1.         Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) (N 338)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1992-2011

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

Bodo insurgency resulting in destruction of Park infrastructure and depletion of forest habitat and wildlife populations.

Corrective measures identified

Benchmarks for corrective measures were identified by the joint 2005 UNESCO/IUCN mission and adopted by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005) (29 COM 7A.9):

a) Accelerate efforts to re-build Park infrastructure;

b) Take prompt measures to fill vacant positions within the Park;

c) Ensure timely release of funds to the Park, in compliance with the recent Supreme Court ruling; and

d) Undertake a comprehensive wildlife survey in the Park, which could act as a future baseline for monitoring recovery of the property.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 165,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

IUCN missions in 1992 and 2002, as well as UNESCO/IUCN mission in 2005.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Bodo insurgency 1988-2003;

b) Forced evacuation of Park staff;

c) Destruction of Park infrastructure;

d) Poaching and logging;

e) Illegal cultivation.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/

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 31 March 2006. Key points of the report with regard to the four benchmarks set by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005) include:

a) Park infrastructure: All possible measures have been taken to re-build Park infrastructure and, in addition, new Park infrastructure has been built including roads, bridges, buildings and a wireless system. Three range offices and two beat offices have been manned and armed;

b) Staffing: The State Government has approved the proposal to fill the vacant positions within the Park. The existing staff vacancies are expected to be filled within the next 2-3 months;

c) Funding: On 27 September 2005, the State Government has released a first instalment of Rs. 8 million to Manas National Park, out of a budget of Rs. 19.8 million approved by Project Tiger for the Park for the current year;

d) Wildlife: The Manas tiger population numbered 65 animals in 2000 compared to 81 animals in 1993. Results from the February 2006 tiger census were not available as of April 2006. The elephant population numbered 658 animals in 2005 in the greater Chirag Ripu Elephant Reserve, of which Manas National Park constitutes the main elephant habitat, compared to 567 animals in 2002 for Manas National Park only.

In contrast to previous reports indicating that all rhinos had been wiped out during the insurgency, recent press reports indicate there might still be a fragmented population of half-a-dozen rhinos in the Park.

The State Party reports that the Assam State Government has initiated, in collaboration with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) WWF-India, US Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners, the Indian Rhino Vision (IRV) 2020, a major population and range expansion programme for rhinos in Assam. One of the objectives is to relocate rhinos into areas from which they disappeared, and Manas National Park has been identified as the top target area for receiving rhinos from Kaziranga National Park and Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary.

During the centenary celebrations for Manas National Park in December 2005, local Bodo communities and the Bodo Territorial Council endorsed the IRV 2020 and committed their full support to its implementation. In November 2005, the taskforce of the IRV 2020 met to review the report of its Security Expert Group which assessed improvements required in targeted protected areas to enable them to receive rhinos. Subsequently, the IRF intimated the release of USD 50,000 to WWF-India for further improvements of the infrastructure in Manas National Park to enable the rhinos to be translocated.

The security situation in Manas National Park, which once had a population of at least 100 rhinos, is now permitting the reintroduction of rhinos, initially on an experimental basis. As the first step, a 44-month-old female rhino was translocated from Kaziranga National Park to Manas National Park in February 2006. The rhino was released into a fenced one-square-kilometre enclosure, is fitted with a radio collar and will be closely monitored.

It is noted that tourists – domestic as well as from abroad – are increasingly visiting Manas Wildlife Sanctuary and that the site has high potential for ecotourism. The increased involvement of local people and NGOs in the conservation and management efforts at Manas is welcomed.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.13

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7A.9, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Commends the State Party, local authorities, NGOs and the Bodo Territorial Council for the considerable efforts made to improve the state of conservation of the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary and to help meet the benchmarks set by the Committee, and for submitting an updated progress report;

4. Encourages the State Party and local authorities to fully implement all recommendations of the joint 2005 UNESCO/IUCN mission;

5. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre and IUCN as soon as possible with the results of the comprehensive wildlife survey, in particular the status and trends of the tiger, rhino, elephant and swamp deer populations in the property;

6. Further requests 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, specifically on progress made in relation to the benchmarks set by the Committee for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, along with the timeframe for their achievement, as well as progress made on implementing the recommendations of the joint 2005 UNESCO/IUCN mission, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

7. Decides to retain Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) 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)