1.         Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica) (N 814)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1997

Criteria  (viii)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/814/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 14,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/814/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/814/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 17 July 2013, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party requesting information on geothermal projects adjacent to the property. A further request was sent on 13 September 2013.

On 29 November 2013, the State Party provided a response confirming its intention to move ahead with the development of geothermal resources. The State Party noted that the exploratory phase of the project had been completed, which included drilling of three exploratory wells, and that the next phase of the project would include drilling and testing of two full size production wells.  The State Party also provided some project documentation, including the Dominica Geothermal Development Project Brief.

In May 2014, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party to also submit completed Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for review by the Advisory Bodies, but no reply was received from the State Party.

In a letter dated 26 January 2015, the World Heritage Centre reiterated its request to the State Party to submit the completed EIA for the two production wells, as well as the results of their environmental monitoring which was scheduled for October 2013-June 2014 according to the above mentioned Project Brief.  The World Heritage Centre further requested the State Party to provide a feasibility study for the construction of the Small Geothermal Power Plant and an EIA for this development, including assessment of its potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.

On 11 March 2015 and on 10 April 2015, the World Heritage Centre sent further letters to the State Party requesting the above mentioned documentation. No response from the State Party has been received at the time of drafting this report. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

It is regrettable that the State Party did not provide the documentation requested by the World Heritage Centre.  The limited information available in the Project Brief submitted by the State Party indicates that the project is directly adjacent to the property and can therefore potentially have significant impacts on its OUV and integrity. It is therefore essential that an EIA for this project includes a specific assessment of potential impacts on the OUV of the property.

Given that the State Party did not provide any of the requested EIAs, it is unclear whether such an assessment has been undertaken.

It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit, as a matter of urgency, an EIA for the drilling of two production wells and the construction of the Small Geothermal Power Plant, including a specific assessment of potential impacts on the OUV of the property, and to suspend the project until the submitted EIA has been reviewed by IUCN.

It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to assess the current status of the geothermal project, the state of conservation of the property, including any impacts from the exploratory phase of the project, and potential impacts of the planned Small Geothermal Power Plant on the OUV and integrity of the property.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.30

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Regrets that the State Party did not provide completed Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the two geothermal production wells, nor the feasibility study or an EIA for the construction of a Small Geothermal Power Plant adjacent to the property, and requests the State Party to provide all available documentation on the project as a matter of urgency, including an assessment of potential impacts of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  3. Urges the State Party to suspend the project until these documents have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN;
  4. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to assess the current status of the project, the impacts of existing geothermal infrastructure and potential impacts of the planned Small Geothermal Power Plant on the OUV of the property;
  5. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 40th session in 2016.