NGO Letter to the World Heritage Centre and Committee Members
Mr. Kishore Rao
World Heritage Centre
7, Place de Fontenoy
June 18, 2012
Subject: Dam Construction Activities Continue to Threaten World Heritage Sites
Dear Mr. Rao,
Thank you for leading the World Heritage Centre in promoting strong protections for the world’s cultural and natural heritage sites. We appreciate the efforts of the Centre last year to heighten awareness around the most endangered sites, including those that are threatened by current or future dam construction.
While the World Heritage Committee made a number of strong decisions last year, dam construction continues unabated at many of these sites, causing grave threats to these World Heritage rivers and the local communities that depend on them. This is particularly true for five World Heritage properties: the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (China), the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves/La Amistad National Park (Panama/Costa Rica), the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras), the Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) and the Lower Valley of the Omo (Ethiopia).
In the Annex, please see a brief update on the current status of dam building at these sites and specific recommendations with regards to the recently published Draft Decisions. Given the serious impacts that dams pose to the Outstanding Universal Value of these sites, we propose that the Centre recommend the following to the Committee during its 36th Session:
- Include the following sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger: the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas (China), the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves/La Amistad National Park (Panama/Costa Rica), the Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) and the Lower Valley of the Omo (Ethiopia). Urge host countries to increase and enforce protection measures for these sites.
- Urge host countries to respect the World Heritage Convention by suspending all dam plans and construction activities and enforcing the decisions that will be adopted by the World Heritage Committee.
- Conduct a comprehensive report on the threat of dams to all World Heritage Sites.
If you would like to request further information regarding any of these projects, please do not hesitate to contact us through email@example.com.
We thank you for your attention to this matter and stand ready to support you in the protection of the above World Heritage Sites. We look forward to learning about your decision on this matter.
China Program Coordinator, International Rivers
Director, Friends of Lake Turkana
Director, Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH)
President, Alianza para la Conservacion y el Desarrollo (ACD)
Director, Survival International
Director, Heng Duan Shan Society
United Arab Emirates