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land stewardship. Community representatives have repeatedly requested modifications and amendments to this scheme, which were considered by the State Party. The State Party reports that negotiated settlements were usually reached and that overall, approximately 70% of usufruct contracts had been awarded to eligible residents in the various administration sectors of the property’s buffer zone. The remaining land parcels remain under review. The State Party reports that a self-appointed “Lands Committee" (Comité de Tierras) and its lawyers have created unnecessary obstacles to progress in terms of regulating land tenure. It is acknowledged that the process of organizing land tenure is time- consuming with obstacles including logistics, and communication. It requires the building of trust and thus considerable time. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that while the awarding of usufruct contracts is not yet completed, and that other challenges remain with regards to the provision of legal titles to the owners of the land, the State Party’s efforts in this regard are a positive step forward and should be continued and that the contracts should reflect a fair negotiation of interests.

c)

Demonstrate effective participation of local organizations and communities in the management processes of the property

The State Party report notes that there is a strong legal basis for consultation in the realm of forests, wildlife and protected areas based on the establishment of "Community Consultation Councils" (Consejos Consultivos Comunitarios). The State Party expresses the hope that through the transboundary project "Heart of the Corridor" (supported by Global environment Facility (GEF), World Bank and the Central American Commission on Environment and Development), extending across to neighboring Nicaragua within the regional Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, there will be funding opportunities for increased participation. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome this initiative and consider that a strengthened and structured approach to involving local resource users will be essential to its success. This would also assist the effective response to the previous decisions of the World Heritage Committee, and related reactive monitoring missions.

d) Demonstrate that decommissioned wood is not re-entering the market, but disposed of in a manner that eliminates all profit incentives

The State Party report notes that legal tools have been established to prevent commercial use of confiscated timber. The report also notes that a manual providing guidance on the tracking of the chain of custody of timber has been prepared. However, the on the ground results are not clear from the report: i.e. whether the legal framework and the development of timber tracking methodologies have prevented the illegal selling of confiscated timber or discouraged illegal logging. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that there is a need to further consider this issue and assessment of the effectiveness of the legal tools aimed at preventing commercial use of confiscated timber.

e)

To quickly identify any new intrusions into the property and to deal with them swiftly, so as to further discourage this practice

As mentioned above, there is no specific feedback relating to this question which is in part addressed in points a) and b). From the information provided in the report, and comments provided by independent observers, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN conclude that there is no mechanism in place which would serve to quickly identify and react to intrusions. The use of the armed forces to monitor strategic entry points to the property is reported to have been discontinued.

The State Party provides a map in response to the request of the 2006 mission for a map showing the revised boundaries of the property and the rationale used for promoting any changes in the boundaries approved at the time of the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List. The submitted map does not provide clear information to assess these issues. The report furthermore mentions that the authorities are currently working on a new proposal for the revision of the boundaries of the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN understand that despite the lack of clarity in the submitted maps, there are maps

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

WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 64

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