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Tasmanian Wilderness

Australia
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
  • Other Threats:

    Biosecurity

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Forestry / Wood production (Commercial logging in areas adjacent to the property; plans to permit commercial logging in the property) (issue resolved)
  • Impacts of tourism / visitation / recreation
  • Management systems / management plan
  • Mining (Mineral exploration and extraction)
  • Water infrastructure (potential construction of a dam) (issue resolved)
  • Other (Biosecurity)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

March 2008: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2015: joint IUCN/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 22 November 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, followed by an update on 1 February 2021, both of which are available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/181/documents/. The State Party also submitted updates on the impacts of 2019-2020 fires on 22 January 2020 and on the proclamation of Future Potential Production Forest Land (FPPFL) and Permanent Timber Production Zone Land (PTPZL) as reserves on 12 February 2021. These reports provide the following information:

  • Most of the recommendations of the 2015 joint ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission and other subsequent decisions by the Committee have been or are being implemented;
  • Public consultation on the proclamation of FPPFL and PTPZL within the property as reserved land commenced in February 2021;
  • Fires affected the property in 2016 and 2018–2019, the latter event affecting approximately 6% of the property. Most fires occurred in the fire-adapted vegetation communities, but some areas of extreme and very high fire sensitivity vegetation were also affected, and recovery could take decades. The loss of approximately half of a relictual population of pencil pines at Crooked Lake and losses of some peat mounds are reported. A number of fire-related projects have been initiated, and it is foreseen to prepare a comprehensive Fire Management Plan for the property. There was no significant loss of fire-sensitive vegetation during the 2019-2020 fire season;
  • A ‘Cultural Values Assessment of the 2013 Extension Area to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area’ has been completed and has identified and recorded 132 Aboriginal cultural heritage sites;
  • Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania initiated the management and implementation of various projects within the framework of the Detailed Plan for a Comprehensive Cultural Assessment of the property. Progress reported includes the finalisation of the Guide on the Interpretation and Presentation of the Aboriginal Cultural Values of the property, the addition of cultural heritage specialists to the property staff, and the delivery of a cultural awareness training programme to the property staff;
  • The engagement with Tasmanian Aboriginal people has improved and resulted in a better understanding and protection of their cultural heritage within the property;
  • A dual name for the property to reflect its Aboriginal heritage will be identified in consultation with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community;
  • A Tourism Master Plan for the property is undergoing final approval by the Tasmanian Government following public consultation. During this process, the Technical Reviews of the draft by ICOMOS, IUCN and the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme were taken into account. The Tourism Master Plan will consider current and future visitor expectations and demand and will provide additional guidance and policy direction for tourism in the property;
  • The critically endangered orange-bellied parrot is reported to have had a very successful breeding season in 2020.

On 20 April 2021, the Advisory Bodies’ latest comments on the draft retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (rSOUV) were transmitted to the State Party for further review and confirmation.

On 3 June 2021, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Tourism Master Plan was released on 1 June and can be accessed at the following link: https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/conservation/tasmanian-wilderness-world-heritage-area-(twwha)/twwha-tourism-master-plan.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

Progress in implementing the recommendations of the 2015 joint ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission and other decisions by the World Heritage Committee should be welcomed, including progress with the initiated public consultation on the proclamation of FPPFL and PTPZL as reserved land. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to complete this process as a matter of priority.

The completion of the ‘Cultural Values Assessment of the 2013 Extension Area to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area’ is an important achievement and has added 132 registered Aboriginal cultural heritage sites, thereby more than doubling the previous number of registered sites. Requested by the Committee when the extension of the property was approved, this assessment completes the cultural documentation of the extension area and allows for the draft rSOUV to be completed.

While noting the submission of the draft Tourism Master Plan for the property, a number of concerns should be raised, including the scope of the document, taking into consideration the current situation with international travel; the lack of clarity in practical and legal terms of its relation with the 2016 Management Plan for the property; the lack of more specific guidance on how exactly the wilderness values of the property should be considered in decision-making processes related to tourism management; and how the preparation of the Plan considered the parallel Expression of Interest process for tourism development projects, and how this process may be affected by the Plan, once finalized. Furthermore, the Plan reflects an imbalance by mainly focusing on the Aboriginal community and leaving out other cultural heritage elements. While it is noted that the comments provided by the Advisory Bodies had been considered by the State Party, it will need to be ensured that these concerns have been fully addressed in the revised version. It should also be emphasized that all proposed tourism developments within the property, regardless of their nature and spatial extent, should be subject to adequate impact assessments prior to being permitted. This is of particular importance since currently not all cultural heritage values of the property (e.g. Aboriginal cultural landscape values) are identified. The Committee may wish to take note of the finalization and release of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Tourism Master Plan on 1 June 2021 and request the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to review this Plan in light of their earlier comments.

In accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, the State Party should also be reminded to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, details of any project that may affect the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

It is noted with concern that the 2018-2019 fires negatively affected parts of the property and that localized impacts and losses have been recorded, particularly of some fire-sensitive vegetation communities. The response by the State Party, particularly the commitment to developing a comprehensive Fire Management Plan for the property, are welcomed and should be further sustained. 

The progress towards a more inclusive approach to the protection and management of the property is also welcomed. The advances of the Detailed Plan for a Comprehensive Cultural Assessment are additional positive steps, but it is of great importance to conclude this process before any further development (e.g. tourism development) takes place at the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.75
Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia) (C/N 181quinquies)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.61, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s further progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the 2015 joint ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, but notes that some of these recommendations remain to be fully implemented, and reiterates its request to the State Party to finalize, as a matter of priority, the on-going process to designate Permanent Timber Production Zone Land (PTPZL) and Future Potential Production Forest Land (FPPFL) within the property as reserves;
  4. Commends the State Party for the completion of the 'Cultural Values Assessment of the 2013 Extension Area to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area’ that more than doubles the number of registered Aboriginal sites in the extension area, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre details of how the cultural values of the additional areas relate to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  5. Also takes note of the finalization and release of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Tourism Master Plan and requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to review this Plan in light of their earlier comments, and in particular to verify whether this Tourism Master Plan:
    1. Is fully aligned with the 2016 Management Plan for the property,
    2. Includes more specific guidance regarding the protection of the OUV of the property, including more details on how the wilderness values of the property should be considered in decision-making processes related to tourism management,
    3. Considered the parallel Expression of Interest process for tourism development projects and how the latter may be affected by the Plan, and
    4. Advances the implementation of the Detailed Plan for a Comprehensive Cultural Assessment in order to be able to take into account all relevant expressions of cultural heritage, including those not yet identified;
  6. Notes with serious concern the impacts of the 2018-2019 fires at the property, including localized losses of some vegetation types, and urges the State Party to develop, in line with its commitment, a comprehensive Fire Management Plan for the property as a matter of priority;
  7. Also urges the State Party to avoid any development at the property before the Detailed Plan for a Comprehensive Cultural Assessment is implemented, reminds the State Party of the importance of carrying out impact assessments, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, details of any project that may affect the property’s OUV, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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: 44 COM 7B.75

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.61, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s further progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the 2015 joint ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, but notes that some of these recommendations remain to be fully implemented, and reiterates its request to the State Party to finalize, as a matter of priority, the on-going process to designate Permanent Timber Production Zone Land (PTPZL) and Future Potential Production Forest Land (FPPFL) within the property as reserves;
  4. Commends the State Party for the completion of the 'Cultural Values Assessment of the 2013 Extension Area to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area’ that more than doubles the number of registered Aboriginal sites in the extension area, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre details of how the cultural values of the additional areas relate to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  5. Also takes note of the finalization and release of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Tourism Master Plan and requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to review this Plan in light of their earlier comments, and in particular to verify whether this Tourism Master Plan:
    1. Is fully aligned with the 2016 Management Plan for the property,
    2. Includes more specific guidance regarding the protection of the OUV of the property, including more details on how the wilderness values of the property should be considered in decision-making processes related to tourism management,
    3. Considered the parallel Expression of Interest process for tourism development projects and how the latter may be affected by the Plan, and
    4. Advances the implementation of the Detailed Plan for a Comprehensive Cultural Assessment in order to be able to take into account all relevant expressions of cultural heritage, including those not yet identified;
  6. Notes with serious concern the impacts of the 2018-2019 fires at the property, including localized losses of some vegetation types, and urges the State Party to develop, in line with its commitment, a comprehensive Fire Management Plan for the property as a matter of priority;
  7. Also urges the State Party to avoid any development at the property before the Detailed Plan for a Comprehensive Cultural Assessment is implemented, reminds the State Party of the importance of carrying out impact assessments, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, details of any project that may affect the property’s OUV, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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: 2021
Australia
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)(vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2019) .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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