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Los Katíos National Park

Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Civil unrest
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Conflicts between armed groups
  • Decentralization process of the management of the property
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph X.28 and Annex VIII.
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – paragraph IV. 29

New information: Following the invitation by the Colombian Government to receive a monitoring mission to the site in 2000, security clearance was requested from the UN Resident Co-ordinator. The Centre received information dated 25 April 2000, that security clearance could only be granted for a mission to Bogota by air, and clearance for visiting Los Katios National Park could be obtained only upon arrival in the country. The Centre is in communication with the authorities concerning dates and programme for such a mission.

IUCN notes that Fundacion Natura, a Colombian NGO, is helping the government to establish co-management arrangements in Los Katios. According to Fundacion Natura and IUCN, this site is now one of the most difficult areas in Colombia due to the many conflicts prevailing in the area. Impacts of those conflicts are spilling across the international border into the Darien National Park and World Heritage site in Panama. Fundacion Natura is organizing, with the National Parks Administration, a workshop in the last week of May, 2000 to discuss the situation in Los Katios, involving representatives from local communities and indigenous people living in and around the Park. The workshop has been tentatively planned for the end of May in Bogota. The workshop will also discuss the Committee’s recommendation for establishing a Parks for Peace between Los Katios and Darien National Park.

Action Required

The Bureau, based on additional information to be presented at the time of the Bureau session, may wish to take appropriate decisions thereupon.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

A brief report was provided by the authorities on the technical meeting on the two World Heritages sites of Los Katios National Park and Darien National Park (Panama) held in Bogota on 23 and 24 May 2000. The meeting involved on-site staff and personnel from other institutions in both countries and focused on transboundary co-operation as well as on the implementation of the Biological Corridor Project. IUCN noted the continuing challenges in managing this area as highlighted in the transfrontier Darien Ecosystem workshop. Ongoing instability in the area continues to impact Los Katios and the contiguous Darien World Heritage site in Panama. IUCN noted that its Parks for Peace initiative may be relevant in this area, but that experience has shown the difficulties of establishing such initiatives in active conflict areas.  Following the Bureau’s request for a mission to the site to obtain detailed information on the state of conservation, the Centre received a letter dated 8 September 2000 with an invitation for a field mission. The mission is proposed to be organised from 10 to 12 November 2000 and includes visits to Medellin, Turbo and Bogota for discussions with on-site staff. UNESCO is currently seeking security clearance for such a mission.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 BUR IV.B.28
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)

The Centre informed the Bureau that the Workshop on the transfrontier Darien Ecosystem took place in Bogota on 25 and 26 May 2000 and that a representative from IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) participated. However, no field mission to the site was possible as no security clearance could be obtained from UNDP due to the continuing conflicts in the region.  IUCN noted the continuing challenges in managing this area, but applauded the efforts of the Fundacion Natura and the State Party to attempt to implement co-management arrangements. IUCN pointed out that the Workshop noted the continued instability in the area and that activities are impacting the contiguous Darien World Heritage site in Panama. When the situation improves this may be an area for IUCN’s Parks for Peace initiative – a joint project being developed by IUCN and the University of Peace (Costa Rica). IUCN noted the warnings from the UN Security Office dated 29 March 2000 about travel to Colombia.  The Observer of Colombia informed the Bureau that her authorities are looking into new dates for a mission.

The Bureau reiterated the Committee’s request for a mission to the site to obtain detailed information on the state of conservation and requested the State Party to inform the Centre on the possibility of an on-site field mission.

24 COM VIII.25
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)

VIII.25 Los Katios National Park (Colombia)

The Delegate of Colombia informed the Bureau that the field visit foreseen from 10-12 November 2000 had not taken place and looked forward to a visit in 2001. Such a field visit would not only review the state of conservation of the site, but moreover review co-operation possibilities for a World Heritage nomination of the meso-american biological corridor project and transboundary collaboration with the adjacent Darien National Park (Panama).

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

“The Bureau welcomes the transboundary collaboration and recalls the request of the Committee at the time of the inscription to create a transboundary site between Colombia and Panama. Concerning the mission to the site, the Bureau may wish to take appropriate decisions based on additional information to be presented at the time of the Bureau session.”

Report year: 2000
Date of Inscription: 1994
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2009-2015

* : 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.