Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Los Katíos National Park

Colombia
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Illegal activities
  • Major linear utilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Armed conflict and security concerns (issue resolved)
  • Illegal activities, including extraction of timber and wildlife
  • Overfishing in the lowland freshwater systems
  • Threats from major infrastructure projects and major linear utilities (electric transmission corridor, ports)
  • Management systems/ management plan (Lack of control of management agency)
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Illegal logging
  • Unauthorized settlements
  • Fishing and hunting
  • Threats from major infrastructure projects
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 2 (from 2002-2009)
Total amount approved : 73,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

November 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to Bogota in lieu of visit to the property; January 2015: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 30 November 2018, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/711/documents/ and provides the following information:

  • While forest loss near the property is acknowledged, it has an overall good state of conservation according to recent scientific analysis. The main challenge noted is the need to “improve management schemes associated to prevention, surveillance and control, as well as the strategies of spatial management”;
  • Government resource allocations to the property and surrounding areas have been further consolidated, complemented by funds from the European Union and FAO;
  • Implementation of a multi-stakeholder partnership Pact for the conservation of the property and its surroundings signed in 2016 has progressed;
  • While formal expansion of the national park is not currently considered a priority, alternative mechanisms are being pursued to optimize conservation of surrounding areas that serve as a functional buffer zone. Efforts include the planned creation of regional and local protected areas, as well as enhanced coordination and cooperation with local and regional authorities, indigenous communal landholdings (resguardos) and Afro-Colombian collective territories, and existing protected areas nearby. It is further noted that some areas (Afro-Colombian Collective Territories) also cannot be considered for inclusion in protected area expansion since, unlike Indigenous Reserves, legislation prohibits their overlap with national parks;
  • Further progress has been achieved in implementing Use and Management Agreements and the Special Management Regime with the Wounaan community of Juin Phubuur to promote shared management and governance with indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombian communities;
  • Promotion of more sustainable fisheries and use of other aquatic biodiversity along the Atrato River and associated wetland systems continues, using a participatory approach;
  • The impacts generated by the artificial connection between the Leon and Atrato Rivers is being managed, and restoring the rivers’ original water flow is not considered desirable due to potential new negative impacts on biodiversity;
  • There has been no active administrative process since 2014 to develop the proposed electricity transmission corridor near the property, which would link Colombia and Panama, and the property’s management authority is waiting for a response to its communication submitted to the National Authority of Environmental Licenses (ANLA) in 2016;
  • Environmental licenses for the port projects of Pisisí and Antioquia were granted by ANLA in 2017 and 2012, respectively, following the applicable Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures;
  • The Colombian national parks administration has sent official communications to the neighbouring State Party of Panama to initiate implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in September 2016 to promote transboundary coordination and communication.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The State Party actively sought inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2009 and it is encouraging to see the continued conservation momentum following the removal of the property from this list in 2015. Resource allocation continues to show a positive trend, complemented by multi-lateral cooperation sources. It is important to note, however, that the resource allocation remains modest, in light of the ongoing challenges and vulnerabilities of the property. Reliable financial and human resources will be needed to secure the improvements achieved over the past years in the long term.

The Pact for the conservation of the property signed in 2016 constitutes a promising framework for bringing together governmental and non-governmental actors, indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombian and Mestizo communities, academia and cooperation partners. The demanding implementation process requires continued investment and is critically important to balance conservation with local rights and livelihood needs. The State Party has clearly undertaken significant analysis of the feasibility and necessity of extending the Los Katíos National Park, and has determined that expansion is not a priority at this time. Nevertheless, the expansion of the property could be considered in the future following the development of a scientific assessment in this regard. The existing cooperation measures with surrounding protected areas and local communities amount to a de facto functional buffer zone, and it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to formalize a buffer zone under the Convention.

The agreements with local resource users are promising instruments to address overfishing and overharvesting of rivers and wetlands and need to be pursued further. The same holds true for the Special Management Regime with the Wounaan community of Juin Phubuur. The State Party is encouraged to further consolidate these efforts and to document and share these learning experiences as good practices.

