1.         Manú National Park (Peru) (N 402bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (ix)(x)

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/402/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1987-1993)
Total amount approved: USD 80,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/402/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/402/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The World Heritage Centre received a report (in Spanish) entitled “Towards a Standardized Remote Environmental Monitoring System for the National Natural Protected Areas System of Peru – Pilot V”, Published in August 2006 by the National Natural Resources Institute (INRENA), the Frankfurt Zoological Society, and the La Molina University. The report provides an update on the legal status of the property, along with detailed and updated figures on land-use changes that have occured in Manu National Park and in several adjacent conservation areas and buffer zones.

The report notes that the park was enlarged on July 14, 2002, by adding 257,000 ha of what had been previously known as the Manu Reserved Zone (Supreme decree # 045-2002-AG), resulting in a current GIS determined area of 1,696,803 ha. The nomination file at the World Heritage Centre indicates a total surface area of 1,532,806 hectares, though the map provided with the nomination appears hand drawn with boundaries that do not conform to the boundaries illustrated in the report. A 1985 management plan was updated in 2002, covering both the World Heritage property and the Biosphere Reserve for which the property forms the core zone.

Based on remote sensing data, the report notes increases in non-conservation land uses within the property between 2000 and 2005. There has been an overall 57% increase in land use for agriculture and a 10.3% increase for cattle ranching. These growth rates are significant and if left unchecked could soon lead to major irreversible impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property.

The report notes that most land conversion is occuring along the southwestern boundary of the park due to encroachment from adjacent cattle raching operations, and around the four human settlements within the property (three of which are indigenous communities). Deforestation rates have accelerated markedly in the indigenous community of Mameria and in Callanga. Given that waterways are the means for transporting logs and sawn wood, and the configuration of the main rivers in this area, this deforestation could soon result in the fragmentation of what is currently a large contiguous area.

It is also clear that high rate of land conversion outside the park boundaries along the Rio Mapacho corridor and near the town of Pilcopata is beginning to spill over into park. North of this town, the report illustrates deforestation running directly into the park via the Rio Tono valley. The configuration of the park boundaries in this region (e.g. a narrowing point of land extending southwards, surrounded by corridors of human settlement and improving road networks) makes it particularly vulnerable to encroachment.

The report also indicates the presence of hydrocarbon concessions surrounding the property, and in one case (lot 76), overlapping with the property. However, national hydrocarbon concessions map, available on Peruvian state petroleum company website does not corroborate this claim.

The opening of lands surrounding Manu National Park to hydrocarbon exploration, and the construction of roads, particularly in the area to the south and southwest of the park (including the Brazil-Peru intercontinental road link under construction) are contributing to important socio-economic changes in the region. In conservation terms, these changes are leading to rapidly increasing pressures in the park through agricultural encroachment and illegal logging. Unless the State Party can implement effective measures to counter these threats, there is a serious concern that they will accelerate further in the coming years and negatively impact the property. It is clear that agricultural encroachment and deforestation constitute major threats to the property and may constitute a case for listing of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.41

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.       Requests the State Party to provide an updated map of the property including clear boundaries;

3.       Also requests the State Party to submit a request for a minor boundary modification to reflect the extension of the property, in accordance with Paragraphs 163 and 164 of the Operational Guidelines;

4.       Notes with concern reported threats to the conservation and integrity of the property including significant deforestation, agricultural encroachment, and hydrocarbon concessions affecting the property;

5.       Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, a report clarifying the extent and impacts associated with the reported threats and the measures being taken to stop and reverse these threats within and near the property's boundaries together with an updated map of the boundaries of the property.