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Gros Morne National Park

Canada
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Oil and gas
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Petroleum exploration in the vicinity of the World Heritage property

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/419/documents/. The State Party reports the following:

  • Parks Canada has contributed to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Western Newfoundland Offshore Area that is adjacent to Gros Morne National Park. This input takes into account the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. This SEA is currently being updated and not yet complete.
  • The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced on 4 November 2013 that no applications for onshore and offshore petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing will be accepted until the full review of the process has been completed and guidelines have been put in place.
  • Shoal Point Energy Company’s request to extend part of their Exploration License for an area adjacent to the property until January 2015 was rejected by the joint federal-provincial Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C- NLOPB) on 5 December 2013. The company has thus lost their license on 15 January 2014 and cannot proceed with drilling any test wells in this area.

Consequently, the reactive monitoring mission as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013) has not been carried out as the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN considered the mission not necessary in the current situation.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

It is recommended that the Committee welcome the decisions taken by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as by the C-NLOPB. It is however noted that while these decisions restrict exploration in the area in the near future, they do not provide long-term security which will depend on the outcome of the SEA.

The Committee is also recommended to request the State Party to submit the SEA and its guidelines for review to the World Heritage Centre once the process is completed and prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The World Heritage Committee is further recommended to encourage the State Party to establish a buffer zone around the property to preserve its natural beauty and geological integrity in order to provide a long-term protection from potential extractive activities that might have an impact on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.74
Gros-Morne National Park (Canada) (N 419)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.18, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the decision taken by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador not to accept applications for petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing until a full review of the process is completed, as well as the decision by the joint federal-provincial Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to reject the extension of the Exploration License adjacent to the property;
  4. Notes that the reactive monitoring mission requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session has not been carried out as the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN considered the mission not necessary in the current circumstances, in particular in view of the moratorium on acceptance of applications for petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, if the moratorium on acceptance of applications for petroleum exploration in the vicinity of the property is discontinued without putting in place other appropriate measures for maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Requests the State Party to complete the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, to review the potential impacts on the VUE of the property and to submit a copy of the SEA to the World Heritage Centre, prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Encourages the State Party to establish a buffer zone to enhance the effective protection of the property;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the findings of the SEA, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Draft Decision:    38 COM 7B.74

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.18, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Welcomes the decision taken by the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador not to accept applications for petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing until a full review of the process is completed, as well as the decision by the joint federal-provincial Canada – Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board to reject the extension of the Exploration License adjacent to the property;

4.  Notes that the reactive monitoring mission requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session has not been carried out as the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN considered the mission not necessary in the current circumstances, in particular in view of the moratorium on acceptance of applications for petroleum exploration using hydraulic fracturing;

5.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, if the moratorium on acceptance of applications for petroleum exploration in the vicinity of the property is discontinued without putting in place other appropriate measures for maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;

6.  Requests the State Party to complete the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, to review the potential impacts on the VUE of the property and to submit a copy of the SEA to the World Heritage Centre, prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

7.  Encourages the State Party to establish a buffer zone to enhance the effective protection of the property;

8.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the findings of the SEA, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.

Report year: 2014
Canada
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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.