Press Release


Kakadu National Park

Resolution of the 4th World Archaeological Congress,

Cape Town South Africa 10-14th January 1999

The 4th World Archaeological Congress (WAC) held in Cape Town between 10th-14th January 1999 was attended by over 800 participants from 70 countries, including delegations from Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Australia and Africa. The following resolution was presented to the General Assembly of WAC4 and agreed by the Council of the World Archaeological Congress.

“The World Archaeological Congress is dismayed by the serious threat posed to the ecosystems, archaeological and rock art sites, and living indigenous culture of the Kakadu National Park by proposed uranium mining at Jabiluka. The Congress notes the Mirrar people are recognized through Australian land rights law as the traditional owners of the country on which the mining development is located, and that the Mirrar oppose any additional mining as at Jabiluka on their land.

The World Archaeological Congress calls on the Australian Government to respect the Mirrar people’s status as joint managers of the Kakadu National Park and World Heritage Site. The Congress calls for an immediate halt to preparatory work on the mine, in accordance with the conclusions of the 22nd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

The World Archaeological Congress urges immediate remedial action and compensation for the damage already caused. It calls on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to register the site as “in danger” if preparation of the Jabiluka mine proceeds.”

The World Archaeological Congress has now written to the Australian Government, Energy Resources of Australia Ltd. and UNESCO informing them of the above resolution.


For further information please contact:

Professor Martin Hall
President, World Archaeological Congress
C/o Archaeology Department
University of Cape Town
Tel: +27 21 650 2358