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

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


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Poaching/Hunting; Armed conflict; Civil unrest.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

Since the late ‘80s Bodo militants have restricted staff movements to effectively protect Manas. The Head of IUCN’s Protected Areas Programme for Asia informed a panel at the IUCN Asia Pacific meeting held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in December 2003, that the Government of India and the Bodo people had signed an agreement on 6 December. Other unconfirmed reports received in December 2003 indicated that the Governments of India and Bhutan were taking consolidated actions to curtail militancy in order to security conditions for conservation action in and around the transborder Manas ecosystem.


By letter of 31 October 2003, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) requested authorization for changes in the use of funds available for the rehabilitation of Manas. The Chief Warden of Manas had proposed that the US$20,000 remaining unspent from the US$165,000 provided so far, and originally foreseen for buying two fiber-glass boats and 400 patrolling gears and for setting up an Internet facility be instead used for buying two wooden, mechanized boats with Kirloskar engines and camp equipment like mattresses, torches, first-aid kits, lanterns etc. After obtaining IUCN’s consent, the Centre agreed to these changes.


In the same letter the Ministry had informed the Centre that it wishes to avail itself of the additional US$70,000 from the Fund to fully use the US$ 235,000 that the 1997 Bureau had agreed to grant, in principle, for the rehabilitation of Manas. The State Party wishes to use the US$70,000 for the construction of three bridges at selected locations distributed throughout Manas. IUCN, based on recommendations of its visit to the property in early 2002 suggested that the US$70,000 is better spent on the preparation of a management plan, linked to an operational plan, and for meeting needs of a number of other priorities identified by the 2002 mission e.g. training and capacity building, infrastructure and communications development, conservation education, interpretation and research. The Centre transmitted IUCN suggestions to MOEF and is awaiting a response.


At its last session the Committee noted that the Centre and MOEF were working with UN Foundation (UNF) to raise finances for a World Heritage Biodiversity Programme for India (WHBPI) and requested that the State Party submit a progress report to the Centre, by 1 February 2004. Although no report from the State Party has been received thus far on this subject, UNF informed the Centre, MOEF and other partners on 8 April 2004, that its Board had approved a US$5 million partnership for financing WHBPI. UNF will provide US$2.5 million subject to the Centre, MOEF and others co-operating with UNF mobilizing the other US$2.5 million from third party donors. WHBPI includes several activities benefiting staff and local communities of four of the five World Natural Heritage properties of India, including Manas.


The Centre has been working with UNF to contact and negotiate with other Foundations established by Indian expatriate communities in the US and interest them to contribute to World Heritage conservation. Currently the America India Foundation (AIF) and the Suri Saigal Foundation (SSF) have pledged to mobilize about US$1.5 million to match UNF contributions to WHBPI partnership. The Ford Foundation, through its South Asia Office in New Delhi is studying the possibility to contribute US$400,000 to match an equivalent amount from UNF. All these Foundations wish that their contributions be used to improve livelihood options for communities resident in and around World Heritage properties. UNF’s core contributions of US$2.5 million on the other hand can be used for activities directly benefiting field staff and management capacity building. The Centre, UNF, MOEF and other partners are discussing the feasibility of convening a meeting during May-June 2004 at UNESCO, Paris, to discuss these and other options for financing WHBPI and take steps to begin implementation of site-specific conservation activities in and around Manas as quickly as possible. The outcome of these discussions will be reported at the time of the 28th session of the Committee.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15A.10

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Congratulates the State Party and welcomes its commitment to co-operate with national and international partners to raise financing for World Heritage conservation in India;

2. Commends the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and its partners for committing financial support for World Heritage conservation in India including support to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary;

3. Recommends the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to fully co-operate with the State Party, UNF and other national and international partners to begin activities benefiting Manas Wildlife Sanctuary as soon as possible;

4. Requests the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in co-operation with the State Party to undertake a mission to the property to assess the security situation and ecological conditions and submit recommendations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 29th session in 2005;

5. Decides to retain Manas Wildlife Sanctuary on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-04/28.COM/15A Rev),

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