Government seeks to prevent the UN from verifying illegal mining

The non-profit organization SOS Orinoco sent a letter “urgently” to the Committee of the UNESCO World Heritage Center in which it requests to verify the state of the Canaima National Park, and highlighted the main reasons for this. inspection the increase in illegal mining and the lack of effective measures to stop it

The non-profit organization SOS Orinoco denounced this Tuesday, September 12, a “desperate attempt” by the Venezuelan delegation to achieve a modification of the draft of the Draft Decision on the World Heritage Site of the Canaima National Park (Venezuela), approved last July 2023 in Paris, and which makes clear the urgency of an inspection of Canaima by UNESCO’s Reactive Monitoring Mission and that, according to the NGO, “it has not been carried out due to maneuvers of all kinds by the vice president Delcy Rodríguez and officials from the Foreign Ministry.

«We have learned of the attempts by representatives of the Venezuelan government to modify the Draft Decision on the World Heritage Site of the Canaima National Park (…) It is urgent and imperative that the Reactive Monitoring Mission go to Venezuela to verify the true status of the site. We assure you that the situation is serious,” says the letter that was sent “urgently” to the UNESCO World Heritage Center Committee.

“If nothing is happening in the Canaima National Park, a World Heritage Site, (illegal mining), why reject the visit of the body that granted the designation of a World Heritage Site to Canaima?” highlighted the NGO.

In the document, the NGO highlighted two reasons why it considers it urgent and imperative that the Reactive Monitoring Mission verify the true state of the site. One of them is illegal mining, which “has not stopped increasing and there have been no effective measures by the authorities to stop it.

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Secondly, the lack of effective and positive administration on the ground by Inparques or any other government authority to manage within the standards required by Unesco. “The capacity of park rangers is an essential aspect that must be addressed in the inspection.”

In July 2021, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved a resolution demanding that the government of Nicolás Maduro allow the entry of a monitoring commission to inspect the Canaima National Park and check its status.

Through the document, they ask the president to receive the Reactive Monitoring Commission of the international organization, in order to inspect the Canaima National Park and verify the state of this world heritage.

The Canaima National Park is an extension of territory that covers about 30,000 square kilometers in the state of Bolívar. It is known worldwide for housing the Auyantepuy, the highest plateau in the entire country and from which the highest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls, originates. This area has been affected by polluting practices in Bolívar, mainly due to illegal mining, very common throughout the state.

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