State of Conservation (SOC)
Ichkeul National Park (1996)
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:90,000USD
|1991||Consultancy, equipment, design and construction costs for a ...||40,000 USD|
|1989||Financial contribution to the preparation of exhibits for the ...||20,000 USD|
|1981||Study on Ichkeul National Park||30,000 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Construction of dams;
- Air pollution
Current conservation issues
The site was included on the World Heritage List in 1980. IUCN informed the Bureau that it will present a report at the extraordinary session of the Bureau on threats to the site which was prepared in cooperation with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat.
The Bureau may wish to examine the report that IUCN will present during its session and take the appropriate action thereupon.
Link to the decision
VII. 36 Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
The Committee recalled that the site was included on the World Heritage List in 1980 and took note of the report presented by IUCN on threats to the site which was prepared in cooperation with the Ramsar Convention Secretariat. The report confirmed that the construction of dams had a devastating impact on the wetland values of Ichkeul National Park. The significant adverse environmental impact of the construction of two dams limiting the freshwater flow to the area was also described in a recent report by the Tunisian Ministry of the Environment. It also confirmed that the Park no longer supports the large migrating bird populations that it used to and the salinity of the lake and marshes has dramatically increased. In addition, structural problems remain, as the Park lacks sufficient infrastructure, budget and management.
The Committee was informed that the Bureau at its twentieth extraordinary session recalled debates held concerning inclusion of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger beginning in 1985 and considered the possibility of an eventual deletion of this property from the World Heritage List. The Bureau discussed if a rehabilitation of the site is at all possible and requested the Secretariat to write immediately to the Tunisian authorities to (a) inform them about the Bureau's concerns, (b) to inform them about the Bureau's recommendation to include the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and (c) to inform them of the possible deletion of Lake Ichkeul from the World Heritage List if the integrity of the site is lost.
The Secretariat informed the Committee that the Tunisian authorities responded to the Secretariat's letter by fax of 3 December 1996 from the Minister for the Environment. He indicated that the situation had evolved since 1994 and that in 1995/96 rainfall has been high and that the salinity of the Lake was around 30grams/litre. He concluded that the Ichkeul ecosystem is not irreversibly lost and that the Committee should not consider a declassification of the site. The Committee took note of the information provided by the State Party.
The Committee decided to: (a) inscribe Ichkeul National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger; (b) request the authorities to provide a programme of anticipated corrective measures to reverse the degradation of the site, and (c) inform the authorities of the possibilities of the deletion of the property from the World Heritage List if rehabilitation of the site would not be possible.
Link to the decision
VII.4 The Committee at its twentieth session examined the state of conservation reports contained in Working Document WHC-96/CONF.201/7B, and additional information provided in Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.23 and decided to include the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
Simen National Park (Ethiopia)
Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras)
Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
Garamba National Park (Zaire)
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
SOC Reports2010 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1989 1987 1986 1985
Detailed List of SOC reports
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 1996 -2006
Threats to the Site:
The Park was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger during the 20th session of the Committee (1996) as a result of significant deterioration in the characteristics for which the site was inscribed.
The construction of three dams on rivers supplying Lake Ichkeul and its marshes has cut off almost all inflow of fresh water, causing a destructive increase in the salinity of the lake and marshes.
Reed beds, sedges and other fresh-water plant species have been replaced by halophytic plants, with a consequent sharp reduction in the migratory bird populations dependent on the habitat the lake formerly provided. According to IUCN, all reed-dependent species such as purple heron, purple gallinule and reed warblers have disappeared.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).