State of Conservation (SOC)
Simien National Park (1999)
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:233,171USD
|1996||Technical workshop on the conservation of Simien National Park||30,000 USD|
|1991||Reconstruction of infrastructure and purchase of equipment for ...||50,000 USD|
|1987||Contribution to the publication costs of the management plan for ...||3,500 USD|
|1982||Expert service and financial contribution for a seminar/workshop ...||21,000 USD|
|1982||In situ training of wardens of Simien National Park||9,691 USD|
|1981||Equipment for Simien National Park||113,450 USD|
|1979||Joint mission to prepare a technical cooperation request for ...||5,530 USD|
|1978||Simien: request for equipment and specialists services||0 USD|
November 1996: technical mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Presence of armed groups
- Loss of biodiversity
- Encroachment at the borders of the site
- Road construction
Current conservation issues
Summary of previous deliberations:
Twenty-second session of the Committee – paragraph number VII.6 Twenty-third session of the Bureau – paragraph number IV.5.
New information: The Centre has yet to receive a response from the State Party to the letter transmitting the observations and recommendations of the twenty-third session of the Bureau (5 – 10 July 1999). However, IUCN requested to consult with relevant Ethiopian authorities in order to improve communications between UNESCO and the Regional authorities in Bahir Dar, who disagreed with the decision of the twentieth session of the Committee (Merida, Mexico, 1996) to include Simen in the List of World Heritage in Danger. IUCN has not yet received any response to its requests. The complete lack of any written response from the State Party to repeated communications from the Bureau and the Committee is a continuing constraint to updating information on the state of conservation of this property and for planning measures for its rehabilitation.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
X.6 Simen National Park (Ethiopia)
The Committee noted with concern that the Centre has not yet received a response from the State Party to the letter transmitting the observations and recommendations of the twenty-third session of the Bureau (5 - 10 July 1999). IUCN had requested to consult with relevant authorities, particularly those in Bahir Dar, who disagreed with the decision of the twentieth session of the Committee (Merida, Mexico, 1996) to include Simen in the List of World Heritage in Danger. IUCN has not yet received any response to its requests in this regard. The lack of any written response from the State Party to repeated communications from the Bureau and the Committee had been a continuing constraint to updating information on the state of conservation of this property and for planning measures for its rehabilitation.
In a letter dated 28 October 1999 to the Director of the Centre, the Secretary General of the Ethiopian National Agency for UNESCO has:
- Thanked the Centre for the unreserved concern and efforts to rehabilitate Simen;
- Pointed out that the Regional Government has rehabilitated the site and the number of Waliya Ibex has increased to 550 and that the numbers of other animals are on the rise;
- Informed the Centre that studies are underway for finding solutions to settlements around the Park and that 75% of the work has been completed and that analyses will be finalised and the results and recommendations made available soon; and
- Requested that UNESCO consider removing the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger, given the high priority assigned to its conservation by the Regional authorities.
During a meeting between the Centre and a staff member of the UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa it was agreed that a site visit may be planned by a UNESCO team comprising staff from the Addis Ababa Office and the Centre to explain to the regional authorities the significance of the inclusion of Simen in the List of World Heritage in Danger and possible ways in which the Committee could assist in the rehabilitation efforts in and around Simen.
The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee recommended that the Chairperson undertake a mission to Ethiopia to meet relevant national and regional authorities and to re-establish a basis for regular exchange of formal communications between the State Party and the Committee, Centre and IUCN for monitoring the state of conservation of the property and mitigating threats to its integrity. The Committee requested that the Centre consult with the Permanent Delegation of Ethiopia to UNESCO as well as the UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa to study the need for a UNESCO mission to the Bahir Dar Region and the site in order to prepare the work and negotiations to be undertaken by the Chairperson of the Committee.
The Committee may wish to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee may recommend that the Chairperson of the Committee undertake a mission to Ethiopia in order to meet with relevant national and regional authorities and to re-establish a basis for regular exchange of formal communications between the State Party and the Committee, Centre and IUCN for monitoring the state of conservation of the property and mitigating threats to its integrity.
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Detailed List of SOC reports
Loss of biodiversity
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 1996
Threats to the Site:
The World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the Simien National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to evidence of recent deterioration of the population of the Walia ibex, which have moved out of the park due to human presence and to cultivation of considerable areas of the Park. Other large mammals characteristic of the site, such as the bushbuck and the bushpig have become extremely rare.
Road construction and human population increase within the site represent further threats to the values of the Park, which was one of the first sites to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978.
The decision to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger had however, not met the approval of the regional authorities in Bahir Dar, where the site is located. Efforts are thus being made by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Ethiopia and the UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa to provide more information to the regional authorities on the meaning and implications of the Committee's decision and encourage them to view it in a positive light.
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”).