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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.38
Maloti-Drakensberg Park (Lesotho, South Africa) (C/N 985bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 8B.18, 39 COM 7B.33 and 41 COM 7B.38, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Commends the States Parties on their efforts to improve the management of the property, in particular its cultural values, to invest in staff training and activities to strengthen the engagement of communities in conservation, and encourages the States Parties and their partners to sustain their technical and financial support for these efforts;
  4. Notes the completion of the management documents for fire, invasive alien species, sustainable tourism and cultural heritage, and that the Advisory Bodies will provide a technical review of these plans, and particularly the cultural heritage implementation programme 2019-2022, to assist the States Parties with prioritizing implementation actions;
  5. Reiterates its request to the States Parties to complete the revision of the Joint Management Plan of the property, using it as an umbrella to harmonize the management system, to submit the Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review, and to report on its implementation;
  6. Also notes the completion of the process towards establishing a new buffer zone for the property in South Africa, south of the Sehlabathebe National Park, and also requests the States Parties to formalize the buffer zone as soon as possible through a request for minor boundary modification in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Acknowledges the preparation of the cultural heritage implementation programme 2019-2022 for Sehlabathebe National Park, and further requests the States Parties to address the immediate vulnerability of the rock art sites, but await the approval by ICOMOS and authorized rock art conservators of conservation interventions, in accordance with the moratorium on non-urgent conservation interventions;
  8. Notes with concern the proposed shale gas, gas and oil exploration within the property’s newly proposed buffer zone in South Africa, which may have negative impacts on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and requests furthermore the State Party of South Africa to submit to the World Heritage Centre an Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessment for these projects, including a specific assessment of the impacts on OUV, in line with IUCN and ICOMOS guidance, before taking any decision that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Further notes the concerns and the appeal lodged by the site management authority over the proposed petrol filling station within the property’s buffer zone in South Africa, and requests moreover the State Party of South Africa to address these concerns and report on follow up;
  10. Takes note of the State Party of South Africa’s reiterated commitment to undertake an Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessment for the proposed cableway in South Africa, and to not make any decisions before these assessments are submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  11. Also reiterates its request to the State Party of Lesotho to expedite the finalization of the Biodiversity Resources Management Bill and to submit a copy to the World Heritage Centre;
  12. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Decision Code
43 COM 7B.38
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2019 Maloti-Drakensberg Park
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision