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Iguazu National Park

Argentina
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Governance
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Water infrastructure (Proposed hydropower dams)
  • Governance (lack of transboundary cooperation, uncoordinated development)
  • Illegal activities (logging and hunting) (issue resolved)
  • Management systems/management plan (problems associated with public use and lack of a public use plan)
  • Invasive / alien species (issue resolved)
  • Lack of sustainable financing (issue resolved)
  • Impacts of tourism/visitor/recreation
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 1 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved : 20,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

September 2006: UNESCO mission; April 2008: World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 19 February 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/303/documents/, providing the following information:

  • The Iguazú National Park Management Plan was formally approved and adopted on 14 February 2018. An overview is provided of various operational projects foreseen to implement the Plan, including equipment and infrastructure maintenance, staff training, regularization of private land, and joint activities with public and private organizations. The Public Use and Environmental Education plans are still being finalized, however, some projects to strengthen tourism sustainability are already being implemented to cope with increased visitation, foreseen at 400,000 visitors in 2000 and reported at around 1.5 million in 2020. To strengthen conservation and sustainable use, the Management Plan includes research and species monitoring programmes (felines, other key vertebrates and invasive alien species (IAS)), traffic control projects, sustainable practices and buffer zone demarcation;
  • The National Route 101 (RN 101) remains unpaved for about 30km within the property, and there are no current plans to pave this section. Various control measures such as wildlife crossings, surveillance radars, gates, signs and awareness campaigns are being implemented;
  • In order to establish buffer zones, initial mapping and land use description have been undertaken for the area along the eastern borders of Iguazú National Park. However, further work will be required to officially establish a buffer zone for the property;
  • The State Party has continued to undertake joint activities and share information with the neighbouring Iguaçú National Park in Brazil, particularly jaguar monitoring and conservation, patrolling and surveillance to combat illegal activities, such as poaching, illegal fishing and palm heart harvesting. No joint activities between the two States Parties were undertaken specifically to monitor potential impacts of the new Baixo Iguaçú dam, which is now in full operation. However, the State Party of Argentina has initiated a 12-year monitoring and research project on the river ecosystem, fish communities and water quality of the Iguazú River.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The formal approval and adoption of the new Management Plan for the property, and initiation of the implementation of related management activities, are welcomed.

The increase in visitor numbers over the last 20 years, and the implementation of projects to upgrade facilities and strengthen sustainable tourism, are noted. Growing visitor numbers may put increased pressure on the property, especially at peak times, and potentially negatively impact its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue its efforts to monitor visitor flows and carrying capacity, as foreseen in the Management Plan, and further strengthen measures required to regulate the number of visitors.

The confirmation that there are no further plans to pave or modify the RN 101 within the property is welcomed, as are the initiatives taken to decrease negative road-related impacts such as wildlife road kills. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to develop a long term management plan for the RN 101 in collaboration with the National Routes Authority and other national authorities to ensure that the road remains unpaved, to minimize the disturbance and negative effects on the property’s OUV, as well as to confirm that there are no existing plans for extension or further paving of the road outside the property.

The continued efforts to define the buffer zone for the Iguazú National Park are noted. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee reiterates its request to the State Party to complete the identification and demarcation of the buffer zone and to develop and submit a Minor Boundary Modification proposal, as per Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines, in order to officially establish a buffer zone for the World Heritage property.

The continued cooperation with the State Party of Brazil on information sharing, joint monitoring and surveillance activities are noted. However, it is regrettable that no specific cooperation was established to develop and implement a comprehensive monitoring, assessment and action plan to identify and address potential negative impacts from the Baixo Iguaçu hydropower plant on the OUV of the two neighbouring properties. Noting that the State Party of Argentina has initiated a long-term monitoring and research project on the Iguazú River ecosystem and water quality, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the States Parties to collaborate on the development of a comprehensive overall monitoring system both for aquatic fauna and water flow. This monitoring would provide oversight and ensure compliance with the requirements and action plans prescribed for the hydropower project, thus assessing their effectiveness in mitigating adverse impacts on the OUV of the two properties.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.111
Iguazu National Park (Argentina) (N 303)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.83, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the approval and formal adoption of the new Management Plan for the property;
  4. Notes the reported significant increase in visitor numbers since 2000 and requests the State Party to continue its efforts to monitor the visitation and carrying capacity, as foreseen in the Management Plan, and, to further strengthen measures to regulate visitor numbers;
  5. Also welcomes the confirmation that there are no further plans to pave or modify the National Route 101 inside the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a long term management plan for the RN 101 with the National Routes Authority and other relevant national authorities to implement control and conservation initiatives, and to confirm that there are no plans for extension or further paving of the road outside the property, which might potentially affect its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Also requests the State Party to complete the identification and demarcation of the buffer zone for the Iguazú National Park, and to develop and submit a Minor Boundary Modification, as per Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines, in order to formally establish a buffer zone for the property;
  7. While welcoming the continued collaboration with the State Party of Brazil, regrets that no specific cooperation occurred to jointly assess the potential impacts of the new Baixo Iguaçu hydropower plant, and also reiterates its request to the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil to cooperate on the development of a comprehensive overall monitoring system both for aquatic fauna and water flow, which would provide oversight and ensure compliance with the requirements and action plans prescribed for the hydropower project, thus assessing their effectiveness in mitigating adverse impacts on the OUV of the two properties;
  8. Further 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.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.111

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.83, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the approval and formal adoption of the new Management Plan for the property;
  4. Notes the reported significant increase in visitor numbers since 2000 and requests the State Party to continue its efforts to monitor the visitation and carrying capacity, as foreseen in the Management Plan, and, to further strengthen measures to regulate visitor numbers;
  5. Also welcomes the confirmation that there are no further plans to pave or modify the National Route 101 inside the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a long term management plan for the RN 101 with the National Routes Authority and other relevant national authorities to implement control and conservation initiatives, and to confirm that there are no plans for extension or further paving of the road outside the property, which might potentially affect its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Also requests the State Party to complete the identification and demarcation of the buffer zone for the Iguazú National Park, and to develop and submit a Minor Boundary Modification, as per Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines, in order to formally establish a buffer zone for the property;
  7. While welcoming the continued collaboration with the State Party of Brazil, regrets that no specific cooperation occured to jointly assess the potential impacts of the new Baixo Iguaçu hydropower plant, and also reiterates its request to the States Parties of Argentina and Brazil to cooperate on the development of a comprehensive overall monitoring system both for aquatic fauna and water flow, which would provide oversight and ensure compliance with the requirements and action plans prescribed for the hydropower project, thus assessing their effectiveness in mitigating adverse impacts on the OUV of the two properties;
  8. Further 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.
Report year: 2021
Argentina
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
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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