1.         Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1993-2007, 2010-present

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:

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 identified

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/

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

April 2006: IUCN participation in a technical workshop to identify benchmarks and corrective measures; January 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 5 March 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/, and provides, inter alia, the following updated information:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The considerable progress in implementing the 2006 corrective measures is commendable. In order to attain the DSOCR, the on-going efforts will need to be sustained over time and the State Party should particularly be commended for engaging the next generation restoration projects and for committing as much as USD 2.5 billion for the restoration of the Everglades over the next four years. In terms of the 14 Indicators of Integrity, it is noted that water quality targets are met and that “supercolonies” of wading birds returned to the property with highest nesting and fledging success in 50 years. However, most of the other indicators are stagnating or declining. Especially, invasive alien species (IAS) remain a serious concern. Whilst recognizing the continued focus of the park’s management to address IAS, a long-term resource mobilization is required to control the existing IAS, and noting the existence of additional IAS outside of the property that have not yet been introduced to the property, emphasis should be placed on prevention and early detection with rapid response measures.

The increasing number of extreme weather events emphasises the growing importance of the impacts of climate change for the property. While a severe El Niño event in 2015 had led to a setback in the implementation of corrective measures because of an exceptionally dry season, record water levels were attained in 2017 and 2018 due to exceptionally wet seasons resulting from the high frequency of storms. Considering the vulnerability of the property to the impacts of climate change, in particular sea-level rise, it is appreciated that the 2015 General Management Plan (GMP) recommends concrete responses, including the enhancement of ecosystem resilience and the minimization of other stressors on park resources. Since the Policy Document on Impacts of Climate Change and World Heritage describes World Heritage properties as laboratories where monitoring, mitigation and adaptation processes can be applied, tested and improved, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to formally submit the GMP to the World Heritage Centre and IUCN.

The decision by the Florida Appeals Court to grant authority to conduct exploratory oil and gas drilling within the Water Conservation Areas located upstream of the property is of serious concern, due to potential downstream impacts on the property. It needs to be noted that no oil or gas permit has been issued in the Everglades for 50 years. The decision also seems to be in contradiction to the GMP recommendation to minimize other stressors on the property. The Committee’s established positions on the incompatibility of oil and gas exploration and exploitation with World Heritage status should be recalled in this respect, whilst noting that the activity is outside of the property. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is undertaken to assess the possible impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment. This EIA should be completed and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before any hydrocarbon drilling activities are conducted.

In its Decision 41 COM 7A.1, the Committee requested the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre about the potential for hydraulic fracturing projects in proximity of the property and about the proposal for a utility transmission line along the eastern border of the property. As no information has been received on this, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request in this regard.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7A.3

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.1, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved in implementing the 2006 corrective measures and notes with satisfaction that their full operational benefits are expected to be in place by mid-June 2020, that water quality targets have already been met and that “supercolonies” of wading birds have returned to the property;
  4. Commends the State Party for also implementing next generation restoration projects in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) by 2025-2026, and congratulates it for committing as much as USD 2.5 billion over four years to advance the restoration of the Everglades;
  5. Notes with concern the ongoing threat from invasive alien species (IAS), and requests the State Party to ensure a continued, long-term allocation of resources to control the existing IAS inside the property, and for the mangement strategy to emphasize prevention and early detection with rapid response measures;
  6. Appreciates that the General Management Plan (GMP) of the property aims to respond to the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, and reiterates its requests to the State Party to submit the GMP to the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  7. Also recalling its established position on the incompatibility of oil and gas exploration and exploitation with World Heritage status, notes with utmost concern the prospect of exploratory drilling within the Water Conservation Areas located upstream of the property, and urges the State Party to ensure a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that assesses the possible impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is undertaken, in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit the EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as a matter of priority and before conducting any hydrocarbon drilling activities;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre about the potential for hydraulic fracturing projects in proximity of the property and the proposal of a utility transmission line along its eastern border;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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;
  10. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/19/43.COM/8E and WHC/19/43.COM/8E.Add,
  2. Commends the States Parties for the 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/19/43.COM/8E and WHC/19/43.COM/8E.Add, for the following World Heritage properties:

    ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

    • India, Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
    • India, Churches and Convents of Goa
    • India, Ellora Caves
    • India, Fatehpur Sikri
    • India, Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
    • India, Khajuraho Group of Monuments

    EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

    • Canada, Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
    • Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park
    • France, Canal du Midi
    • France, Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims
    • France, Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs
    • France, Vézelay, Church and Hill
    • Italy, Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
    • Italy, Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites
    • Italy, Historic Centre of Urbino
    • Italy, Val d'Orcia
    • United States of America, Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park
    • United States of America, Grand Canyon National Park
    • United States of America, Redwood National and State Parks;
  4. 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;
  5. Requests the World Heritage Centre to upload the two language versions on its website.