World Heritage Centre and IUCN representatives start dialogue towards better protection of the Sundarbans

Monday, 31 October 2016
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Meeting with representatives from Bangladesh, IUCN and the World Heritage Centre on the Sundarbans World Heritage site. | UNESCO

On 28 October 2016 UNESCO World Heritage Centre and IUCN World Heritage Programme representatives met with H.E. the Ambassador and an expert delegation of senior officials from Bangladesh to chart a way forward in addressing core conservation challenges to the Sundarbans, the world's largest unbroken mangrove system.

Earlier this month, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN released a report of the reactive monitoring mission that took place in March 2016 and was requested by the World Heritage Committee. The mission was tasked with reviewing potential impacts from the construction of the Rampal power plant, assessing risks from climate change, and evaluating the overall management system of the Sundarbans, including provisions around shipping safety.

The Government of Bangladesh submitted a response on the joint World Heritage Centre-IUCN mission’s report, whose details were acknowledged and discussed during the meeting. Dr. Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre, welcomed “the extensive and thoughtful response within the agreed timeframe and the strong commitment expressed by the Government of Bangladesh to the preservation of the World Heritage property”.

The meeting set the stage for constructive cooperation and dialogue toward implementation of the mission's recommendations. The State Party of Bangladesh is expected to provide a progress report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2016, including a 1-page executive summary on the state of conservation of the property. It will be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017, in view of possible inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.