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Iguaçu National Park

Brazil
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Governance
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • 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/ management plan (issues associated with public use and lack of a public use plan)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2018

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 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

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 2018

On 4 December 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/355/documents/ and provides the following information:

  • The revision of the management plan for the property has been completed and the new plan is currently going through an approval process expected to be completed by mid-2018;
  • The Colono Road remains closed and the Bill approved by the House of Representatives in 2013 proposing its reopening has not been evaluated in the Senate nor is there any proposed schedule to discuss it. The Brazilian Federal Government remains opposed to the Bill and in case it gets approved by the Senate, the President would have the power to veto it;
  • The Baixo Iguaçu hydropower dam is currently in its installation phase. The authorization process for the dam took into account the assessment of impacts on the property and its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) oversaw the preparation and approval of work plans for the dam and their compliance with the criteria outlined in the Environmental Authorization. Based on the impacts assessment, a number of requirements were identified for the dam’s operation, including establishment of a joint operation rule between Baixo Iguaçu and the existing Salto Caxias dam aimed at mitigating water level oscillation currently present and caused by the operation of Salto Caxias, as well as increasing the minimum water flow. A number of monitoring programmes and a National Action Plan for the conservation of endangered aquatic species of the Baixo Iguaçu basin have been developed in collaboration with the company responsible for the hydropower project;
  • Monitoring of key species has been ongoing and an increase in the population of jaguar in the area of the property and the neighbouring Iguazú National Park in Argentina has been observed in recent years;
  • Joint activities with the Iguazú National Park in Argentina have been ongoing for several years, including species monitoring, patrolling, as well as cooperation around the recent revision of the management plans of the two parks;
  • A technical cooperation agreement was signed between ICMBio, the National Parks Administration (APN) of Argentina and cooperation agencies in Argentina and Brazil, which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of APN and ICMBio in the planning and management of protected areas. However, the agreement currently does not provide for any specific actions in the Iguaçu/Iguazú region.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The information provided by the State Party with regards to the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower project is noted, including the affirmation that potential impacts on the OUV of the property have been considered in the authorization process. However, it should be recalled that the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to submit this specific assessment of potential impacts on the OUV of the property to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN. While some general information was included in the State Party’s report, no such detailed assessment was provided.

The development of specific operational requirements, which would ensure that impacts on water flow from existing dams on the Iguaçu River would be mitigated by the operation of the new dam, and the development of monitoring programmes and action plans for conservation of aquatic fauna are noted. It will, however, be important to ensure that the implementation and effectiveness of these measures is closely monitored, to ensure the mitigation of the identified negative impacts on the OUV of the property, and that cooperation with the State Party of Argentina is established to address these issues. It is therefore recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to ensure that a comprehensive overall monitoring system to monitor the impacts of the project is in place, both for aquatic fauna and for water flow. The State Party should be requested to submit a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness of these measures with its next report to the World Heritage Committee. 

While it is noted that the situation with the Colono Road has not changed and that the State Party remains opposed to the Bill 61/2013 approved by the House of Representatives in 2013 to reopen the road, it should be recalled the World Heritage Committee considered that the situation where the Bill remains pending continues to represent a potential threat to the property. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its concern in this regard, and that it request the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre as soon as the proposed Bill is scheduled to be evaluated by the Senate, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Increased cooperation with the neighbouring Iguazú National Park property in Argentina should be welcomed and the Committee is recommended to request the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil continue these transnational efforts with regards to the management of the two adjacent properties. It is also recommended that the Committee request the two States Parties to clarify whether additional cooperative actions are planned following the signing of a letter of intent between Administración de Parques Nacionales de Argentina, ICMBio, the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil and the Iguazú National Park in Argentina in 2016, which was welcomed by the Committee in its Decisions 40 COM 7B.69 and 40 COM 7B.70.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.84
Iguaçu National Park (Brazil) (N 355)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.70, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes the information provided by the State Party regarding the Baixo Iguaçu dam and the affirmation that specific impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) have been taken into account in the authorization process for this project, regrets that no specific assessment of the impacts on the OUV of the property has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre prior to proceeding with the project, and reiterates its request to the State Party to urgently submit this assessment to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, and to ensure that the construction of the dam complies with all recommendations of the 2015 IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission;
  4. Also notes the development of specific operational requirements which would ensure that impacts from existing dams on the Iguaçu River on the water flow would be mitigated by the operation of the new dam, and the development of monitoring programmes and action plans for conservation of aquatic fauna, however, requests the State Party to ensure, in cooperation with the State Party of Argentina, that an overall comprehensive monitoring system is in place, both for aquatic fauna and water flow, which would allow oversight of the implementation of requirements and action plans and assess their effectiveness with regards to mitigation of possible negative impacts on the OUV of the two properties, and to submit a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness of these measures with its next report to the World Heritage Committee;
  5. Notes with appreciation the confirmation that the Colono Road remains closed, that currently the proposed Bill that would provide a legal basis for its reopening is not scheduled for discussion in the Senate, reiterates its position that the situation where Bill 61/2013 remains pending continues to represent a potential threat to the property, and also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre as soon as the proposed Bill is scheduled for discussion in Senate, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Welcomes the increased collaboration between the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil in the management of the adjacent properties Iguazú National Park and Iguaçu National Park, and further requests both States Parties to continue their efforts in this field and to clarify whether additional actions are planned in order to further formalize this transboundary cooperation, following the signing of a letter of intent between Administración de Parques Nacionales de Argentina, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the Iguazú National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil in 2016;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.84

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.70, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes the information provided by the State Party regarding the Baixo Iguaçu dam and the affirmation that specific impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) have been taken into account in the authorization process for this project, regrets that no specific assessment of the impacts on the OUV of the property has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre prior to proceeding with the project, and reiterates its request to the State Party to urgently submit this assessment to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, and to ensure that the construction of the dam complies with all recommendations of the 2015 IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission;
  4. Also notes the development of specific operational requirements which would ensure that impacts from existing dams on the Iguaçu River on the water flow would be mitigated by the operation of the new dam, and the development of monitoring programmes and action plans for conservation of aquatic fauna, however, requests the State Party to ensure, in cooperation with the State Party of Argentina, that an overall comprehensive monitoring system is in place, both for aquatic fauna and water flow, which would allow oversight of the implementation of requirements and action plans and assess their effectiveness with regards to mitigation of possible negative impacts on the OUV of the two properties, and to submit a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness of these measures with its next report to the World Heritage Committee;
  5. Notes with appreciation the confirmation that the Colono Road remains closed, that currently the proposed Bill that would provide a legal basis for its reopening is not scheduled for discussion in the Senate, reiterates its position that the situation where Bill 61/2013 remains pending continues to represent a potential threat to the property, and also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre as soon as the proposed Bill is scheduled for discussion in Senate, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  6. Welcomes the increased collaboration between the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil in the management of the adjacent properties Iguazú National Park and Iguaçu National Park, and further requests both States Parties to continue their efforts in this field and to clarify whether additional actions are planned in order to further formalize this transboundary cooperation, following the signing of a letter of intent between Administración de Parques Nacionales de Argentina, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the Iguazú National Park in Argentina and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil in 2016;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Report year: 2018
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 (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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