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Everglades National Park

United States of America
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • 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
  • Significant reduction of both marine and estuarine biodiversity in Florida Bay
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 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

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 2021

On 28 January 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/76/documents/. The State Party provided additional information in a letter dated 16 December 2020 upon the request of the World Heritage Centre. These documents report as follows:

  • Several short periods of high rainfall separated by prolonged drought conditions resulted in a dry year overall. This prevented the buildup of freshwater fish, macroinvertebrates, or formation of super colonies of wading birds, and caused hypersaline conditions and algal blooms in Florida Bay. These swings in ecosystem productivity are expected, given typical seasonal and annual variations in rainfall patterns. However, it also demonstrates the need to improve water quality in drier years;
  • Full implementation of the Modified Water Deliveries (MWD) and ‘Canal-111 South Dade’ (C-111) will occur in August 2020 through the completion of the Combined Operational Plan. The Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) and Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir (EAAR) are currently in design. Additional funding commitments of over USD 4.5 billion have been made available to accelerate critical restoration projects. The Tamiami Trial Next Steps (TTNS) Phase 2 project and CEPP are expected to be completed by 2023. The full benefits of the Restoration Strategies and the CEPP/EAAR are not expected to be realized before 2027-2030;
  • In June 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill banning oil drilling within the Everglades Protection Area, which includes the Water Conservation Area upstream of the property where exploratory oil and drilling had been granted. However, according to the additional information submitted by the State Party on 16 December 2020, the bill, as amended, was not included within the final appropriations bill. To prevent future oil exploration activities, on 15 January 2020, the Florida Governor announced plans to buy approximately 8,000 ha of land and drilling rights in the Everglades Protection Area, including the parcels targeted for potential oil and gas drilling. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) approved the land purchase on 1 February 2020. In September 2020, the President of the United States of America proposed a 10-year extension of a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling on Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic Coasts;
  • The 2015 General Management Plan takes into account potential impacts from climate change, storm surge, and sea level rise. The State Party has re-evaluated all operations and visitor activities with reference to the anticipated impacts from climate change;
  • An update of the Strategic Action Framework is expected to be completed in 2020, which will enhance the management of the property and its wider Everglades ecosystem against invasive alien species (IAS).
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The progress in implementing the 2006 corrective measures is commendable, particularly with the continued efforts on the next generation of restoration projects, which includes the CEPP and TTNS, and for committing over USD 4.5 billion for the hydrological restoration of the Everglades ecosystem over the next years. At the same time, in order to attain the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), these on-going efforts will need to be sustained or strengthened over time.

It is regrettable that not all 14 DSOCR indicators are reported on because of insufficient time to collect, analyze and interpret the information. It is recommended that the next State Party report provides again an overview of progress for all indicators in a table format as was done previously, comparing progress with the 2013 report. For some of the indicators reported, preliminary results suggest a positive or a sustainable trend but still remain below the restoration targets. This emphasizes the need to continue or strengthen current efforts.

The complexity of managing the threat from IAS, which mostly originates from outside the property boundaries, is acknowledged. The allocation of resources and the update of the Strategic Action Framework in 2020 is welcomed. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue its long-term management actions to address IAS, including by reducing the maximum cover of IAS to below an agreed threshold and by placing emphasis on prevention and early detection with rapid response measures.

Furthermore, the submission of the General Management Plan is welcomed, as is the active leadership of the Park in preparing for and mitigating climate change impacts.

The approval for the acquisition of approximately 8,000 ha (20,000 acres) of land and drilling rights in the Everglades, thereby permanently preventing any oil, gas, and mineral exploration and extraction on those purchased lands, should be welcomed. As the issue of potential hydraulic fracturing is ongoing (either through a bill or through the purchase of land and drilling rights in the Everglades by the State of Florida), it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to inform the World Heritage Centre about any hydraulic fracturing projects in proximity to the property.

Considering that the imminent threat from oil drilling outside of the property in the Everglades Protection Area appears to have abated for the moment, and that the implementation of the corrective measures whilst underway will still take some years, it is recommended that the Committee return to requesting the State Party to submit a progress report in two years’ time, based on the view expressed by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in 2013 that the implementation of the corrective measures and improvement of the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger would likely take at least another ten years.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.54
Everglades National Park (United States of America) (N 76)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.3, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved in implementing the 2006 corrective measures and notes with satisfaction that the implementation of the Combined Operational Plan is expected to start in August 2020;
  4. Commends the State Party for continuing to implement the next generation of 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), and also notes with satisfaction the additional funding commitments of over USD 4.5 billion, already made for the next years;
  5. Regrets that not all 14 DSOCR indicators are reported on, and encourages the State Party to report using its previous table format to track relative progress in achieving the DSOCR;
  6. Appreciates the continued efforts on the management of invasive alien species (IAS) and update of the Strategic Action Framework planned for 2020, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure a continued, long-term allocation of resources to control the existing IAS inside the property, and for the management strategy to emphasize prevention and early detection combined with rapid response measures;
  7. Also appreciates that the General Management Plan (GMP) of the property was submitted to the World Heritage Centre and that it includes comprehensive climate change planning to anticipate, adapt to, and mitigate climate change impacts on the property;
  8. Welcomes the planned purchase of approximately 8,000 ha (20,000 acres) of land and drilling rights in the Everglades Protection Area to permanently prevent oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction on the acquired land, nevertheless, noting that this does not eliminate all threats from beyond the property boundaries, requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre about any planned or potential oil and gas drilling activities in the proximity of the property, and to ensure that any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is conducted in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before conducting any drilling activities;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session;
  10. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 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/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  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 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.3, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved in implementing the 2006 corrective measures and notes with satisfaction that the implementation of the Combined Operational Plan is expected to start in August 2020;
  4. Commends the State Party for continuing to implement the next generation of 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), and also notes with satisfaction the additional funding commitments of over USD 4.5 billion, already made for the next years;
  5. Regrets that not all 14 DSOCR indicators are reported on, and encourages the State Party to report using its previous table format to track relative progress in achieving the DSOCR;
  6. Appreciates the continued efforts on the management of invasive alien species (IAS) and update of the Strategic Action Framework planned for 2020, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure a continued, long-term allocation of resources to control the existing IAS inside the property, and for the management strategy to emphasize prevention and early detection combined with rapid response measures;
  7. Also appreciates that the General Management Plan (GMP) of the property was submitted to the World Heritage Centre and that it includes comprehensive climate change planning to anticipate, adapt to, and mitigate climate change impacts on the property;
  8. Welcomes the planned purchase of approximately 8,000 ha (20,000 acres) of land and drilling rights in the Everglades Protection Area to permanently prevent oil, gas and mineral exploration and extraction on the acquired land, nevertheless, noting that this does not eliminate all threats from beyond the property boundaries, requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre about any planned or potential oil and gas drilling activities in the proximity of the property, and to ensure that any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is conducted in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before conducting any drilling activities;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023;
  10. Decides to retain Everglades National Park (United States of America) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
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 (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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