May 31, 2016 - 5:03pm

Speaking at an SLP press conference today, the Representative for Soufriere and Minister for Social Transformation, Hon.


Pitons World Heritage Status in Danger

The World Heritage Committee (WHC) has indicated that at the upcoming 36th Session of the Committee, which will be held in Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation, the Pitons Management Area (PMA) of Saint Lucia will be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The decision of the Committee stems out of an "extreme concern" that despite the commitment given by the then UWP administration at the 34th Session of the WHC in Brasilia in 2010 that it would enforce a moratorium on all new developments in the PMA, five additional developments were approved by the Stephenson King government in 2011.

In 2010, a technical monitoring mission of the WHC had already determined that based on real estate developments that had been approved by the government, a situation may have been created where the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the PMA had been compromised. On that basis, the WHC had threatened at its Brasilia meeting in 2010 to enlist the PMA unto the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Pitons escaped being placed on the ‘endangered’ list only after the King government gave a firm commitment to the World Heritage Committee that it would impose a strict development moratorium and conduct a Limits of Acceptable Change study.

However, in clear contravention of the commitment given by the Government of Saint Lucia in Brazil in 2010 and later confirmed by Cabinet Conclusion No. 645 of 2010, the Stephenson King government, acting on recommendations coming from the then Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing, approved five new developments in the PMA, via Cabinet Conclusions 404 and 1039 of 2011. It is these contraventions by the former government, coupled with its failure to follow up on the agreed course of action with the WHC, that have precipitated the action by the World Heritage Committee to place the PMA on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Government of Saint Lucia views these developments with grave concern and is saddened that the irresponsible behavior of the former government has now placed Saint Lucia’s prestigious World Heritage status in jeopardy. The government will participate in the upcoming WHC meeting in Saint-Petersburg and seek to reassure the WHC of its unwavering commitment to preserving the Outstanding Universal Value of the Pitons Management Area and fulfilling the obligations that have been given with respect to the management of this World Heritage Site.

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