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The State Party reports that new SNP Regulations are currently being drafted and, will soon be submitted to the Nepalese Government for approval. The State Party considers that these regulations should assist in regulating, controlling and monitoring illegal developments within the park.

c)

Other conservation issues of concern

The State Party reports that other current conservation issues within the property include poaching of endangered species, forest fires, pollution and growing energy needs due to

tourism. However, no details are provided on the importance of these conservation issues.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome that construction of the illegal trail between Kongde and Thame has ceased, and note that this trail would have adversely affected key wildlife habitat within the property. However, the absence of a verdict regarding the Kongde View Resort case is of continuing concern, particularly as this resort has been operational for some time and the legal case ongoing since 2007.

The State Party’s efforts to implement the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) Management and Tourism Plan are noted. However, as little data is provided on the effectiveness of conservation efforts in protecting endangered species, promoting sustainable use of natural resources within the park, and minimising environmental pollution, it is difficult to assess the current state of conservation of the property’s values. With respect to building material extraction, IUCN notes that the information provided by the State Party on this activity is insufficient to determine its extent and location, and recalls that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status.

IUCN continues to receive reports from experts working on site and its members that tourism and mountaineering pressures continue to seriously affect the property’s physical and aesthetic environment, and that there is potential for additional tourism developments within the property’s buffer zone. There has been a substantial increase in the numbers of helicopters and other aircraft flying over the property and ensuing noise pollution, as well as inadequate disposal of the garbage left by mountaineering expeditions at Amadablam and Pumori base camps in particular. With respect to potential tourism developments within the buffer zone of the SNP, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that these may affect the property’s aesthetic values and degrade its physical environment. They request the State Party to clarify whether any tourism developments are planned within this zone, and also encourage the Government of Nepal to consider officially designating a World Heritage buffer zone for the property by including the existing buffer zone of the National Park within the property’s listing and submitting a request to this effect to the World Heritage Committee.

In conclusion, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that additional effort is needed to address the tourism management issues impacting on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value. The revision of the SNP Management and Tourism Plan, due in 2012, may provide a good opportunity to determine the property’s carrying capacity and indentify stronger tourism- management measures against this baseline. The State Party should be invited to submit an International Assistance request to assess tourism’s impacts on the property, identify its carrying capacity and to seek expert assistance in reviewing the tourism management measures of the SNP Tourism and Management Plan.

State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List

WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 25

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