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Alejandro de Humboldt National Park

Cuba
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Potential impacts from mining activities

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

In response to the World Heritage Committee’s Decision 32 COM 7B.36, the State Party submitted on 27 January 2009 a state of conservation report on this property. The report notes that a new management plan for the term 2009-2013 has been prepared and implementation initiated. The property benefits from a specialized and well-trained management unit, comprising 65 staff working on the implementation of the management plan. A number of international projects, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), WWF-Canada and other international NGOs are contributing to management activities such as programmes against fires; control and eradication of exotic species, reforestation and environmental education of key actors and communities residing inside or in the buffer areas of the Park. At the same time infrastructures and equipment to support effective management have been strengthened.

The report also notes that the property was affected in September 2008 by hurricane “Ike” which affected forest areas throughout several sectors of the park; however the damage caused has not created serious or irreversible impacts to the values and integrity of the property, and the property has recovered from hurricanes in the past through natural processes. It is noted that apart from the damage caused by the hurricane, there are no other conservation problems in the property. The report further notes that no mining exploration or exploitation activities are occurring within the property.

Despite reassurances in regards to management capacity and effectiveness, corroborated in part from reports IUCN has received from other sources, the fact remains that the State Party has not addressed the central issue raised by the World Heritage Committee (Decision 32 COM 7B.36), namely: “to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to close down the mining concessions granted within the boundaries of the property, or those in its periphery that could affect the property”. A letter to this effect was sent to the State Party on 1 April 2009. The on-going existence of mining concessions in the property represents, in the view of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, an expression of intent to mine these areas in the future. If not clearly addressed by the State Party, the continued existence of mining concessions must be considered as a potential threat to the property, as per Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines.  

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7B.36
Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (Cuba) (N 839 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.36, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes the progress achieved by the State Party in enhancing the management of the property, including the support for effective management capacity for the property;

4. Also welcomes the support provided by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), WWF Canada and other international NGOs towards management activities and programmes that are under implementation in the context of the new management plan for 2009-2013;

5. Notes with concern that the State Party has not confirmed its commitment to close down the mining concessions granted within the boundaries of the property, or those in its periphery that could affect the property, as specifically requested by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 32 COM 7B.36, the continued existence of which represents a potential danger to the property, as per Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines; these activities, if undertaken, would lead to the loss of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to eliminate the mining concessions granted within the boundaries of the property or those in its periphery that could seriously and irreversibly affect its Outstanding Universal Value if activated;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a report on the specific actions undertaken regarding the issues mentioned above.

Draft Decision: 33 COM 7B.36

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.36, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes the progress achieved by the State Party in enhancing the management of the property, including the support for effective management capacity for the property;

4. Also welcomes the support provided by the GEF, WWF Canada and other international NGOs towards management activities and programmes that are under implementation in the context of the new management plan for 2009-2013;

5. Notes with concern that the State Party has not confirmed its commitment to close down the mining concessions granted within the boundaries of the property, or those in its periphery that could affect the property, as specifically requested by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 32 COM 7B.36, and the continued existence of which represents a potential danger to the property, as per Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines; these activities, if undertaken, would lead to the loss of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to eliminate the mining concessions granted within the boundaries of the property or those in its periphery that could seriously and irreversibly affect its Outstanding Universal Value and integrity if activated;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage centre, by 1 February 2010, a report on the specific actions undertaken regarding the issues above mentioned. 

Report year: 2009
Cuba
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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