Krakow, Poland, 4 July—The World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow has decided to remove Simien National Park from the List of World Heritage in Danger in recognition of improvements in its management and of measures taken to reduce overgrazing and visitor impact.
The World Heritage Committee welcomed Ethiopia’s commitment in building an alternative road to alleviate the disturbance of traffic on the main road that crosses the property, reduce cattle overgrazing and visitor impact. The Committee furthermore welcomed the stabilization of the site’s endemic animal populations of, notably, Walia ibex and Gelada baboons.
Massive erosion over the years on the Ethiopian plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500 m. Simien National Park is home to extremely rare animal species.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978, the site was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1996 due to the impact of a new road across it, excessive cattle grazing, agricultural encroachment and a drop in Walia ibex, Simien fox and other large mammal populations.
The List of World Heritage in Danger is designed to inform the international community of conditions, which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action. Typical threats that lead to danger listing include armed conflict, natural disaster, unplanned urban developments, poaching and pollution
The 41st session of the World Heritage Committee, which opened on 2 July, continues until 12 July.
Lucía Iglesias Kuntz,
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