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

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 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 2005

Although an invitation was received from the State Party in March 2004 to carry out a monitoring mission to the property, as requested by the Committee at its 27th session (UNESCO, 2003), the prevailing security situation prevented the mission from taking place. No further information was received from the State Party concerning the state of conservation of the property or the implementation of the recommendations of the UNESCO/IUCN mission to the property in June 2001.

The financial support amounting to US$150,000 approved under Emergency Assistance on by the Committee at its 25th session to enable the State Party to establish a long term conservation programme for Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, was not implemented and the money reverted back to the World Heritage Fund. The chairperson approved US$50,000 to implement the equipment component, with the support of the UNESCO Yaounde Office.

The World Heritage Centre received information from the European Union funded programme ‘Conservation et Utilisation rationelle des ecosystems forestières de l’Afrique centrale” (ECOFAC), that supports a project to develop village hunting zones in the northern region of the Central African Republic. The region, covering 85,000 km2, includes Manovo- Gounda St. Floris National Park as well as the Bamingui-Bangoran National Park. The project has been working in the region since 2000 and although currently activities were sized down as a result of the end of the present ECOFAC phase, the new phase of the project is expected to start by the end of 2005. The project is concentrating its efforts on the establishment of village hunting zones around both protected areas, but there is a close cooperation with the park authorities and some activities directly support the management of the protected areas. Poaching is the main pressure on the World Heritage property and in particular poaching by well organized poaching gangs from Sudan and Chad. In 2001, hundreds of Sudanese poachers entered the area, massacring a large number of elephants. As reported at the 27th session (UNESCO, 2003), following this event, ECOFAC developed a new anti-poaching strategy consisting of blocking the entry of poaching caravans from Sudan and Chad into the region through mixed patrols of the game scouts together with the army. ECOFAC also hired specialist technical advisors to improve the anti-poaching capacities of the game scouts. This strategy has proved successful and a significant reduction in poaching could be observed over the last 2 years. However, several game scouts were killed in violent clashes with the Sudanese poachers since the new strategy was implemented. ECOFAC notes that the anti-poaching activities are seriously hampered by a lack of armament and ammunition. It seems that poaching by local residents is diminishing as a result of the establishment of the hunting zones, which provide alternative income. However, in certain areas local poaching is still observed and is reported to be covered by local authorities involved in the bushmeat trade. Other illegal activities reported are the illegal artisanal diamond exploitation along the rivers as well as illegal fishing activities within the property. ECOFAC also notes that real management problems remain in the property, which can not be handled by the project. ECOFAC informed the World Heritage Centre that an aerial wildlife survey of the entire northern region is planned in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society and is scheduled to take place in May-June 2005.  

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decisions 28 COM 15.1, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004), and 25 COM VIII.3, adopted at its 25th session (Helsinki, 2001),

3. Requests the Chairperson of the Committee and the Director of the World Heritage Centre to transmit on behalf of the Committee their heartfelt condolences to the families of the game scouts who lost their lives in the antipoaching activities to protect the values of the property;

4. Regrets that the monitoring mission to the property could not take place due to the security situation in the region and reiterates its request for the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to undertake this joint mission as soon as the security situation allows;

5. Commends the European Union for its ongoing efforts to conserve the property and the natural resources in the areas adjacent to the property, in particular the development and implementation of the anti-poaching strategy;

6. Urges IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to cooperate closely with the “Conservation et Utilisation rationelle des ecosystems forestières de l’Afrique centrale” (ECOFAC) programme as well as with other organisations active in the region to get more details on the state of conservation of the property and on the urgent measures to be implemented in order to ensure the recovery of the property;

7. Further urges the State Party of Central African Republic to establish a dialogue with the Governments of Sudan and Chad in order to prevent transborder poaching activities, as requested by the Committee at its 25th session, and to provide adequate means to the game scouts to combat poaching;

8. Requests the State Party to submit a report by 1 February 2006 on the state of conservation of the property, in particular indicating the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the joint 2001 UNESCO/IUCN mission, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

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

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-05/29.COM/7A and WHC-05/29.COM/7A.Add),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: