properties. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the development of an international agreement between Brazil and Argentina is a positive step towards creating a permanent and effective mechanism for transboundary cooperation; however it is considered essential that the Parks’ administration at the local level in both countries be empowered and resourced to ensure the effective implementation of this agreement. The State Party is invited to submit a copy of this agreement to the World Heritage Centre when it is signed.
Coordinated revision of management plans
The report notes that during 2009, the Iguaçu and Iguazu National Parks’ administrations met several times to discuss joint management and key issues relating to public use and visitor management. It was agreed that a joint public use strategy should focus on how to address the following issues: (a) increasing visitation; (b) impacts from public use on biodiversity and aesthetic values; (c) prevention and mitigation mechanisms; (d) capacity needed to effectively address these measures; and (e) how to enhance the quality of the visitor experience, in keeping with the World Heritage status of these properties. Whilst the report notes that an Action Plan has been prepared between Argentina and Brazil to jointly address key management issues, it does not provide information on its implementation status. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the input of an external expert may be beneficial to the joint management plan revision process, and that the State Party could be invited to submit an International Assistance Request to organise a series of joint management planning workshops. IUCN is willing to facilitate expert advice through the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) in this regard.
The State Party report noted the results from a study on variations in the water volumes of the Iguazu River and Falls carried out in 2008. This study clearly shows that the variations in the water-level at the falls are dependent on the water released from the dams, and that in general the level of water is lower than would be expected based on normal variations in rainfall. Whilst this study has not assessed the impacts on biodiversity, it shows that the quality of the water released from the dams does not show high levels of pollution. It is noted in the State Party report the need for joint monitoring of water flows and their impacts on the biodiversity and aesthetic values of the properties. However, no information is provided on the timeframe for the development of joint monitoring activities. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the State Party does not report on point 5 of Committee Decision 32 COM 7B.32 concerning the implementation of an early warning system to alert the World Heritage Committee of any plans to develop a hydroelectric project on the Iguaçu River that would adversely affect the property. They also note that the 2008 mission reported that a dam (programmed within the National Development Plan of Brazil) is planned somewhere within the 25km between the falls and the existing Salto Caxias dam.
As noted above, the State Party report provides a number of scientific studies on the flora and fauna of the property. These studies conclude that these values are generally in a good state of conservation. However, it is noted that conservation could be substantially enhanced by linking the property with remaining forest areas in the Paraná ecoregion through the development of biological corridors.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome baseline data for monitoring biodiversity, and
these studies, which provide important recall that the “Argentine Peninsula
Bottleneck”, a stretch of privately owned land in Argentina that is a key biological corridor
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 56