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Ilulissat Icefjord

Denmark
Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Solid waste
  • Subsistence hunting
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2007**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

As requested by the Committee at the time of inscription at the 28th session (Suzhou, 2004), the State Party has reviewed the protection and management of the property, particularly in relation to hunting, fishing, and tourism activities. The State Party has responded to this request through a revised Executive Order on the protection of the property, by revising the Management Plan, and by developing a Monitoring Plan.

a) Executive Order

The 2003 Executive Order on the protection of the Ilulissat Icefjord is under revision, with a public hearing scheduled for June 2007. An English copy will be forwarded to the World Heritage Centre when it is finalised. Already, the State Party has limited tourism activities to particular areas determined by a local expert group, which advises on control and monitoring of tourism activities. Since 2000, tourism has increased from 9,000 visitors per year to 12,000, with most visitors arriving on cruise ships. The zoning of the property now limits tourism activities to three zones and includes designation of only two helicopter landing sites and one area for tourism cabins. The zoning also restricts sailing and hiking in the property.

In relation to the Committee’s concerns on the sustainability of hunting and fishing, the State Party reports that terrestrial hunting within the property, which is on a very small scale and is mainly of ptarmigan (grouse), is currently restricted to a limited number of areas accessible by foot and sledge and alternative hunting sites outside the property are more easily accessible and more often used. The State Party is also setting halibut fisheries quotas according to the recommendations of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization.

b) Management Plan

The State Party is revising the management plan to address guidelines on stricter regulation and improved monitoring of helicopter flights, terrestrial hiking pressure, and zoning of the property’s marine area.

c) Monitoring Plan

The State Party has carried out a first baseline study to feed into the development of the monitoring plan. Three levels of monitoring have been identified: scientific monitoring of the features of the calving ice front, local monitoring of biological resources related to tourism pressures; and data collection on tourism such as numbers and activities. The final plan is due to be published in May 2007.

The State Party has identified growing cruise ship traffic requiring stricter legislation and closer monitoring. This will be reflected in legislation and the management plan.

IUCN and the World Heritage Centre recognise the improvements made by the State Party in the protection of the property and encourage the authorities to engage with cruise ship operators to ensure that their operations, including solid waste, bilge water, and emissions are properly controlled and monitored. While it is noted that hunting within the property is currently limited, the State Party is encouraged to continue monitoring to ensure that this limited hunting is properly managed, as recommended by the Committee at the time of inscription. In particular, IUCN has received information on the over-harvesting of nesting seabirds. The State Party’s adoption of the recommendations of the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization Scientific Council should be commended.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7B.28
State of conservation of World Heritage Properties - Ilulissat Icefjord (Denmark)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.Recalling Decision 28 COM 14B.8, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3.Commends the State Party for the measures taken to implement the recommendations adopted by the Committee at the time of inscription of the property on the World Heritage List;

4.Notes that a revised Management Plan and new Monitoring Plan will soon be completed and requests the State Party to provide copies of these plans as soon as possible to the World Heritage Centre;

5.Also requests the State Party, to continue improving and monitoring tourism management to reduce its impact on the property and to implement clearer restrictions on hunting;

6.Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2009 a report on the state of conservation of the property and progress on the implementation of the above mentioned recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

Draft Decision: 31 COM 7B.28

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 14B.8, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party for the measures taken to implement the recommendations adopted by the Committee at the time of inscription of the property on the World Heritage List;

4. Notes that a revised Management Plan and new Monitoring Plan will soon be completed and requests the State Party to provide copies of these plans as soon as possible to the World Heritage Centre;

5. Also requests the State Party, to continue improving and monitoring tourism management to reduce its impact on the property and to implement clearer restrictions on hunting;

6. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2009 a report on the state of conservation of the property and progress on the implementation of the above mentioned recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

Report year: 2007
Denmark
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)
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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