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Danube Delta

Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Ground water pollution
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Need to establish a legislative framework for the protection of the site (issue resolved) 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 2 (from 1990-1991)
Total amount approved : 11,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2000**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

The Ministry of Waters, Forest and Environmental Protection informed the Centre on 15 September 2000 that the accidental cyanide pollution (Baia Mare, 30 January 2000) did not bring any modification in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve ecosystems. The pollution wave crossed the site from 26 February to 1 March 2000 during which the cyanide concentration remained over the maximum limit admitted by Romanian standard of 0,01 mg/l. The monitoring of the pollution wave had been made in sections and in some control sections the cyanide ions concentration reached 0,043 to 0,049 mg/l. The report concludes that the cyanide pollution does not have any obvious effects on the flora and fauna of the Delta’s ecosystem. This conclusion was confirmed by a statement from the Permanent Delegation of Romania dated 8 September 2000, which informed the Centre that the reopening of the mining activities on 13 June 2000 concerned only technical verifications for the new exploitation scheme.  IUCN informed the Centre that it is understood that upgrading projects for the Aurul gold smelter in Baia Mare will include the construction of a new dam with a capacity of 250,000 cubic metres to act as an emergency buffer in case of overflows caused by excessive rains. The installation of a permanent cyanide detoxification unit, independent power generators as well as new pipelines for an open circuit system to bring waste water to ‘normal quality’ are also to be included in the upgrading. Aurul is now carrying out technical tests by operating at 60 percent of its capacity, with experts closely monitoring the tailings re-treatment operation.

IUCN urged caution in relation to future mining operations, in view of the fact that there have been four spills of cyanide and heavy metals from three mine sites in Romania in the period from January to July, 2000. The impacts of such activities on World Heritage values need to be kept under careful review and past experience in this area, and in Doñana National Park, Spain, has demonstrated the importance of mining companies having clear and effective disaster mitigation plans.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 COM VIII.iii
State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee

 State of conservation reports of natural properties noted by the Committee

Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)

Pirin National Park (Bulgaria)

Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)

Gros Morne National Park (Canada)

Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks (Canada)

Comoe National Park (Côte d'Ivoire)

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)

Lorenz National Park (Indonesia)

Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)

Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)

Huascarán National Park (Peru)

Danube Delta (Romania)

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)

Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)

Doñana National Park (Spain)

Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

Gough Island (United Kingdom)

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

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

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

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

“The Bureau thanks the State Party for having provided information on the impacts of the spill on the Danube Delta World Heritage area and urges the State Party to consider the importance of clear and effective disaster mitigation plans for any on-going or future mining activities which may affect World Heritage values.”

Report year: 2000
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 24COM (2000)

* : 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.