Pitons stay off danger list but concerns remain

30 July 2010 | International news release

The Pitons Management Area in Saint Lucia will remain off the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger. IUCN welcomes the decision following new information from the Saint Lucia government that a moratorium on all new and unapproved development has been approved.

“In view of the moratorium, IUCN considers that the Pitons Management Area should not be inscribed to the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger,” said Tim Badman, Head of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “However, we cannot forget that the impacts of inappropriate hotel and housing development within the property have already seriously affected this area of outstanding natural beauty.”

“In some ways World Heritage Status appears to have contributed to increasing damaging pressure on the Pitons site. The challenges facing this property illustrate why effective protection and management must be an integral part of the decision to inscribe a property on the World Heritage List.”

The Pitons was first inscribed to the World Heritage List in 2003 under the criteria for exceptional natural beauty and significant geomorphic features. After an inspection trip in March 2010, IUCN found that new and unapproved commercial development within the region was threatening its World Heritage status.

“We found that the area was at a crossroads,” said Badman. “Any further development will likely lead to the irreversible loss of the area’s exceptional natural beauty.”

For more information, please contact:

Pia Drzewinski, IUCN Media Relations Officer, m +55 61 8125 8748 e pia.drzewinski@iucn.org
Brian Thomson IUCN Media Manager, m. +55 61 8219 4408 e brian.thomson@iucn.org