The mission recommended that specific programmes of management and associated monitoring and research should be developed to combat climate change impacts for the property, and that further promotion of trans-border co-operation in monitoring and research should be undertaken.
The States Parties report notes that cooperation on the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change is a specific commitment of the MOU. The property benefits from the Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems research programme in Glacier National Park that links to
many international partnerships related
initiatives. to climate
The report notes specific commitments to a number of change issues, and to enhancing regional capacity. Waterton
Lakes National Park includes climate change in its integrity and revised management plan, while Glacier
monitoring programme National Park is part of
on ecological a new United
States Federal initiative attempting northern Rocky Mountains, and are planning, including a number of international audiences.
to address climate change over a large area of the also involved in research and climate change scenario initiatives whose results will be made available to
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN commend the progress being made in addressing climate change issues, and note that the property includes examples of innovative practice that would be of benefit to other States Parties, and therefore encourage the United States of America and Canada to investigate opportunities to more actively develop international partnerships to transfer learning on climate change adaptation to other settings.
A number of other issues are raised in the States Parties reports, or were considered by the mission. Mountain pine beetle is a native pest that is causing significant mortality of pine forests in Glacier National Park, covering an area approaching 10,000 ha. Although the States Parties and the mission note current forestry practices are considered compatible with the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, there are possible threats to wildlife connectivity and fish habitat from possible measures to counteract this infestation. The States Parties report on the systems to regulate such initiatives and that the MOU also provides for transboundary assessment of any proposals that could affect land and water resources. Visitation has fallen to levels of the early 1990s in Glacier National Park, whilst there are plans to increase visitation to late-1990s levels in Waterton Lakes. The States Parties also note positive projects in relation to dust abatement, ecological restoration, and further enhancing visitor experience of the property.
The mission also recommended that increased efforts should be made to harmonise the management of the Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park area with the property and to incorporate it into the property, as was recommended at the time of its inscription on the World Heritage List. Canada has noted that mining, commercial logging and hydroelectric development are prohibited in Akamina-Kishinena, and that adding it to the World Heritage property would not change the protection it affords to that part of the Flathead watershed in British Columbia. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN encourage the State Party to consider further the possible inclusion of this protected area as an extension of the property.
In summary, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider there has been a very positive progress by the States Parties in responding to the Decision of the World Heritage Committee, and welcome the new and very significant initiatives on transboundary cooperation, and the strong new commitments to removing mining threats from the Flathead River Basin. These developments also accord well with key recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission to the property. An effective and ongoing programme of implementation of this agreement is required and promises significant benefits to the overall management of the property, the Flathead River Basin, within the wider setting of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem. A range of management challenges remain, as noted above, and the States Parties will need to consider jointly threats to wildlife connectivity in relation to development plans in both Canada and the United States of America, to ensure that the Outstanding
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 32