1.         Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 227)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

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

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

No benchmarks have been set as a mission has not been possible since the inclusion of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 97,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: The property received USD 20,000 in 2006 through the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme for law enforcement and awareness activities.

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Conflict and political instability;

b) Lack of management control and access;

c) Poaching; human occupation and agricultural pressure;

d) Bush fire.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 21 March 2006. The report, however, provides little new information to that reported to the 29th session of the Committee (Durban, 2005).

The State Party continues to control only 35 % of the property; the remaining being inaccessible and under the control of rebel troops. Park infrastructure and equipment destroyed or looted by the rebels has not been replaced. No human occupation is reported to have occurred in the Park despite people moving from the north to the south. Poaching remains the main threat to the property but is reported to be under control in the southern part of the property. Illegal forest exploitation has been brought under control with the help of local communities. Some agricultural encroachment occurs in the area controlled by the rebel forces but is understood to be minimal.

The State Party has placed staff in the south of the Park that is under government control and the UNESCO MAB Programme has recently provided assistance to carry out awareness activities and to reinstate patrols in the south. The State Party also notes that the European Union programme signed and later suspended in 2002, may also start again soon.

The State Party report claims that although management presence is minimal, the civil unrest is having little impact on the integrity of the property, thanks to the support of local communities through awareness raising.

Unfortunately, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN so far were unable to carry out the monitoring mission to the property requested by the Committee at its 28th and 29th sessions due to ongoing security concerns. The State Party is seeking the support of the United Nations in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) to implement this mission in the near future. Until this can take place, it is impossible for the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to assess the state of conservation of the property.

On 6 April 2006, the World Heritage Centre received an invitation letter from the State Party to undertake the mission. The State Party has proposed that the monitoring mission be undertaken from 10 to 23 June 2006. If this mission takes place as currently scheduled, the outcomes will be presented during the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee (Vilnius, 2006), and a revised draft Decision would be proposed to take account of the conclusions of the mission.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7A.2 adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Commends the State Party for their commitment to the protection of Comoé National Park and for working with local communities to reduce illegal activities;

4. Notes with great concern that in the present situation the State Party continues to have control of and access to only one third of the Park;

5. Takes note of the outcomes and recommendations of the 2006 UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission, in particular the fact that the outstanding universal value of the property has been maintained but remains under threat due to the limited control over the property and the potential increase of poaching, fires, agricultural encroachment and illegal grazing;

6. Urges the State Party to implement the recommendations, plan of action and timetable proposed by the 2006 monitoring mission in order to increase the management effectiveness of the property, including the following priority actions:

a) Establish, as a matter of urgency, an effective system of control and patrolling for the whole property, in close collaboration with the armed forces, and giving priority to the development and rehabilitation of necessary infrastructure;

b) Develop and initiate the implementation of a management plan for the property based on the management plan framework developed for the national system of protected areas. The management plan should give special attention to:

(i) Establishing a revised zoning system for the property to guide management activities that fully considers the status of the property as a World Heritage property and Biosphere Reserve;

(ii) Establishing participatory management arrangements with local communities to reduce pressures and impacts associated to the management of areas in particular on the periphery of the property;

c) Enlarge the activities of the management structure to encompass the entire property;

7. Adopts the above points (a) to (c) as benchmarks to guide a future decision on the eventual removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

8. Takes note of the proposed 5 year timeframe for the implementation and assessment of the action plan and benchmarks:

a) Preparatory work and developing contacts for technical and financial support, as well as implementation of emergency measures linked in particular to surveillance of the property: 2007;

b) Preparation of a management plan and implementation of priority activities: 2008 -2009;

c) Implementation of the priority activities under the management plan: 2009 - 2011;

9. Invites the State Party to develop a cooperation programme with the States Parties of Burkina Faso and Ghana in view of identifying and establishing biological corridors that can enhance the conservation of the existing populations of key species that require large areas for their survival;

10. Requests the State Party to address the issues related to the outcomes and recommendations and proposed timetable of the 2006 UNESCO/IUCN monitoring mission, and to provide a updated report by 1 February 2007 on the state of conservation of the property, in particular on progress achieved in implementing the recommendations of the 2006 monitoring mission for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

11. Requests the Director General of UNESCO to call on the United Nations Organization in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI) to consider assisting the State Party in establishing during the current post-crisis period a joint patrol mechanism for the entire park, involving all forces present;

12. Calls on international donors to urgently support the State Party in the preparation and implementation of the action plan and management plan for the Park;

13. Decides to retain Comoé National Park (Cote d'Ivoire) 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)