It is noted that the proposed electricity transmission corridor project has not advanced over the past years, however, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of any changes to the status of this project. It is acknowledged that the closure of the artificial connection between the Leon and Atrato Rivers is not a management priority, as it would come with complex consequences for a heavily-used ecosystem, which has evolved over decades following the creation of this channel. The updates on planned port projects are noted, including on the involvement of the Colombian national parks administration. It is noted that in the case of Pisisí Port, the project’s area of influence was determined not to overlap with any protected areas, while for the Antioquia Port, it was concluded that the project planning should consider the wetlands between the Léon and Suriquí Rivers, which constitute a natural biological corridor between the property and other important ecological areas. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to also consider any possible indirect impacts on the property in the further planning of the Antioquia Port project, in order to ensure that such impacts are mitigated.

Finally, the efforts to enhance actions of coordination and cooperation with the State Party of Panama in the framework of the 2016 MoU are welcomed and should be encouraged to continue.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.23
Los Katíos National Park (Colombia) (N 711)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.11, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Highly commends the State Party on continuing to systematically respond to the Committee’s requests and recommendations, particularly with regard to enhanced resources, improved governance and effective partnerships with local communities, fostering sustainable use of natural resources and improved ecological connectivity;
  4. Requests the State Party to ensure the provision of adequate resources in the long-term to address the identified ongoing challenges and vulnerabilities of the property;
  5. Noting that the State Party currently does not consider incorporating adjacent areas into the Los Katíos National Park as a priority, encourages it to continue exploring alternative options to reflect the evolving regional protected area network in the framework of the World Heritage Convention, where appropriate, for example through defining a formal buffer zone;
  6. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party that no active administrative processes are underway to develop the proposed electricity transmission corridor, which would link Colombia and Panama, and also requests the State Party of Colombia to inform the World Heritage Centre of any changes in the current status of the project, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. While also noting that the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the two planned port projects (Pisisí and Antioquia) have not indicated direct impacts on the property, further requests the State Party to ensure that any potential indirect impacts on the property, including those caused by disturbance to other important ecological areas and the connectivity of the property, are considered in the future planning and implementation, particularly of the Antioquia port project;
  8. Strongly encourages the States Parties of Colombia and Panama to continue efforts to implement actions in the management of the two contiguous properties of Los Katíos National Park (Colombia) and Darien National Park (Panama) within the framework of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.23

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.11, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Highly commends the State Party on continuing to systematically respond to the Committee’s requests and recommendations, particularly with regard to enhanced resources, improved governance and effective partnerships with local communities, fostering sustainable use of natural resources and improved ecological connectivity;
  4. Requests the State Party to ensure the provision of adequate resources in the long-term to address the identified ongoing challenges and vulnerabilities of the property;
  5. Noting that the State Party currently does not consider incorporating adjacent areas into the Los Katíos National Park as a priority, encourages it to continue exploring alternative options to reflect the evolving regional protected area network in the framework of the World Heritage Convention, where appropriate, for example through defining a formal buffer zone;
  6. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party that no active administrative processes are underway to develop the proposed electricity transmission corridor, which would link Colombia and Panama, and also requests the State Party of Colombia to inform the World Heritage Centre of any changes in the current status of the project, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. While also noting that the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the two planned port projects (Pisisí and Antioquia) have not indicated direct impacts on the property, further requests the State Party to ensure that any potential indirect impacts on the property, including those caused by disturbance to other important ecological areas and the connectivity of the property, are considered in the future planning and implementation, particularly of the Antioquia port project;
  8. Strongly encourages the States Parties of Colombia and Panama to continue efforts to implement actions in the management of the two contiguous properties of Los Katíos National Park (Colombia) and Darien National Park (Panama) within the framework of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Report year: 2019
Colombia
Date of Inscription: 1994
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2009-2015
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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.


top