State of Conservation (SOC)
Ichkeul 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: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|
January 1997: RAMSAR mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Construction of dams;
- Air pollution
Current conservation issues
Summary of previous deliberations:
Twenty-second session of the Committee – paragraph number VII.11. Twenty-third session of the Bureau – paragraph number IV.10
New information: At its twenty-third session in July 1999, the Bureau agreed with the recommendations of a joint IUCN/Ramsar/Centre mission to the site, undertaken in February 1999, in accordance with the wish of Bureau and the Committee expressed at their respective sessions in 1998. The Bureau welcomed the suggestion of the mission team that the State Party include, in its threat mitigation status report to the twenty-third session of the Committee, definitions of current and expected values for a set of indicators, e.g. water salinity levels, counts of selected numbers of endangered species of birds, the availability of preferred food plants etc., that could provide the basis for a 5-year monitoring programme for the implementation of the rehabilitation plan from 2000 to 2004. The State Party has submitted its threat mitigation status report via its letter dated 14 September 1999. The report has been transmitted to IUCN for review and comment. The threat mitigation status report will be presented to the Committee as document WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.9.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
X.11 Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
The Committee was informed that the Bureau, at its twenty-third ordinary session in July 1999, agreed with the recommendations of a joint IUCN/Ramsar/Centre mission to the site, undertaken in February 1999, in accordance with the wish of Bureau and the Committee expressed at their respective sessions in 1998. The Bureau had welcomed the suggestion of the mission team that the State Party include, in its threat mitigation status report to the twenty-third session of the Committee, definitions of current and expected values for a set of indicators, e.g. water salinity levels, counts of selected numbers of endangered species of birds, the availability of preferred food plants etc., that could provide the basis for a 5-year monitoring programme for the implementation of the rehabilitation plan from 2000 to 2004. The Committee took note of the threat mitigation status report submitted by the State Party in document WHC-99/CONF.209/INF.9. As suggested by the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau, and in response to the suggestions made by IUCN during the deliberations of the Committee, the representative of the State Party pointed out that the threat mitigation report has defined some possible parameters that could be useful in monitoring the success of restoration efforts. However, he was willing to discuss with IUCN to mutually agree upon a final set of indicative parameters and to set target values of those parameters that the 5- year restoration effort may endeavour to reach. He pointed out the positive progress that had taken place lately and which had not been reflected in the report. He also stressed his Government's commitment to consider the requirements for Ichkeul Lake during the planning of the utilisation of the water from the Sidi E Barrak dam.
The Delegate of Morocco noted the difficulties in reverting to the "original ecological conditions" of the Ichkeul Lake which restoration efforts may wish to achieve, particularly in light of the crucial rôle that the waters of the Lake play in meeting several development needs of the surrounding areas. The Representative of IUCN, while noting the statement of the Delegate of Morocco, stressed the need to set rigorous targets for parameters that are to be used for monitoring the success in restoration efforts implemented by the State Party. IUCN also called for a specific institutional strategy to coordinate the conservation of Ichkeul and the sustainable use of its water resources.
The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee invited the State Party, the Centre and IUCN to discuss the threat mitigation report in detail and agree on a set of parameters, frequency of monitoring and the target range of values for each of the selected parameters that could be considered as success of restoration efforts at the end of the 5-year monitoring programme. The Committee invited the Centre and IUCN to report on the outcome of their discussions with the State Party to the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau in mid-2000. In addition, the Committee invited the State Party to submit its first progress report of the 5-year monitoring cycle to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee at the end of the year 2000.
The Committee may wish to retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee may examine the threat mitigation status report submitted by the State Party in the light of IUCN comments at the time of its twenty-third session and make additional recommendations for setting up a 5-year (2000 to 2004) monitoring programme for Ichkeul as appropriate.
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Detailed List of SOC reports
Excessive salinity of the water
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”).