VIII.4 Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria)
The Committee was informed that the Minister of Environment and Water, by a letter dated 11 September 2000, has transmitted a state of conservation report to the Centre. The report reached the Centre only on 17 November 2000 and hence allowed only a preliminary desk-review by IUCN. The report describes changes in physical (e.g. water quality) and biodiversity indicators that show improvements in the state of conservation of the site. It outlines measures taken by the State Party to strengthen social, cultural and political support for the protection of the site, including regional and international arrangements made to co-ordinate the overall protection of wetlands in the Danube River basin. The report stresses the fact that the improvements registered in the state of conservation of the site, including the administrative and organizational arrangements put in place to sustain those improvements, justify the removal of Srebarna from the List of World Heritage in Danger by the twenty-fourth session of the Committee. However, IUCN, while noting the positive achievements in the state of conservation reported, suggested that the Committee defer its consideration of the removal of Srebarna from the List of World Heritage in Danger until a site visit is undertaken to assess the results of the rehabilitation efforts reported by the State Party. The Committee thanked and commended the State Party for submitting a comprehensive report and for its efforts to fully rehabilitate the site. The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and other suitable partners to field a mission to the site to undertake a thorough evaluation of the successes of the rehabilitation efforts reported and their sustainability. The Committee asked the Centre and IUCN to submit a report to the twenty-fifth session of the Committee in 2001, advising the Committee whether it could remove Srebarna from the List of World Heritage in Danger and of the next steps in preparing a trans-national, multi-country Danube Delta World Heritage area nomination incorporating designated and potential World Heritage areas of the Danube Delta River Basin. The Committee retained the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.