Canaima World Heritage Site: Controversy at the 44th Session of the World Heritage Centre (UNESCO) in Fuzhou, China - July 16-30, 2021

Three years after SOSOrinoco started to inform the World Heritage Centre and publishing multiple reports about the critical illegal mining situation, the Maduro Regime finally sent a report on Canaima. The World Heritage Centre emitted a resolution that was approved without discussion or amendments on July 23, 2021


  • SOSOrinoco supported the approval of the resolution and sent the World Heritage Committee a document with comments and recommendations regarding the resolution. Download the document here
  • We would like to highlight the fact that the Maduro Regime’s calculation of the extent of illegal mines in Canaima coincides with SOSOrinoco’s: over 1000 Hec.
  • On behalf of SOSOrinoco, World Heritage Watch asked to take the floor to make a 1 minute oral statement on July 24, 2021 during the WH Committee Meeting (full translated transcript and video)
  • Immediately after, the representative of the Maduro Regime, First Secretary Maria Luisa Medina, took the floor and accused SOSOrinoco of being a “para-state organization dedicated to political interference” that “works in close collaboration with the fascist sectors of the Venezuelan opposition”
  • The Regime’s allies – Russia, China, Ethiopia, Egypt, South Africa – and surprisingly, Brazil, all came to Venezuela’s defense and attacked SOSOrinoco and NGO’s in general.
  • Disturbingly, not a single democratic State Party spoke up against this unprecedented attack on the role of NGO’s and Civil Society at the World Heritage Centre
  • On July 30, 2021, the US representative to the 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee Meeting in Fuzhou, China, submitted a written statement for the record and delivered an oral statement on camera, to dispute comments made on July 24 by Venezuela and its allies, and to encourage a transparent and independent technical evaluation of Canaima.  The Venezuelan representative immediately responded to the US (full translated transcript and video)

Our position on
the Orinoco Mining Arc

Arco Minero del Orinoco

The purpose of SOSOrinoco is to shed light on the existing body of work regarding the situation in the Amazonia and Orinoquia regions of Venezuela, to raise awareness of the tragedy that is occurring and to outline some urgent measures that need to be taken in order to halt the unfolding human and environmental disaster.