SOC: Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
X.11 Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
The Committee was informed that the Bureau, at its twenty-third ordinary session in July 1999, agreed with the recommendations of a joint IUCN/Ramsar/Centre mission to the site, undertaken in February 1999, in accordance with the wish of Bureau and the Committee expressed at their respective sessions in 1998. The Bureau had welcomed the suggestion of the mission team that the State Party include, in its threat mitigation status report to the twenty-third session of the Committee, definitions of current and expected values for a set of indicators, e.g. water salinity levels, counts of selected numbers of endangered species of birds, the availability of preferred food plants etc., that could provide the basis for a 5-year monitoring programme for the implementation of the rehabilitation plan from 2000 to 2004. The Committee took note of the threat mitigation status report submitted by the State Party in document WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.9. As suggested by the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau, and in response to the suggestions made by IUCN during the deliberations of the Committee, the representative of the State Party pointed out that the threat mitigation report has defined some possible parameters that could be useful in monitoring the success of restoration efforts. However, he was willing to discuss with IUCN to mutually agree upon a final set of indicative parameters and to set target values of those parameters that the 5- year restoration effort may endeavour to reach. He pointed out the positive progress that had taken place lately and which had not been reflected in the report. He also stressed his Government's commitment to consider the requirements for Ichkeul Lake during the planning of the utilisation of the water from the Sidi E Barrak dam.
The Delegate of Morocco noted the difficulties in reverting to the "original ecological conditions" of the Ichkeul Lake which restoration efforts may wish to achieve, particularly in light of the crucial rôle that the waters of the Lake play in meeting several development needs of the surrounding areas. The Representative of IUCN, while noting the statement of the Delegate of Morocco, stressed the need to set rigorous targets for parameters that are to be used for monitoring the success in restoration efforts implemented by the State Party. IUCN also called for a specific institutional strategy to coordinate the conservation of Ichkeul and the sustainable use of its water resources.
The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee invited the State Party, the Centre and IUCN to discuss the threat mitigation report in detail and agree on a set of parameters, frequency of monitoring and the target range of values for each of the selected parameters that could be considered as success of restoration efforts at the end of the 5-year monitoring programme. The Committee invited the Centre and IUCN to report on the outcome of their discussions with the State Party to the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau in mid-2000. In addition, the Committee invited the State Party to submit its first progress report of the 5-year monitoring cycle to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee at the end of the year 2000.