The World Heritage Centre has taken due note of concerns expressed by numerous citizens and NGOs regarding the recent agreement signed between Seychelles and India to establish a naval base on Assumption Island, located some 27 km from Aldabra Atoll World Heritage property (Seychelles). UNESCO appreciates the commitment of these stakeholders to the safeguarding of this World Heritage site.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982, Aldabra is one of the largest atolls in the world, with an ecosystem that provides an outstanding natural laboratory for studying evolutionary and ecological processes. The atoll is home to the largest giant tortoise population in the world. Due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, the entire atoll has remained largely untouched by humans until the present time.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an advisory body to the World Heritage Committee, are fully aware of the concerns raised and have been closely following the matter with the competent authorities of the State Party of the Seychelles. The project is being monitored according to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.