1.         Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1997-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 170,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO/IUCN mission in May 2001

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

No formal report on the State of Conservation of the property and on progress towards the implementation of the recommendations of the 2001 UNESCO/IUCN mission was received from the State Party at the time of preparation of the document.

In July 2005, the World Heritage Centre participated in a meeting with the European Union and staff of the EU funded ECOFAC project, which is working in the village hunting zones surrounding the Park and which has also provided logistical and financial support to anti-poaching operations in the property. At the meeting, the preliminary results of the wildlife surveys that took place in northern Central African Republic were presented and discussed. Staff from the ECOFAC project expressed fear that poaching in the property would increase significantly as the ECOFAC activities were suspended as of June 2005, awaiting the approval and start up of a new project phase, which was expected to start around April 2006.

Following this meeting, in October 2005 the World Heritage Centre decided to provide special financial support to the State Party (USD 76,653) from the World Heritage Fund’s budget dedicated to World Heritage properties in Danger, with the support of the ECOFAC programme, to permit the State Party to continue vital anti-poaching activities in the property. Furthermore, the State Party acknowledged receipt of equipment purchased with the support of the World Heritage Fund through emergency assistance (USD 50,000) which was granted in November 2004. The equipment consisted of a 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser, two motorcycles and radio communication equipment (HF codan, GPS, walkie-talkies). This equipment was handed over to the Ministry in charge of Environment by the Director General of UNESCO during his visit to the Central African Republic from 25 to 27 January 2006. During the visit, the Director General stressed the need to give particular attention to the preservation and conservation of the World Heritage property.

The World Heritage Centre received on 18 April 2006 an interim progress report on the implementation of the emergency funding together with the final report of the aerial survey of May/June 2005 implemented by the ECOFAC programme. The progress report also provides information on the state of conservation of the property.

The report of the aerial survey clearly documents the alarming situation of the Park’s fauna, in spite of the State Party’s efforts to combat poaching with the support of ECOFAC. In comparison to the survey conducted in 1985, the populations of all species covered by the survey have declined seriously, particularly inside the property and the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park. Population densities of most species are actually higher in the adjacent hunting zones than in the National Parks, due to the presence of safari hunting activities and related anti-poaching activities and the fact that poachers coming from Sudan and Chad enter less into the hunting areas than into the National Parks, situated closer to the borders. The property has lost approximately 95 % of its elephant population, now estimated at less than 500 animals. Buffon’s Kob (Kobus kob), Defassa Waterbuck (Cobus defassa) and Topi Hartebeest (Damaliscus korrigum) are at the verge of extinction, whilst populations of Bohor reedbuck (Redunca redunca), Giant Eland (Taurotragus derbianus), Bufallo (Syncerus caffer), Western Hartebeest (Alcelaphus Buselaphus) and Roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus) have diminished in the property but increased or stabilised in the hunting zones.

The survey also found a lot of evidence of human activity in the property. Apart from poaching, fishing and cattle grazing are serious threats to the integrity of the property. Given these results, the report recommends concentrating conservation activities on the remaining strongholds of wild animal populations. With the encouraging results from the hunting zones adjacent to the property, the report also recommends applying a zoning scheme to the property, which would allow controlled exploitation of the resources in certain areas, generate revenues for local people and help fund the conservation of priority zones. Whilst the decline in animal populations is dramatic, northern Central African Republic probably contains the last viable populations of many of the mammals’ characteristic for the Soudano-Guinean ecoregion and the remaining populations in the region could still permit a recovery if the poaching threat is brought under control.

