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-present

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

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1993

At its last session, the Committee was informed that the damage caused by the invasion of this site by militants belonging to the Bodo tribe in Assam was estimated to be about US$ 1.6 million and that although the Park infrastructure had suffered considerable damage, habitats in the inaccessible parts of the Sanctuary appeared to be intact. The Committee noted that the conditions for introducing normal management and administration regimes for the site may be improving but was nevertheless concerned by the information reported by the representative of IUCN that the area is still not completely free from encroachments by militants belonging to the Bodo tribe and that illegal cultivation was spreading into parts of the Sanctuary. Furthermore, the Committee also noted with regret that a full assessment of the damage to the site has not been made and that the Indian authorities have not yet provided a formal written report on the state of conservation of Manas, despite repeated requests from Committee since 1989. Concurring with the view of IUCN that the Sanctuary continues to be in danger of losing the values for which it was granted World Heritage status, the Committee, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph (4), of the Convention, included the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in the List of World Heritage in Danger. As recommended by the Committee, the Centre has informed the Indian authorities of this decision and reiterated the Committee's request for a comprehensive report providing a full assessment of the damage to the site and the remedial measures being taken.

During a meeting with a representative of the Additional Director for Wildlife, in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in New Delhi, on 8 May 1993, a member of the Centre was informed that the Ministry is doing all within its powers to obtain a report from the State authorities in Assam. In India, wildlife and parks come under the jurisdiction of State authorities and a report on the state of conservation of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary will therefore have to be compiled by the competent authorities in the State of Assam. The representative of the Additional Director for Wildlife regretted the delay in providing a report but expressed the hope that the State authorities may provide a report this year given the considerable improvement in the relationship between State authorities and representatives of the Bodo tribe, and increasing success in the negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Assam. In the event such a report is received by the Centre before the meeting of the Bureau, its findings will be submitted to the Bureau at the time of its seventeenth session.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1993

The Bureau recalled that the Committee, at its sixteenth session, was informed that the damage caused by the invasion of this site by militants belonging to the Bodo tribe in Assam was estimated to be about US$1.6 million and that although the Park's infrastructure had suffered considerable damage, habitats in the inaccessible parts of the Sanctuary appeared to be intact.

Concerned by the information reported by the Representative of IUCN that the area is still not completely free from encroachments by militants belonging to the Bodo tribe, and that illegal cultivation was spreading into parts of the Sanctuary, the Committee at its last session, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph (4), of the Convention, included the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau was informed that the Centre had drawn the attention of the Indian authorities to the fact that they have not yet provided a formal written report on the state of conservation of Manas, despite repeated requests from the Committee since 1989, and had reiterated the Committee's request for a comprehensive report providing full assessment of the damage to the site and remedial measures that are being taken. Noting that the Indian authorities have not yet provided the report requested by the Committee, the Bureau asked the Centre to continue its efforts to obtain such a report for submission to the seventeenth session of the Committee.

A formal written response to these inquiries has not been provided, however, IUCN will report on further information it has received.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 17 BUR VIII.2

The Bureau recalled that the Committee, at its last session, was informed that the damage caused by the invasion of this site by militants belonging to the Bodo tribe in Assam was estimated to be about US$1.6 million and that although the Park infrastructure had suffered considerable damage, habitats in the inaccessible parts of the Sanctuary appeared to be intact. Concerned by the information reported by the Representative of IUCN that the area is still not completely free from encroachments by militants belonging to the Bodo tribe, and that illegal cultivation was spreading into parts of the Sanctuary, the Committee at its last session, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph (4), of the Convention, included the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau was informed that the Centre had drawn the attention of the Indian authorities to the fact that they have not yet provided a formal written report on the state of conservation of Manas, despite repeated requests from the Committee since 1989, and had reiterated the Committee's request for a comprehensive report providing a full assessment of the damage to the site and remedial measures that are being taken. Noting that the Indian authorities have not yet provided the report requested by the Committee, the Bureau asked the Centre to continue its efforts to obtain such a report for submission to the seventeenth session of the Committee.

Decision Adopted: 17 COM X

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)

The Committee recalled that the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its sixteenth session in 1992 due to threats caused by the encroachment of the Bodo tribe. No response had been received from the Government of India to several letters transmitting the Committee's previous requests for information since 1990. The Director of the World Heritage Centre informed the Committee furthermore that a mission to India was undertaken by a staff member of the Centre to contact the authorities directly. The Committee had an extensive discussion on the action to be taken, including the possibility of delisting the site. Several delegates voiced their concerns about the failure of the Government of India to respond to the Committee's request. However, the present situation makes a site mission impossible. The Committee agreed to take further steps: (i) to request the Director­-General of UNESCO to express, by letter to the Prime Minister of India, the Committee's concern; and ii) that other diplomatic channels be used to transmit the Committee's concerns about the continuing threats to Park values by the invasion of the Bodo tribe, as well as subsequent encroachments and poaching activities.