was informed of a UN Foundation-financed project to link biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism development targeting six sites, including Rio Platano. This project may generate employment and economic benefits via outreach, ecotourism and research activities as recommended by the 1995 mission.

The Committee requested the Centre to transmit the full report of the IUCN/Centre mission to the site to the State Party to obtain formal written responses and comments from the State Party for submission to the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau in 2001. The Committee urged the State Party to continue its efforts to improve management of the site. The Committee retained the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.