Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Iguaçu National Park

Brazil
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Governance
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Water infrastructure (construction of a hydropower dam)
  • Ground transport infrastructure (draft law and pressure to re-open an illegal road)
  • Illegal logging and hunting (issue resolved)
  • Governance (lack of transboundary cooperation, uncoordinated development)
  • Lack of sustainable financing (issue resolved)
  • Management systems (issues associated with public use and lack of a public use plan)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted to the property: USD 50,000 under the Brazilian World Heritage Biodiversity Programme for fire fighting planning

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

March 1999: IUCN mission; April 2005: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2008: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2015: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

An IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the property in March 2015 with the main objective to assess the status and potential impacts of the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower project. The mission report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/355/documents/. The mission elaborated a list of recommendations with regards to the Baixo Iguaçu project, the situation with the Colono Road, as well as the management of the property. 

On 4 January 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/355/documents/, providing the following information:

  • The Colono Road remains closed and the Bill 61/2013, which would provide a legal basis for the reopening of the road, has not been discussed in the Senate to date and is awaiting assessment by the Infrastructure Services Committee of the Senate. The Brazilian government has maintained its position not to reopen the road, therefore even if the bill passes in the Senate, it can be vetoed by the President;
  • The Environmental Installation License for the Baixo Iguaçu project was issued in August 2015. The license includes a number of conditions that the company responsible for the project will have to comply with. The State Party notes that thanks to the conditions under the water use license granted for the future plant, a greater regulation of the water flow at the waterfalls can be expected. A monitoring programme has also been established downstream from the Plant to track and prevent possible impacts;
  • The review of the management plan of the Iguaçu National Park began in August 2015 and it is expected that the revised management plan will be available in July 2017;
  • Cooperation between the staff of the Iguaçu (Brazil) and Iguazú (Argentina) national parks has been ongoing. Experts from Brazil have been taking part in the planning process for the Argentinian park, which is currently also undergoing a review of its management plan, and vice versa;
  • A number of projects aimed at monitoring populations of key species, such as Panthera onca and Puma concolor, are currently ongoing.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

Although the State Party confirms that the Colono road remains closed and that approval in the Senate of Bill 61/2013 is unlikely, concerns remain. The confirmation that the Brazilian Government remains opposed to the reopening of the road and that the Bill could still be vetoed by the President is also noted.  The conclusion of the 2015 IUCN mission was that reopening of the road would represent a clear ascertained danger to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and integrity of the property and that, as long as the Bill remains pending, the property continues to be potentially threatened. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee urge the State Party to ensure that the proposed Bill is not approved, even if positively voted on by the Senate, through the legal mechanisms that may be available.

As for the Baixo Iguaçu project, the conclusion of the mission was that the project had undergone significant changes over a number of years, with the most recent one being the fact that ICMBio (Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservaçao da Biodiversidade) was given an opportunity to elaborate a set of conditions which would be imposed on the company responsible for the project. These conditions included, inter alia, restrictions to ensure minimal water flows and minimize water flow fluctuations. Taking into consideration that the Iguaçu River already has a cascade of dams upstream of the proposed Baixo Iguaçu, these fluctuations have so far been substantial, including to such a degree that the aesthetic values of the Iguaçu Falls were at times compromised. Therefore imposing strict conditions on the Baixo Iguaçu could potentially help reduce such extreme variations. However, the mission also concluded that, given the location of the Baixo Iguaçu very close to the property, additional risks had to be considered carefully and recommended to prepare, in addition to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), an assessment of all potential impacts specifically on the OUV and integrity of the property and of the adjoining Iguazú National Park in Argentina, which would need to be submitted to ICMBio for comment. The information provided by the State Party that the Environmental Installation License containing a set of conditions was granted in August 2015 is noted. However, it is unclear whether an additional assessment has been conducted, as recommended by the mission. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to ensure that the construction of the dam does not proceed until this and other recommendations of the mission with regards to this project have been implemented.

The information provided on species monitoring is welcomed and these efforts are in line with the recommendations of the 2015 mission. Given that for some species, such as jaguar, it is highly important to consider the wider landscape, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue its efforts and increase its cooperation with the State Party of Argentina where a number of monitoring projects are also ongoing.

