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Pitons Management Area

Saint Lucia
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Renewable energy facilities
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Renewable energy facilities (geothermal energy exploration)
  • Absence of strict development control process (issue resolved)
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species (issue resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 19,950 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

March 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 5 December 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property and on 22 February and 12 March 2018 additional information regarding a potential geothermal project, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1161/documents/. The State Party provides the following information:

  • A recent assessment revealed that there was 40% success with the eradication of alien invasive plant species activities undertaken in 2015. The next phase of eradication activities is being planned and the outcomes will contribute to the development of more effective long-term measures for management and eradication;
  • The integration of the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) study into the legal and regulatory frameworks was launched with the intention to seek financing from Saint Lucia’s geothermal energy development initiative through the World Bank for its implementation. The Terms of Reference (ToRs) developed in 2015 for drafting the LAC Regulations were reviewed by the World Bank with no objections, and the final output is expected by mid-2018;
  • Demarcation of the boundaries of “policy areas”, as well as the establishment of buffer zones to protect other vulnerable areas from potential future development, is ongoing, and the final outcomes will be delivered to the World Heritage Centre;
  • The work on the Freedom Bay Development Project has been slowed since 2016 as the developers continue to be engaged in a dialogue with the Department of Physical Development in order to ensure that the development is within the parameters of the LAC study. Some amendments to the project have been proposed in light of this cooperation;
  • Another Landscape Viewpoint Monitoring exercise was undertaken and concluded that changes that have occurred since inscription have not altered the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  • ToRs for the review of the Management Plan for the property have been developed and funding is being sought to support this review;
  • The proposed geothermal energy project is currently in an exploratory phase and is following all necessary protocols, and the State Party reiterates its intention to ensure that the project will not produce any negative impact to the property.

The draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Saint Lucia Geothermal Resource Exploration Project, the ToRs for the ESIA, and the Pre-Feasibility Study of a proposed Geothermal Project submitted by the State Party provide the following information:

  • Three broad areas with geothermal potential (Areas 1a, 1b and 2) were initially identified through a geoscientific study. One of them partially overlaps with the property and therefore was excluded from further consideration. In the remaining two areas, three preliminary target areas were identified at the pre-feasibility stage, and within those several specific potential drilling locations. While none of the proposed drilling locations overlap with the property, two are located within the “green buffer” area as defined by the LAC study;
  • Impacts from the exploration project on landscapes and views are considered minor and temporary, and the project areas would not be seen from the established tourist viewpoints.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

Recalling that the LAC study defines appropriate levels of development in different zones or “policy areas” established within the property, it is of concern that its integration into the regulatory framework of Saint Lucia has not yet been completed, and it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure that the LAC Regulations are developed and approved as a matter of priority, and to submit the completed Regulations to the World Heritage Centre.  The ongoing dialogue between the developers of the Freedom Bay project and the Department of Physical Development in order to ensure that the development is within the parameters of the LAC study is noted and should be continued. However, no information has been provided by the State Party regarding the Sugar Beach development project, which has also previously been examined by the Committee. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide detailed information regarding all existing project proposals that are currently being considered for implementation and ensure that they are fully compliant with the LAC framework. 

It is further noted that ToRs for the review of the Management Plan for the property have been developed and that funding is being sought to support this review. It is recommended that the Committee encourage again the State Party to fully reflect the conclusions of the LAC study in the planned revision of the Management Plan, as well as the clarification of boundaries and buffer zones, and request that the revised Management Plan is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, once completed.

The information that the proposed drilling areas for the Saint Lucia Geothermal Resource Exploration Project are located outside the property, and that impacts from exploration activities on landscapes and viewpoints are considered minor and temporary, is noted. The State Party’s decision not to consider one of the broad areas with geothermal potential which partially overlapped with the property is welcomed, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to ensure that the property remains off-limits for any future geothermal development activities, including exploration and exploitation. It is further noted that the conclusions of the ESIA apply only to the exploration phase of the project, and that a new ESIA, including a specific assessment of potential impacts on the property’s OUV, will be required in case the project proceeds to the exploitation phase.

It is noted that two of the proposed drilling areas for the project are located within the “green buffer” area established by the LAC study. In this regard, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to accelerate the demarcation of the policy area boundaries defined by the LAC study, to formally establish a buffer zone for the property and to clarify the types of activities permitted in this buffer zone. It is recommended that, once established, the buffer zone be officially recognized under the World Heritage Convention through a Minor Boundary Modification, in line with the provisions of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.88
Pitons Management Area (Saint-Lucia) (N 1161)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B;
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.77, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016);
  3. Takes note of the initiation of the integration of the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) study into the legal and regulatory frameworks of Saint Lucia, urges the State Party to ensure that the LAC Regulations are developed as a matter of priority and requests the State Party to submit the completed LAC Regulations to the World Heritage Centre as soon as they are available;
  4. Notes the ongoing dialogue between the developers of the Freedom Bay project and the Department of Physical Development regarding the compatibility of the development within the parameters of the LAC study and also requests the State Party to provide detailed information on this and any other projects being considered for implementation, including the Sugar Beach development project, and ensure that they are fully compliant with the provisions of the LAC study;
  5. Reiterates its request to fully reflect the conclusions of the LAC study in the planned revision of the Management Plan, and to submit the revised Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, once available;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s decision not to consider any proposed geothermal drilling areas within the boundaries of the property and further requests the State Party to ensure that the property remains off-limits for any future geothermal development activities, including exploration and exploitation, and that a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is completed, in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, in the event that the project proceeds to the exploitation phase;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to:
    1. Accelerate the demarcation of the policy area boundaries defined by the LAC study to protect the integrity of the property from visual impacts,
    2. Formalize the status of the buffer zone of the property as a formal World Heritage buffer zone through a Minor Boundary Modification, in conformity with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines,
    3. Clearly define the types of activities permitted in this buffer zone, ensuring their compatibility with the conservation of the property’s OUV;
  8. Requests moreover 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.88

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B;
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.77, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016);
  3. Takes note of the initiation of the integration of the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) study into the legal and regulatory frameworks of Saint Lucia, urges the State Party to ensure that the LAC Regulations are developed as a matter of priority and requests the State Party to submit the completed LAC Regulations to the World Heritage Centre as soon as they are available;
  4. Notes the ongoing dialogue between the developers of the Freedom Bay project and the Department of Physical Development regarding the compatibility of the development within the parameters of the LAC study and also requests the State Party to provide detailed information on this and any other projects being considered for implementation, including the Sugar Beach development project, and ensure that they are fully compliant with the provisions of the LAC study;
  5. Reiterates its request to fully reflect the conclusions of the LAC study in the planned revision of the Management Plan, and to submit the revised Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, once available;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s decision not to consider any proposed geothermal drilling areas within the boundaries of the property and further requests the State Party to ensure that the property remains off-limits for any future geothermal development activities, including exploration and exploitation, and that a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is completed, in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, in the event that the project proceeds to the exploitation phase;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to:
    1. Accelerate the demarcation of the policy area boundaries defined by the LAC study to protect the integrity of the property from visual impacts,
    2. Formalize the status of the buffer zone of the property as a formal World Heritage buffer zone through a Minor Boundary Modification, in conformity with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines,
    3. Clearly define the types of activities permitted in this buffer zone, ensuring their compatibility with the conservation of the property’s OUV;
  8. Requests moreover 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
Saint Lucia
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
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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