The progress report of the emergency project notes that the closure of Phase III of ECOFAC in June 2005 and the reactivation of tensions in the Darfur region in Sudan and the South East of Chad have led to a renewed infiltration of foreign poachers into the Park and its periphery. According to the State Party, the financial support provided by UNESCO was critical to ensuring the pursuit of anti-poaching activities while waiting for the launching of the Phase IV of ECOFAC. The support received from UNESCO as well as from some private operators and a NGO named “Association pour la protection de la Faune de Centrafrique” (APFC) has enabled the State Party to avoid the total invasion of the property by poachers. Anti-poaching activities took place from December 2005 to March 2006. Patrols intervened in the Park periphery with the objective to stop incursions of Sudanese poachers’ caravans and control their exits. The patrols were undertaken by teams of trackers-guards supervised by APFC experts. The teams had 3 armed encounters with Sudanese poaching caravans, which they were able to stop from entering into the property. Patrols were also organised within the Park on the basis of information provided by local NGOs. During those patrols, 6 poachers were arrested and brought to justice; several weapons were seized including one automatic weapon (AK47) and one poaching caravan was driven out of the Park. Efforts were also made to chase cattle herds out of the property.

With regard to the monitoring mission requested by the Committee, the difficult security situation in the country has so far prevented the World Heritage Centre and IUCN from carrying out the mission. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN have been planning to link the mission to a multi-stakeholder workshop to develop a major programme of action and fundraising strategy for the conservation of the property in cooperation with the European Union (EU). However, the start of the next phase of EU funded programme ‘Conservation et utilisation rationelle des ecosystèmes forestières de l’Afrique centrale’ (ECOFAC) has been delayed. If the security situation improves, it is hoped that progress will be made in organising the mission and stakeholder workshop prior to the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee. The World Heritage Centre also received information that the Africa Parks Foundation, a Dutch based NGO specialised in managing protected areas in Africa under public-private partnerships, which recently took responsibility for the management of Garamba National Park in DRC. This NGO is exploring the possibility of also getting involved in Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15A.1 and 29 COM 7A.1, adopted at its 28th (Suzhou, 2004) and 29th (Durban, 2005) sessions respectively,

3. Takes note of the interim report on the implementation of the emergency funding but regrets that the State Party has not submitted a progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the 2001 UNESCO/IUCN mission to the property;

4. Further regrets that the requested monitoring mission has not yet taken place due to security concerns;

5. Recommends that the State Party, IUCN and UNESCO organize the mission and the planned stakeholder workshop in close cooperation with the ECOFAC programme as soon as the security situation allows;

6. Requests that the State Party, in cooperation with the European Union, take the necessary measures to start as soon as possible the fourth phase of the ECOFAC programme and within the framework of the programme put emphasis on the conservation and rehabilitation of the property;

7. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to continue the financial support from the World Heritage Fund for maintaining anti-poaching operations in the property until the start of the fourth phase of the ECOFAC programme;

8. Requests the Director General of UNESCO to facilitate a high level meeting between the State Party and the Government of Sudan and Chad, in close cooperation with the ECOFAC programme, to discuss the persistent problem of transborder poaching and resource exploitation in the region;

9. Urges the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated report by 1 February 2007 on the state of conservation of the property and an evaluation of its Outstanding Universal Value, as well as a report on the progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the 2001 UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007 ;

10. Decides to retain Manovo-Gounda St.Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-06/30.COM/7A and WHC-06/30.COM/7A.Add.Rev),

2. Maintains the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

   • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 30 COM 7A.22)

   • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 30 COM 7A.23)

   • Azerbaijan, Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Decision 30 COM 7A.29

   • Benin, Royal Palaces of Abomey (Decision 30 COM 7A.16)

   • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.1)

   • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 30 COM 7A.31)

   • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.2)

   • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.3)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.8)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.6)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Virunga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.7)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Garamba National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.4)

   • Democratic Rep. of the Congo Salonga National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.5)

   • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 30 COM 7A.19)

   • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.9)

   • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 30 COM 7A.15)

   • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 30 COM 7A.13)

   • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 30 COM 7A.25)

   • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 30 COM 7A.20)

   • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 30 COM 7A.34)

   • Nepal, Kathmandu Valley (Decision 30 COM 7A.26)

   • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 30 COM 7A.10)

   • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 30 COM 7A.27)

   • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 30 COM 7A.32)

   • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 30 COM 7A.28)

   • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 28 COM 7A.17)

   • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.14)

   • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 30 COM 7A.33)

   • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 30 COM 7A.21)