1.         Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (N 369bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1986

Criteria  (vii)(viii)

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/369/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

February 2003: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2013: IUCN Advisory mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 26 November 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available online at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369/documents/. The State Party also submitted a proposal for a Minor Boundary Modification, which will be examined by the Committee under item 8B of the Agenda. The State Party provides updates on the issues raised by the Committee at its 38th session as follows:

The State Party is also in the process of reviewing a revised proposal for an extension to a listed building within the “Distinctive Landscape Setting” of the property, but it anticipates that any impact on OUV will be unlikely.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

It is recommended that the Committee welcome the State Party’s intentions to notify it, should the new owner of the land associated with the golf resort development submit any development proposal which may affect the OUV of the property. The State Party’s reaffirmation that the existing consent will not have any impact on the OUV of the property is noted. However it is proposed that the Committee recall that the development as was initially proposed and consented remains of concern regarding its impact. It is also recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure that any new proposals submitted by the new land owner are assessed in terms of their potential impact on the OUV of the property, in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.

It is noted that the petroleum licence has been withdrawn by the licensee, Rathlin Energy Limited, for the area that overlapped with the boundaries of the property and that no exploration work has been conducted or is proposed within the property or in its vicinity. It is acknowledged that the State Party will take the Operational Guidelines into account when granting future licences. Whilst this is welcomed, it is considered that tighter measures to prevent licences from being awarded in future for areas that overlap with the World Heritage property should be assured.

It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre and IUCN informed of progress made.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.102

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.80, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes the updated information regarding the planned golf resort development project that may affect the property, requests the State Party to ensure that the World Heritage Centre is informed if this development begins to be implemented, and welcomes the State Party’s intentions to notify the Committee if any new proposal is submitted;
  4. Urges the State Party to ensure that any new proposal submitted by the new land owner is assessed in terms of their potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environment Assessment;
  5. Also notes that Rathlin Energy Limited has terminated the petroleum exploration licence, which overlapped with the boundaries of the property, and acknowledges that the State Party will apply Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines when considering future licences;
  6. Reiterates its position that oil and gas exploration or exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the commitments made by industry leaders such as Shell and Total to not undertake such activities within World Heritage properties, and also requests the State Party to ensure that such activities will not be permitted to take place within World Heritage properties, and that any such activities taking place outside a World Heritage property do not result in negative impacts on its OUV;
  7. 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.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 8B.35

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/16/40.COM/8B.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/INF.8B2.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.80 adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Approves the proposed minor boundary modification of Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast, United Kingdom.