1.         Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal) (N 25)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (vii)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1984-1988, 2000-2006

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

The uncontrolled spread of the invasive species Salvinia molesta and its threat to the environment, economy and human health of the region. 

Corrective measures identified

Benchmarks were proposed by the 2005 IUCN-UNESCO mission including:

a) Approval of a new management plan;

b) Functional reorganisation of Park Authority;

c) Implementation of an effective programme for the control of invasive species; and

d) Establishment and implementation of a schedule of water inflows that fully responds to the ecological needs of the property.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

A workshop was organized in April 2006, which proposed a 3 year action plan (2006-2008) to achieve the benchmarks. It is recommended that the implementation of the benchmarks be reviewed in 2007.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/25/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1980-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 249,607
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/25/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO/IUCN/Ramsar mission in 2000 and 2001; IUCN/UNESCO mission in 2005; UNESCO and IUCN participation in multi-stakeholder workshop, April 2006.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Invasive species;

b) Systematic water management system not operational;

c) Lack of hydrological monitoring;

d) Salinisation of soils;

e) Cattle grazing;

f) Hunting;

g) Lack of management plan and sustained funding;

h) Poor management capacity and constant changes in staff;

i) Poor visitor management.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/25/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

A State Party report was received on the 15 March 2006 in response to the recommendations of the 2005 IUCN-UNESCO monitoring mission and at request of the 29th session of the Committee. The report noted that the Park authority is currently being restructured, and an experienced Conservator has taken up office. Park rangers are being trained and will be in place during the course of 2006. In addition, 35 ‘eco-guards’ from the surrounding villages assist staff with all field work in the Park, including ecotourism. 3 new vehicles have been acquired and the rangers will have more mobility than before to allow them to intervene where necessary. A new team is also managing the Biological Station, and will focus on research. The Station has its own budget for the first time and has been placed under the authority of the Conservator, as recommended by the 2005 mission. The pelican breeding site will be rebuilt for greater sustainability in 2006 with the support of the Government of the Netherlands. In response to the 2005 monitoring mission, the State Party has also improved signposting in the park and successfully removed cattle from the property in all zones except in areas where their presence is considered beneficial to control the vegetation.

In relation to invasive species, the State Party report noted an improvement in the control of Pistia (Water Lettuce), despite the spread in 2005, and expects that the situation should continue to improve in 2006 with biological control methods. Further work needs to be done to ensure better control of Typha, which is linked to the level of water and requires ongoing hydrological monitoring. The spread of other species is also causing some problems and a report is currently under preparation on water management and invasive species.

The report provides no information on the implementation of a schedule of water inflows to respond to the ecological needs of the property. Overall, however, the State Party report notes that the National Parks Authority has become aware of the problems at the property and is working to improve its state of conservation.

Since submission of the State Party report, in direct follow-up to the 2005 IUCN/UNESCO mission and with funding and technical support from the World Heritage Fund, World Heritage Centre, IUCN and other partners, a multi-stakeholder workshop took place at the property from 24-27 April 2006. The aim of the workshop was to prepare a plan of action for the property with the engagement of scientists, various NGOs and former conservators of the Park, to take the necessary actions for the achievement of the benchmarks identified by the 2005 monitoring mission. The workshop successfully developed a plan with a series of specific actions that should be implemented between 2006 and 2008 to achieve the set benchmarks, including a budget and timetable. This Action Plan aims to complete the current management plan which notably describes the correct hydrological management system. However, it is not clear the level to which this Action Plan will be officially adopted and supported by the State Party, or the level of funding available for its implementation.

Based on the State Party report and outcomes of the April 2006 workshop, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that considerable progress has been made in following up on key recommendations of the 2005 monitoring mission and toward meeting each of the benchmarks. With the development of the Action Plan (2006-2008) and the engagement of a new Conservator, the state of conservation of the property should continue to improve in the coming years. It is now critical that the Action Plan and the planned changes in the management of the property are fully resourced and implemented in the course of the next year. IUCN notes that there is a constant risk of the spread of invasive species due to modified hydrological system caused by the upstream dam, and therefore the hydrological management system currently in place must be carefully controlled and monitored on an ongoing basis, along with a regular programme of biological control for species like Pistia and Salvinia molesta. With this work fully underway, and on the basis of assessing further progress in implementing planned activities, it should be possible to consider removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2007.

Finally, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary has been recognised as part of the recently approved UNESCO Senegal Delta Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (which includes the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary and Diawling National Park in Mauretania and the City of Saint-Louis). Furthermore, the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) has also recently included the Transboundary Reserve in the second phase (2005-2009) of the UN Foundation supported COMPACT programme (Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation), which offers financial and technical assistance to community-based initiatives in and around eight World Heritage properties. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7A.11

The World Heritage Committee,

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

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

3. Commends the State Party for its considerable efforts to improve the state of conservation of the property in line with the 2005 IUCN/UNESCO monitoring mission and for developing a 3 year action plan to achieve the benchmarks set by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005) with the support of partners and experts in a multi-stakeholder workshop;

4. Urges the State Party to formally approve the Action Plan (2006-2008) and commit the necessary resources to its full implementation as soon as possible, including by deploying and training the necessary personnel, by 1 October 2006;

5. Encourages donors and partners to give particular attention to supporting the Ministry of Environment in the effective implementation of the Action Plan (2006-2008) for the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary;

6. Further urges the State Party to put in place a management committee and a scientific committee, preferably by the end of 2006, engaging relevant partners and experts, to guide and assess the implementation of the Action Plan (2006-2008);

7. Recognises that excellent progress has been made in reaching the benchmarks proposed by the 2005 IUCN/UNESCO monitoring mission, and that it is expected that the implementation of the Action Plan, along with careful management and monitoring of the hydrological system will further consolidate conservation efforts.

8. 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, in particular on progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2005 monitoring mission and the approval and implementation of the Action Plan, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007;

9. Decides to remove Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 8C.3

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. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger:

   • Algeria, Tipasa (Decision 30 COM 7A.18)

   • Germany, Cologne Cathedral (Decision 30 COM 7A.30)

   • India, Groups of Monuments at Hampi (Decision 30 COM 7A.24)

   • Senegal, Djoudj Bird Sanctuary (Decision 30 COM 7A.11)

   • Tunisia, Ichkeul National Park (Decision 30 COM 7A.12)