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Everglades National Park

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Ground water pollution
  • Housing
  • Invasive / alien freshwater species
  • Storms
  • Surface water pollution
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Mercury contamination of fish and wildlife

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Quantity and quality of water entering the property
  • Urban encroachment
  • Agricultural fertilizer pollution
  • Mercury contamination of fish and wildlife
  • Lowered water levels due to flood control measures
  • Damage from hurricanes
  • Exotic invasive plant and animal species
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The property was re-inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, on the request of the State Party, due to concerns that the property's aquatic ecosystem continues to deteriorate, in particular as a result of:

  • Alterations of the hydrological regime (quantity, timing, and distribution of Shark Slough inflows);
  • Adjacent urban and agricultural growth (flood protection and water supply requirements that affect the property's resources by lowering water levels);
  • Increased nutrient pollution from upstream agricultural activities;
  • Protection and management of Florida Bay resulting in significant reduction of both marine and estuarine biodiverstiy.
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page   https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1275/ ;
Updated: https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1062;
Updated: https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348 and https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4958/
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

April 2006: IUCN participation in a technical workshop to identify benchmarks and corrective measures; January 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 3 March 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/. It details the progress made against the corrective measures adopted in 2006 and 2010, as follows:

  • The first steps towards the removal of barriers to water flow have been met through completion of the Decompartmentalization Physical Model and implementation of the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD), and the Tamiami Trail 1-mile bridge project. Construction of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps (TTNS) project is expected to start within a year and be completed by 2019;
  • The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) was completed in late 2014, and is now awaiting Congressional authorization;
  • The final land exchanges are expected to be completed in 2016;
  • Additional shallow seepage barriers and the C-111 North Detention Area remain to be completed in order to effectively reduce seepage from the park along its eastern border. Construction of water quality features is progressing under the State of Florida’s Restoration Strategies project, to improve in the next decade the quality of water reaching the property;
  • The final General Management Plan is further delayed and is expected to be completed in 2015, with the establishment of an Advisory Committee expected in 2016.

The report also outlines the trends in the integrity indicators identified during the 2011 reactive monitoring mission, and formalized as the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

Two new integrity indicators (fire regime, Roseate Spoonbills) have been added to the previous DSOCR indicators. Detailed trends for each indicator are provided in the State Party report, with the main points summarised below:

  • Trends of physical environment indicators remained the same as in 2013, with a slight improvement in interior marsh phosphorus concentrations in Shark River Slough, Taylor Slough and Coastal Basins;
  • Freshwater environmental indicators show a stable trend in Shark River Slough compared to 2013, with stabilized nesting efforts and density trends for the American Alligator, but a declining trend in Taylor Slough;
  • Trends in coastal and estuarine environment indicators show that seagrass diversity in the Florida Bay transition zone approaches favourable conditions, their abundance is decreasing in the western zone, and American crocodile populations are stable with nesting increasing throughout the property;
  • Measures of invasive alien species continue to indicate severe problems with limited programs and funding to deal with the issue.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

Progress has been made on the implementation of the corrective measures, with slight improvements in some indicators measuring integrity of the property, including the American crocodile. However, there are some concerns with the increasing spread and abundance of exotic species, including Lionfish and the limited resources/mechanisms to deal with the issue.

It is crucial for the State Party to focus its effort, together with the necessary partners in the long-term conservation of the park, to ensure all ecosystem restoration projects are implemented in the shortest time possible and their effectiveness continuously monitored. The latter is essential considering that the 2013-2014 field measurements indicated that waterflow had not reached its desired level despite the completion of the Tamiami Trail 1-mile bridge.

It is noted with concern that the General Management Plan, already mentioned in Decision 35 COM 7A.14, has been delayed further. In view of the importance to ensure an entire catchment scale approach to the planning and management of the property for the protection of its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), it is considered that high priority should be given to the finalization of the General Management Plan, and it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure the Plan is implemented in 2016.

The clear and comprehensive report on the DSOCR is welcomed. Significant work however remains to be done to meet this DSOCR. Therefore, it is recommended that the World Heritage Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

In view of the fact that the implementation of the corrective measures, while well underway, still will take at least 10 years to complete, it is recommended that the Committee requests the State Party to submit a report in 2 years’ time only.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.17
Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7A.30 and 37 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the continued and substantial effort of the State Party to provide detailed and clear measurements of the trends and conditions for the indicators developed for the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and to connect them to the corrective measures, allowing a comprehensive report on progress;
  4. Notes with appreciation the progress made by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures, and requests the State Party to continue its effort towards the completion of those restoration projects that are most crucial to increasing waterflow into the property and meeting the water quality targets, and that can lead to an improvement of the ecological indicators for the integrity of the property over time;
  5. Notes with concern that the finalization of the General Management Plan, initially mentioned in Decision 35 COM 7A.14, is further delayed, and urges the State Party to ensure implementation of the plan commences in 2016;
  6. Also notes with concern the increased abundance of invasive species in the property, including top marine predators such as Lionfish and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure that the necessary resources are provided to contain their spreading and to research how and to what degree these species are affecting the property’s Outstanding Universal Value;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  8. Decides to retain the Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.17

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7A.30 and 37 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014) and 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the continued and substantial effort of the State Party to provide detailed and clear measurements of the trends and conditions for the indicators developed for the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and to connect them to the corrective measures, allowing a comprehensive report on progress;
  4. Notes with appreciation the progress made by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures, and requests the State Party to continue its effort towards the completion of those restoration projects that are most crucial to increasing waterflow into the property and meeting the water quality targets, and that can lead to an improvement of the ecological indicators for the integrity of the property over time;
  5. Notes with concern that the finalization of the General Management Plan, initially mentioned in Decision 35 COM 7A.14, is further delayed, and urges the State Party to ensure implementation of the plan commences in 2016;
  6. Also notes with concern the increased abundance of invasive species in the property, including top marine predators such as Lionfish and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure that the necessary resources are provided to contain their spreading and to research how and to what degree these species are affecting the property’s Outstanding Universal Value;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  8. Decides to retain the Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
United States of America
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Natural
Criteria: (viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1993-2007, 2010-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
Exports

* : 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.


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