1.         Purnululu National Park (Australia) (N 1094)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (vii)(viii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1094/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1094/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports


Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1094/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

The State Party has provided a clear but relatively brief report (dated 23 January 2008) in relation to the issues requested in the World Heritage Committee’s previous decision, which are as follows:

Addition of areas to the World Heritage property

The State Party reconfirms that 61,817 ha of land will be added to the Purnululu Conservation Reserve when the current pastoral leases expire in 2015. In addition the Western Australia (WA) Government took additional steps to protect the values of the World Heritage property by transferring responsibility for the management of the Ord River Regeneration Reserve (ORRR) which adjoins the property on its eastern and southern sides to the Western Australian (WA) Department of Environment and Conservation. These two commitments, together with the existing Purnululu Conservation Reserve will result in a total of 716,973 ha of land being managed adjacent to the inscribed property to protect the World Heritage values of the Park. A clear map has been provided which confirms that the nominated property is surrounded by conservation lands which effectively serve as a buffer zone for its values, (although they are not formally declared as a World Heritage buffer zone).

Funding and staffing of the property

The State Party reports in general terms on a number of different capital works that have been implemented through the WA Government (WAG), mainly for developing visitor use facilities and additional accommodation for staff and it does not provide specific information on the sustainable finance arrangements for the World Heritage property.

Update of management plan

The State Party reports that the Purnululu National Park Management Plan is being reviewed to address the needs of the WA Government and the indigenous peoples who claim traditional affiliation with the Park. The Government is also investigating the inclusion of a “cultural planning framework” into the process and describes this as a form of consultation to ensure traditional values are represented in the management of the property.

Cultural and indigenous values

The State Party notes the involvement of indigenous people in the decisions about the management of the property, and its staffing. However the State Party also notes that there is an ongoing legal process to determine native title over Purnululu National Park and consider that this would affect the information that the State Party would have to report on.


The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the process outlined by the State Party appears to provide a satisfactory way forward in relation to the principal issues identified. IUCN Australia will make contact with the State Party to confirm that the issues of sustainable finance are being addressed, and it is suggested that this be done in conjunction with input from ICOMOS in relation to the cultural values of the property. The State Party should also be asked to confirm when the issue of land tenure will be resolved. In this way IUCN considers that effective monitoring of this property can continue but without placing an ongoing burden on the agenda of the Committee. IUCN considers that the State Party should be asked to report on the State of Conservation of the property in three years time in order to keep track of progress.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.8

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 27 COM 8C.11 and 29 COM 7B.11, adopted at its 27th (UNESCO, 2003) and 29th (Durban, 2005) sessions respectively,

3. Notes the continued commitment of the State Party to address the conservation concerns of the property and its report on ongoing and planned measures;

4. Notes with satisfaction the transfer of management of the Ord River Regeneration Reserve to the Western Australia Department for Environment and Conservation, and the commitment to extend the Purnululu Conservation Area in 2015, as a means of providing enhanced wider protection of the World Heritage property;

5. Also notes the State Party's intentions in relation to the review of the Purnululu National Park Management Plan and requests the State Party, in consultation with IUCN and ICOMOS, to:

a) confirm the adequacy of sustainable finance for the management of the property and its surrounding areas;

b) pursue the on-going consideration of indigenous cultural values of the property;

c) facilitate a discussion over priority issues that should be brought to the attention of the World Heritage Committee;

6. Also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre of the legal resolution of the native title to Purnululu National Park when this is known, in order to establish an achievable schedule to report on these issues to the World Heritage Committee;

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by1 February 2011, a report on progress made on the state of conservation of the property assessing the specific issues raised above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.