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Pitons Management Area

Saint Lucia
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Renewable energy facilities
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Renewable energy facilities (geothermal energy exploration)
  • Absence of strict development control process (issue resolved)
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species (issue resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 19,950 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

March 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 21 January 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, a summary of which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1161/documents/, providing the following information:

  • The integration of the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) study regulation into the Planning and Regulatory Framework for Development Appraisal is being held up due to financing constraints;
  • The Pitons Management Area (PMA) Office has undertaken a monitoring visit to the Freedom Bay Development Project site, which confirmed the presence of four building foundations associated with the five villas completed in 2016, and that no visible progress has taken place on the project since, with some vegetation recovery observed. The Department of Physical Planning further confirmed that no project activities had been undertaken since 2017;
  • The Geothermal Resource Development Project (GRDP) ended in January 2019, which identified possible locations for exploratory drilling. Plans for a new project are being discussed, however, no activities are currently underway or foreseen in the near future. Any such activities will be subject to Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs);
  • The State Party confirms that boundary demarcation, including the buffer zone, is a priority for the entire PMA;
  • A management effectiveness assessment has been undertaken, supported by the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme funded by the European Commission, which confirmed the need to update the PMA Management Plan from 2003. This will be undertaken in 2020;
  • Ongoing monitoring activities include analysis using the Viewpoint Monitoring Technique comparing fixed-point photographs, routine visits to pressure areas for visual inspections, a status update of development applications, as well as projects addressing coastal water quality, health of the marine ecosystem, climate change, resource usage and livelihoods. Based on these results, the State Party considers that changes to the PMA landscape have still not adversely impacted the site’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  • Other activities reported on include projects to increase public awareness and community engagement, and the establishment of a PMA-UNESCO Club. The new Mexico – Saint Lucia Bilateral Cooperation Project will focus on heritage conservation, and exploring linkages between tourism and job creation.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

It is regrettable that due to financing constraints, the LAC study has not yet been integrated into legal and regulatory frameworks. However, the confirmation by the State Party that the need for strengthening regulatory provisions remains a priority, is welcomed. Alternative financing through the Attorney General’s Chamber or from the World Heritage Fund were discussed at the Pitons Management Advisory Council in July 2019, but no progress on the matter is mentioned.

The results of a photo-based Viewpoint Monitoring exercise show some new developments, especially on private land within the PMA. While continued dialogue with stakeholders to ensure compliance with the LAC regulations is welcomed, it is considered that strengthening of the regulatory framework needs to be urgently addressed. It is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure that funding for the integration of the LAC regulations into the legal framework is secured, including by considering existing international financing mechanisms, such as International Assistance.

The confirmation that Freedom Bay Development Project has not noticeably progressed since the last state of conservation report, is noted. However, as in the previous report, no information was provided on the Sugar Beach development, in spite of the clear request by the Committee. Noting the reported approval of many development applications within the property between 2004 and 2019 (Annex 3 of the 2020 State Party report), the overall status of development within the property as a whole remains unclear. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to ensure compliance of all approved projects with the LAC regulations and to request the State Party to ensure that LAC regulations are considered in the review and approval procedures for all projects.

It is welcomed that the revision of the 2003 Management Plan is planned for 2020 following a management effectiveness assessment, which confirmed the need for such revision. In this regard, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to fully reflect the conclusions of the LAC study in the planned revision of the Management Plan and to submit the draft revised Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, once available.

The information that no further geothermal development activities are currently on-going as a result of the end of the GRDP project is noted. The confirmation that any new geothermal development plans including exploratory drilling will be accompanied by an ESIA, is welcomed. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to ensure that the property remains off-limits for any future geothermal development activities and to ensure that any potential impacts from activities outside the property are assessed through a comprehensive ESIA, in line with the State Party’s commitment, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The State Party’s continued commitment to demarcate the boundaries of the property is welcomed, and it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its requests to the State Party in this regard, including to formalize the status of the buffer zone of the property, given also potential future exploratory drilling overlapping this area.

The State Party’s collaboration projects, efforts to increase community engagement and capacity building for monitoring are also welcomed and it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue this work and report on its results, including any updates on actions to decrease land degradation and eradicate invasive alien species.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.116
Pitons Management Area (Saint Lucia) (N 1161)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.84, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s continued dialogue with stakeholders to ensure compliance with the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) regulations, but regrets that the regulations have not yet been integrated into the legal and regulatory framework of Saint Lucia due to funding constraints, and urges the State Party to ensure that funding for this integration is actively pursued and secured, including through considering existing international financing mechanisms;
  4. Taking note of the confirmation that the Freedom Bay Development Project has not noticeably progressed since the last state of conservation report, also regrets that no information was provided on the Sugar Beach Development Project, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that these and any other projects being considered for implementation are fully compliant with the provisions of the LAC study;
  5. Also welcomes that the revision of the 2003 Management Plan is planned for 2020 and reiterates its request to the State Party to fully reflect the conclusions of the LAC study in the planned revision of the Management Plan, and to submit the draft revised Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, once available;
  6. Takes note of the confirmation that no geothermal development activities are currently taking place and that any future projects will include an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), and also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the property remains off-limits for any future geothermal development activities and that any potential impacts from activities outside the property are assessed through a comprehensive ESIA, in line with the State Party’s commitment, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Noting the State Party’s continued commitment to undertaking the demarcation of the boundaries of the property, encourages it to continue its efforts in this regard, and also urges it to:
    1. Formalize the status of the buffer zone of the World Heritage property as a ‘formal buffer zone’ through a Minor Boundary Modification, in conformity with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Clearly define the types of activities permitted in this buffer zone, ensuring their compatibility with the conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  8. Appreciates the State Party’s collaboration projects, its efforts to increase community engagement and capacity building for monitoring, and also encourages the State Party to continue this work and report on its results, including any updates on actions to decrease land degradation and eradicate invasive alien species;
  9. 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.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.116

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.84, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s continued dialogue with stakeholders to ensure compliance with the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) regulations, but regrets that the regulations have not yet been integrated into the legal and regulatory framework of Saint Lucia due to funding constraints, and urges the State Party to ensure that funding for this integration is actively pursued and secured, including through considering existing international financing mechanisms;
  4. Taking note of the confirmation that the Freedom Bay Development Project has not noticeably progressed since the last state of conservation report, also regrets that no information was provided on the Sugar Beach Development Project, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that these and any other projects being considered for implementation are fully compliant with the provisions of the LAC study;
  5. Also welcomes that the revision of the 2003 Management Plan is planned for 2020 and reiterates its request to the State Party to fully reflect the conclusions of the LAC study in the planned revision of the Management Plan, and to submit the draft revised Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, once available;
  6. Takes note of the confirmation that no geothermal development activities are currently taking place and that any future projects will include an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), and also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the property remains off-limits for any future geothermal development activities and that any potential impacts from activities outside the property are assessed through a comprehensive ESIA, in line with the State Party’s commitment, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Noting the State Party’s continued commitment to undertaking the demarcation of the boundaries of the property, encourages it to continue its efforts in this regard, and also urges it to:
    1. Formalize the status of the buffer zone of the World Heritage property as a ‘formal buffer zone’ through a Minor Boundary Modification, in conformity with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Clearly define the types of activities permitted in this buffer zone, ensuring their compatibility with the conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  8. Appreciates the State Party’s collaboration projects, its efforts to increase community engagement and capacity building for monitoring, and also encourages the State Party to continue this work and report on its results, including any updates on actions to decrease land degradation and eradicate invasive alien species;
  9. 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.
Report year: 2021
Saint Lucia
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
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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