Brasilia, Brazil – August 3, 2010
At the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee, the Committee’s Draft Decision 34 COM 7B.32 notes concern with the state of conservation of La Amistad International Park, and concludes that “in the absence of substantial progress” the Committee would consider “the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger” during its 35th session in 2011.
Draft Decision: 34 COM 7B.32
The World Heritage Committee;
1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,
2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.35, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),
3. Notes with utmost concern that the dams currently under construction on the Changuinola and Bonyic rivers are highly likely to result in both the direct loss of up to 16 species of migratory fish and shrimp species, as well as having potential negative secondary impacts on biodiversity within the property;
4. Considers that the mitigation measures proposed to maintain the migratory corridors of the affected species, namely fish passes and aquaculture, are inadequate to effectively mitigate the impacts of the proposed dams;
5. Requests the Government of Panama and the Government of Costa Rica to consider the collective impact of all proposed dams, including those under construction, likely to affect the property’s values and integrity through a transboundary Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), in order to identify the least environmentally damaging options to meet energy and water management needs;
6. Also requests the State Party of Panama to halt all dam construction until a detailed transboundary Strategic Environmental Assessment process is undertaken, in order to safeguard the property’s values and integrity;
7. Also notes with concern the State Party of Panama’s intention to build a road traversing the property from north Boquete to the province of Bocas del Toro, which would seriously degrade its integrity, and further requests the State Party to submit any preliminary environmental assessments to the World Heritage Centre as soon as these become available;
8. Reiterates its request to the State Party that measures be adopted to ensure the complete removal of cattle from the property;
9. Recalls its request to the Governments of Panama and Costa Rica to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a joint report on the state of conservation of the property, and requests furthermore that this report include an update on the progress achieved in undertaking a transboundary dam SEA, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011, with a view to considering, in the absence of substantial progress, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.