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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.73
Gros Morne National Park (Canada) (N 419)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.94, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the clarification provided by the State Party that industrial resource extraction inside the boundaries of the property, both on and below the surface, is not permitted;
  4. Requests the State Party to ensure that long-term, substantive measures are introduced to prevent future oil and gas licences being awarded in the vicinity of the property as a matter of priority, and before the “pause” on hydraulic fracturing outside the property is lifted;
  5. Noting that the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydraulic Review Panel’s recommendations were presented in May 2016, also requests the State Party to clarify when a full assessment of the recommendations will be completed, and submit the final analyses to the World Heritage Centre;
  6. Also noting the potential negative impact on the property from hydrocarbon exploration in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, further requests the State Party to ensure that any potential exploration licenses located in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence are subject to adequate safeguards and rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and submit a copy to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Notes with appreciation that the State Party is developing measures towards formalizing protocols for interagency collaboration on resource extraction and land use management in areas adjacent to the property, and is also establishing a land-use advisory committee, but considers that the establishment of a buffer zone remains a key tool to ensure that the property will not be impacted by adverse developments such as future onshore and offshore oil and gas developments, and therefore requests furthermore to the State Party to establish an appropriate buffer zone as part of wider protection measures through transparent consultations with local communities and civil society;
  8. Strongly encourages the State Party to provide input to the interim review of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the western portion of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area to consider the OUV of the property, particularly to review the threats of extractive industry;
  9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the risks to the property’s OUV of petroleum exploration in its vicinity, in case the “pause” on acceptance of such applications is discontinued without putting in place other appropriate measures for maintaining the OUV of the property;
  10. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.73
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Gros Morne National Park
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision