Decision : CONF 205 V.93-96
Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)
V.93 The Bureau noted that the State Party had not responded to the concerns expressed by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau over the reported proposals to transfer animals, including the Derby Eland, from the World Heritage site. It also had not invited a monitoring mission to the site as requested by the Bureau. IUCN reported the concern about the capture and removal of wildlife from Niokolo-Koba National Park. For example, from April to July 1999, a South African team captured 74 roan antelope, 10 buffalo and 23 Buffon’s kob. These animals were moved to the small, privately-owned Bandia Reserve and ultimately translocated to the 6,000 hectare Fathala Forest where the SPEFS is planning to establish a wildlife park for tourists. A further capture operation was conducted in Niokolo-Koba in May 2000, when 9 western giant eland and 10 waterbuck were captured and translocated to Bandia. IUCN reported that these game captures were conducted under an agreement signed by Senegal’s former Minister of Environment with the “Société pour la Protection de l’Environnement et de la Faune au Senegal” (SPEFS) in June 1999, and a second agreement signed by Senegal’s current Minister of Environment with SPEFS in April 2000. The latter agreement specified that the Government of Senegal will donate 70 roan antelope, 50 kob, 10 buffalo, 20 bushbuck, 10 grey duiker, 10 waterbuck, 10 western giant eland and 30 western hartebeest to SPEFS. IUCN further reported that an article of the Agreement states that 45 roan antelope will be transferred to South Africa, as “payment in kind” for the logistics and expertise provided by the South Africans. 35 of the captured roan antelope were transported from Senegal to Sable Ranch in South Africa in July 2000.
V.94 IUCN and the Centre expressed great concern about several aspects of these recent captures and translocations. The site where the animals are to be relocated is known to be completely unsuitable for some species such as the giant eland. IUCN’s position is that translocation should not occur unless it is clearly demonstrated that it will: 1) benefit the conservation of the endangered species; 2) cause no significant harm to conservation in Niokolo-Koba National Park; and 3) result from a clear decision taken by the Senegalese authorities and be publicised as such.
V.95 The Centre informed the Bureau that new information was received from the Director of the Department of National Parks of Senegal concerning the operation to translocate elephants from Burkina Faso into the site at the end of 2001 or early 2002. This would be during the colder season when the vegetation is available. The operation is supported by the French Funds for Co-operation, the French Global Environmental Facility, the European Union and the Cap-Vert French Forces. Senegal is calling for additional international assistance for capture, transportation and release of the animals.
V.96 The Bureau noted with concern the reports concerning Niokolo-Koba National Park, and requested the State Party to provide by 15 September 2001, a report on the state of conservation of this site, including a detailed update on the current situation of the animals removed from the Park. The Bureau welcomed the recommendations of the Centre and IUCN and urged the State Party to invite a monitoring mission to the site in 2001, as suggested by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the World Heritage Bureau.