1.         Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania) (C/N 39bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (iv)(vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1984-1989

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1979-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 255,139
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

IUCN mission 21-24 April 1986

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Increased human pastoral population density; Immigration of agricultural communities; Poaching; Spread of invasive species; Tourism pressure.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The World Heritage Centre received a report from the State Party dated 20 January 2005 as requested by the 26th session of the Committee, which was transmitted to IUCN for its comments. 

The State Party’s report addressed the request of the Committee on the cultivation and livestock use within the property, acknowledging that persistent cultivation remains the most serious land use conflict within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) and recommending a range of measures agreed with the local communities, village governments and traditional leaders.  The State Party asserts that the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCA) has continued to stop immigrants from entering and those within from cultivating.  Negotiations for an alternative area for agriculture and relocation of immigrants outside the NCA are still ongoing.  It is hoped that the authority in collaboration with community leaders will relocate up to 200 households to an appropriate locality once an agreement is reached although no clear timeframe is provided.  NCA management itself will also be relocated outside the park to minimize human pressure in the area.

In relation to management issues, the report stated that the existing Management Plan is currently under review with the first and second phase of the review having been conducted in January and February 2005 respectively.  These two phases include buffer zone delineation of the areas surrounding the NCA.  The report notes that a boundary resurvey has been completed and the final work is with the Ministry of Lands for the issuing of the title deed. 

In regard to tourism pressure, the State Party reported that the NCAA in collaboration with Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and others is currently conducting an environmental impact assessment for the vehicle congestion in the crater, a study for which the World Heritage Fund provided US$ 10,000 in 2001.  The results of the assessment will be used by NCAA to determine the sustainable use level of the crater.  In the meantime visits to the crater are reduced to half a day and vehicle admission fees are raised with 60%.  The State Party further reported that the NCA has diversified tourism activities by promoting walking safaris and cultural tourism to archaeological properties in order to minimize the number of vehicles in the crater.  The involvement of the local community and poverty alleviation efforts currently revolve around walking safaris.  Income accrued is divided between the NCAA and the local communities. 

The State Party report outlined future plans to improve the status of the NCA by restructuring the NCAA.  For the first time the NCAA will have a Corporate Plan, a new Scheme of Service and a new Organization Structure.  The authority is also to undertake a review of Ngorongoro Ordinance CAP 413 of 1959 scheduled to take place during the next financial year.  Other commitments relate to the efforts of NCAA to set aside funds to obtain and develop alternative areas outside the NCA that will be used to relocate immigrants and those who cannot afford to sustain their lives as pastoralists.

NCAA is undertaking periodic monitoring of flora and fauna resources, the World Heritage Centre notes though that no reference is made in the report to the declining population of Wildebeest and other plains ungulates.  These populations have earlier been subject to a study upon the request of NCAA, published in 2002: Ngorongoro Crater Ungulate Study 1996-1999, Final Report.  No mention is made in the State Party’s report of the implementation of the reports recommendations as the establishment of a multidisciplinary scientific committee; the commissioning of a hydrological survey of the whole NCA; implementation of an ecological burning programme; the mitigation of ecologically unacceptable roadwork in the Crater; the development of a comprehensive road plan subject to an EIA and supervision of tourism in the Crater (see 26 COM 21(b).22). 

The World Heritage Centre informs that funding has been provided from the World Heritage Fund for an amount of US$ 19,294 to prepare a nomination file and integrated Management Plan for Ngorongoro as a mixed property, including cultural criteria because of its rich archaeological and palaeontological heritage. 

The World Heritage Centre notes that the NCA General Management Plan, established in 1996 was foreseen to guide the management during five to ten years for which reason a revision of the total plan is recommended.

IUCN received information from the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) noting that tourism and pastoralist use of the Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding area has increased dramatically over the last decade, and is currently having a direct impact on the property.

The report indicates that despite concerted efforts over the past decades lack of tourism management and illegal encroachment still persist within the World Heritage property.  IUCN acknowledges its involvement in Ngorongoro since the 1950’s and recognizes the challenges involved in multiple land use systems in Africa and specifically the NCA as a location of one of the earliest attempts to integrate human use with conservation values in an African conservation area and commends the efforts of the Tanzanian authorities (Ngorongoro Conservation Area) over the past years to improve the status of the property.  The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are concerned that the State Party has not adequately addressed a number of issues as per the request of the 26th session of the Committee including the invasive species problem within the wheat fields around Karatu.  An appropriate, consultative and detailed environmental impact assessment of all future developments in the area needs to be undertaken and the recommendations of existing ones implemented.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies

N/A

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.1

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15A.6, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party of United Republic of Tanzania for positive actions undertaken for the conservation and protection of the property; particularly in redressing tourism pressure, diversifying tourist activities, improving the livelihoods of the local pastoralists and moving to restructure the organization of the NCAA, introducing a new scheme of service and improving the management of the area;

4. Requests the State Party to finalize plans in addressing the issue of the resident pastoralist population and curtailing the immigrant agricultural population, and reviewing the general management plan, the Ngorongoro ordinance and the corporate plan;

5. Further requests the State Party to provide information on progress made in controlling heavy tourist pressure within the crater, including the results of the Vehicle Congestion Assessment;

6. Reiterates its earlier request at its 26th session (Budapest, 2002) that the State Party report on efforts to control the invasive weed "Mexican poppy" - Argemone mexicana (Argemona mexicana) within the crater;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2006, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including the issues indicated above, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).