The information provided by the State Party on the review of the management plan and the transboundary cooperation is noted. Given the numerous previous Committee requests to formalize transboundary cooperation, and mindful that within the legal and institutional systems in each country options for a formal high-level agreement might be limited, it is recommended that the Committee requests the two States Parties to develop a roadmap for resolving this issue as a matter of priority, including options for formal agreements at different levels, as well as other ways of formalizing transboundary cooperation, for example through management and annual work or action plans, and mutual inclusion of experts on boards of the two parks, and to present it for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.70
Iguaçu National Park (Brazil) (N 355)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.82, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the information provided by the State Party that cooperation on the ground between Iguaçu National Park and the contiguous Iguazú National Park in Argentina has been ongoing;
  4. Also welcomes the signature of the letter of intent between Administración de Parques Nacionales de Argentina, ICMBio, the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil and the Iguazú National Park in Argentina, on 7 June 2016, that confirmed the resolve of the parties to strengthen their collaborative efforts and to examine modalities of improving cooperation between the two National Parks;
  5. Further welcomes the confirmation that the management plan for the property is currently being revised and requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, an electronic and three printed copies of the revised management plan;
  6. Notes with appreciation that the Colono Road remains closed, that the approval in the Senate of Bill 61/2013, which would provide a legal basis for the reopening of the road, is considered unlikely and that, in case any Bill regarding the reopening of the road is positively voted on by the Senate, it can be still vetoed by the President of the Republic;
  7. Recalling that the illegal opening of the road in 1997 led the Committee to inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, notes the conclusions of the 2015 IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission that the reopening of the Colono Road would represent a clear ascertained danger to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the integrity of the property, and considers that the situation where Bill 61/2013 remains pending continues to represent a potential threat to the property;
  8. Urges the State Party to ensure that the proposed Bill 61/2013 is not approved, and also considers that failure to resolve this issue could create conditions to re-inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Noting that progress has been made by the State Party on the implementation of some of the 2015 mission recommendations, also requests the State Party to ensure that the construction of the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower dam complies with all recommendations of the 2015 mission with regards to this project, in particular:
    1. In addition to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), develop a specific assessment of any potential impacts of the construction and operation of the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower plant specifically on the OUV and integrity of the property,
    2. Ensure that ICMBio has the opportunity to review this assessment and undertake appropriate coordination with the relevant Argentinian authorities, in order to confirm whether ICMBio would still give its authorization for the construction of the dam and/or whether the conditions it has already elaborated should be further amended or completed based on the results of the assessment,
    3. Ensure that further development of the project does not proceed prior to a copy of the specific assessment and the conclusions of ICMBio having been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN,
    4. In case authorization is given by ICMBio, ensure that the conditions it sets are duly fulfilled before the construction of the dam proceeds, and submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, the conclusions of ICMBio on the degree to which the conditions have been fulfilled;
  10. Calls upon and encourages the State Party to continue its efforts in the field of key species monitoring and to increase its cooperation in this regard with the State Party of Argentina;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
40 COM 8E
Adoption of Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/8E.Rev,
  2. Congratulates the States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties located within their territories;
  3. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC/16/40.COM/8E.Rev, for the following World Heritage properties:

EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

  • Austria: Historic Centre of Vienna;
  • Canada - United States of America: Kluane / Wrangell-St Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek;
  • Czech Republic: Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž; Historic Centre of Český Krumlov; Historic Centre of Prague; Historic Centre of Telč; Holašovice Historic Village; Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc; Jewish Quarter and St Procopius' Basilica in Třebíč; Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of St Barbara and the Cathedral of Our Lady at Sedlec; Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape; Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora; Tugendhat Villa in Brno;
  • Germany-United Kingdom: Frontiers of the Roman Empire;
  • Greece: Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina); Archaeological Site of Delphi; Archaeological Site of Mystras; Medieval City of Rhodes; Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios; Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika; Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos; Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae; The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos;
  • Italy: Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia; Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena; Su Nuraxi di Barumini; The Trulli of Alberobello;
  • Netherlands: Defence Line of Amsterdam; Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout;
  • Poland:Auschwitz Birkenau
    German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945);
    Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork; Churches of Peace in Jawor and Świdnica; Historic Centre of Kraków; Kalwaria Zebrzydowska: the Mannerist Architectural and Park Landscape Complex and Pilgrimage Park; Medieval Town of Toruń; Old City of Zamość; Wooden Churches of Southern Małopolska;
  • Portugal: Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores; Convent of Christ in Tomar; Historic Centre of Guimarães; Historic Centre of Oporto; Monastery of Batalha;
  • Spain: Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada; Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí; Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza; Roman walls of Lugo; University and Historic Precinct of Alcalá de Henares;
  • Sweden: Agricultural Landscape of Southern Öland; Birka and Hovgården; Church Town of Gammelstad, Luleå; Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg; Laponian Area; Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun; Naval Port of Karlskrona; Royal Domain of Drottningholm; Skogskyrkogården;
  • United States of America: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico;

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

  • Argentina / Brazil: Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis: San Ignacio Mini, Santa Ana, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor, Ruins of Sao Miguel das Missoes;
  • Brazil: Iguaçu National Park;
  • Costa Rica: Cocos Island National Park;
  • Ecuador: Sangay National Park;
  • Saint Lucia: Pitons Management Area;
  1. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger will be reviewed in priority by the Advisory Bodies;
  2. Requests the States Parties to provide support to the World Heritage Centre for translation of the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value into English or French respectively, and further requests the World Heritage Centre to upload the two language versions on its web site.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.70

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.82, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the information provided by the State Party that cooperation on the ground between Iguaçu National Park and the contiguous Iguazú National Park in Argentina has been ongoing, but notes with concern that in spite of its numerous previous requests, no formal agreement on transboundary cooperation with regards to the two properties has been signed between Argentina and Brazil to date;
  4. Requests the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil to develop, in accordance with the legal and institutional systems in each country, a roadmap for formalizing transboundary cooperation, including options for formal agreements at different levels and other mechanisms, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017;
  5. Also welcomes the confirmation that the management plan for the property is currently being revised and also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, an electronic and three printed copies of the revised management plan;
  6. Notes with appreciation that the Colono Road remains closed, that the approval in the Senate of Bill 61/2013, which would provide a legal basis for the reopening of the road, is considered unlikely and that, in case any Bill regarding the reopening of the road is positively voted on by the Senate, it can be still vetoed by the President of the Republic;
  7. Recalling that the illegal opening of the road in 1997 led the Committee to inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, notes the conclusions of the 2015 IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission that the reopening of the Colono Road would represent a clear ascertained danger to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the integrity of the property, and considers that the situation where Bill 61/2013 remains pending continues to represent a potential threat to the property;
  8. Urges the State Party to ensure that the proposed Bill 61/2013 is not approved, and also considers that failure to resolve this issue could create conditions to re-inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also requests the State Party to ensure that the construction of the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower dam does not proceed until all recommendations of the 2015 mission with regards to this project have been implemented, in particular:
    1. In addition to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), develop a specific assessment of any potential impacts of the construction and operation of the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower plant specifically on the OUV and integrity of both the property and the adjacent World Heritage property of the Iguazú National Park in Argentina,
    2. Ensure that ICMBio has the opportunity to review this assessment and undertake appropriate consultations with the relevant Argentinian authorities, in order to confirm whether ICMBio would still give its authorization for the construction of the dam and/or whether the conditions it has already elaborated should be further amended or completed based on the results of the assessment,
    3. Ensure that further development of the project does not proceed prior to a copy of the specific assessment and the conclusions of ICMBio having been submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN,
    4. In case authorization is given by ICMBio, ensure that the conditions it sets are duly fulfilled before the construction of the dam proceeds, and submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, the conclusions of ICMBio on the degree to which the conditions have been fulfilled;
  10. Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts in the field of key species monitoring and to increase its cooperation in this regard with the State Party of Argentina;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2016
Brazil
Date of Inscription: 1986
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1999-2001
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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.


top