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Everglades National Park

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • 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
  • Water infrastructure (Quantity and quality of water entering the property)
  • Housing (Urban encroachment)
  • Surface water pollution and Pollution of marine waters (Agricultural fertilizer pollution, Mercury contamination of fish and wildlife)
  • Water infrastructure (Lowered water levels due to flood control measures)
  • Storms (Damage from hurricanes)
  • Invasive/alien species or hyper-abundant species (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: see page 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: see pages https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4348 and https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4958/
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

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 2017

On 26 January 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/, and which describes the progress made in implementing the corrective measures adopted in 2010, as follows:

  • To remove further barriers to water flow after completion of the Tamiami Trail 1-mile bridge, the construction of phase 1 of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps (TTNS) project, bridging another 2.3 miles, has started and is expected to be completed by 2019. TTNS phase 2 is in its planning phase to raise the remaining roadway. All land acquisitions have been completed. The Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) was approved in 2016 for completion by 2030;
  • To increase water quantity, a new Water Control Plan (COP) shall be established by 2019, utilizing the restoration infrastructures in place. However, the COP and the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD) project will not suffice to reach water volume targets prior to completion of CEPP and TTNS. Projects for seepage management are nearing completion, including a shallow five-mile barrier. The construction of the C-111 northern detention area is expected to be complete in mid-2017. The CEPP provides for a two-fold expansion of pumping capacity by 2026. In 2016, all required land exchanges to public ownership have been finalized;
  • To improve water quality, the construction of flow equalization basins (FEB) and storm water treatment areas (STA) is progressing under the State of Florida’s Restoration Strategies project ahead of schedule. The CEPP includes the construction of an additional FEB;
  • The General Management Plan (GMP) was approved in October 2015 with a delay of five years. Its Advisory Committee, initially foreseen for 2016, has not yet been established.

The report notes that the changes required for the corrective measures will need at least another decade to meet the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). The report also highlights a setback in implementing corrective measures due to the El Niño event in 2015. An exceptionally dry season, followed by a heavy rainy season resulted in unprecedented salinity levels, a die-off of seagrass and a consequential algal bloom as well as in a failure to meet the hydrology targets of the DSOCR.

An Invasive Exotic Species Action Framework and a Presidential Executive Order intend to address increasing numbers of invasive species but resources for implementation remain limited.

Finally, the report informs about a proposal of a utility transmission line on the property’s eastern border as well as the potential of hydraulic fracturing projects near the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The implementation of the corrective measures has progressed notably. However, the consequences of the 2015 El Niño event and the increasing abundance of invasive alien species (IAS) as well as potential hydraulic fracturing and transmission line projects raise concern.

It is noted that lionfish appear to have a more limited impact on the property than previously anticipated, but that a number of other marine, terrestrial and freshwater fauna and flora are threatening the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. Taking into account that a number of IAS have been identified outside of the property boundaries that have not yet been found inside, measures to proactively prevent their introduction to the property are critical.

The reported details on the utility transmission line on the property boundary are noted, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any development in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

With respect to hydraulic fracturing, it is of utmost concern that in 2013 a company operating in the vicinity of the property used an ‘acidization process’. Noting the potential for the contamination of surface water and groundwater aquifers, it is recommended that the Committee recall its position that oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status and that it request the State Party to ensure that any oil and gas development proposed near or upstream of the property are not permitted to proceed if they could have negative impacts on the OUV of the property.

The approval of the General Management Plan (GMP) in 2015 and the start of its implementation is welcomed. Considering the delayed approval, high priority should be given to its swift implementation.

While progress is being made, significant work remains to be done to meet the DSOCR. The changes required to achieve the DSCOR targets and corrective measures of 2010 will need at least another decade. 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, will take at least 10 years to complete, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit a report in 2 years’ time only.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.1
Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7A.17 and 40 COM 7A.50, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes with appreciation the continuous progress made by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures, but requests the State Party to accelerate its efforts towards the completion of the restoration projects that are vital to meeting the water quality and quantity targets, and that can secure the improvement of the ecological indicators for the integrity of the property;
  4. Welcomes the approval of the General Management Plan and the start of its implementation, encourages the State Party to establish its Advisory Committee without delay, and also requests the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the General Management Plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  5. Notes with concern the negative effects of the 2015 El Niño event on the property as well as the continuously increasing abundance of invasive species both within the property and in its proximity, and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure the provision of all resources necessary for their successful containment, eradication, as well as preventing the introduction of any additional invasive alien species;
  6. Also notes with concern the proposal of a utility transmission line along the eastern border of the property as well as the potential for hydraulic fracturing projects in proximity of the property, and further requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any development before making any decision that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and recalls its established position on the incompatibility of oil and gas exploration and exploitation with the World Heritage status of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019;
  8. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
41 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
    • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 41 COM 7A.54)
    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 41 COM 7A.55)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 41 COM 7A.2)
    • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 41 COM 7A.23)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.4)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 41 COM 7A.24)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.8)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.9)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.10)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.11)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 41 COM 7A.32)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.3)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.18)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 41 COM 7A.33)
    • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.34)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 41 COM 7A.35)
    • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 41 COM 7A.36)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 41 COM 7A.37)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 41 COM 7A.38)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 41 COM 7A.39)
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 41 COM 7A.40)
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 41 COM 7A.41)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 41 COM 7A.14)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 41 COM 7A.28)
    • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 41 COM 7A.29)
    • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 41 COM 7A.30)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 41 COM 7A.56)
    • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 41 COM 7A.15)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 41 COM 7A.42)
    • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 41 COM 7A.43)
    • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 41 COM 7A.25)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 41 COM 7A.26)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.16)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 41 COM 7A.21)
    • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 41 COM 7A.19)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 41 COM 7A.44)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 41 COM 7A.45)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 41 COM 7A.46)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 41 COM 7A.47)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 41 COM 7A.48)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 41 COM 7A.49)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 41 COM 7A.31)
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 41 COM 7A.22)
    • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.17)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.1)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 41 COM 7A.57)
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 41 COM 7A.27)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 41 COM 7A.51)
    • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 41 COM 7A.52)
    • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 41 COM 7A.53)
      Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.1

      The World Heritage Committee,

      1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
      2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7A.17 and 40 COM 7A.50, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
      3. Notes with appreciation the continuous progress made by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures, but requests the State Party to accelerate its efforts towards the completion of the restoration projects that are vital to meeting the water quality and quantity targets, and that can secure the improvement of the ecological indicators for the integrity of the property;
      4. Welcomes the approval of the General Management Plan and the start of its implementation, encourages the State Party to establish its Advisory Committee without delay, and also requests the State Party to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the General Management Plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
      5. Notes with concern the negative effects of the 2015 El Niño event on the property as well as the continuously increasing abundance of invasive species both within the property and in its proximity, and strongly encourages the State Party to ensure the provision of all resources necessary for their successful containment, eradication, as well as preventing the introduction of any additional invasive alien species;
      6. Also notes with concern the proposal of a utility transmission line along the eastern border of the property as well as the potential for hydraulic fracturing projects in proximity of the property, and further requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any development before making any decision that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and recalls its established position on the incompatibility of oil and gas exploration and exploitation with the World Heritage status of the property;
      7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019;
      8. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
      Report year: 2017
      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 (2017) .pdf
      arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
      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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