State of Conservation (SOC)
Ichkeul National Park (2000)
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; March 2000: joint IUCN / RAMSAR mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Construction of dams;
- Air pollution
Current conservation issues
IUCN has informed the Centre that rainfall during the winter of 1999 and the spring of 2000 in the Ichkeul area has been below average and hence salinity levels in the Lake have increased once again. Following two winters of adequate rainfall that allowed recovery of the freshwater vegetation, this reversal in rainfall patterns has led to a renewed increase in the salinity of Lake waters that prevailed in the area in 1997 and benefits of the restoration of the Lake achieved during the last two years are in danger of being lost. Despite the fact that such unpredictable climate-induced reversals will happen in the future as well, IUCN believes and reiterates the recommendations of the mission to the site undertaken in March 2000 by a team comprising representatives from IUCN, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and other international and regional orgnaisations:
· Updating of the integrated management plan for the site, with the involvement of all concerned interest groups. This plan should outline an action plan to address key threats to the Park and ensure that resources are made available to implement this plan;
· Implementation of an effective institutional arrangement for the management of the Park, which has strong support at all levels and a clear mandate for managing the site;
· Urgent attention to the priority issues identified by the mission team, including: (a) restoration of the Joumine Marsh; (b) problems caused by siltation of the lake; and (c) the possibility of releasing the water in the immediate future;
· Development of a clear and focused monitoring and assessment programme that would supply data to all concerned groups and the scientific community in an efficient and open manner; and
· Development of a clear timetable of activities leading to measurable improvements of the Lake and surrounding marshes within the next five years.
The State Party has not submitted its report, as requested by the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau, describing its response to the conclusions and recommendations of the March 2000 mission. A State Party representative is expected to deliver a presentation at the Centre/IUCN workshop on the "Role of World Heritage in Danger Listing in Promoting International Co-operation for the Conservation of World Natural Heritage", in Amman, Jordan, during 6-7 October 2000. Centre and IUCN staff who will participate in the workshop will discuss the findings of the March 2000 mission with the Tunisian representative and obtain his views on the mission's conclusions and recommendations.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
VIII.13 Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia)
The Committee was informed that following two winters of adequate rainfall that allowed recovery of the freshwater vegetation, reversal in rainfall patterns has led to a renewed increase in the salinity of Lake waters, resembling levels that prevailed in the area in 1997 and as such, the benefits of the restoration of the Lake achieved during the last two years are in danger of being lost. Such unpredictable, climate-induced reversals are likely to happen in the future. Nevertheless, the Committee stressed the need to fully implement the recommendations of a mission to the site undertaken in March 2000 by a team comprising representatives from IUCN, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat and other international and regional organisations described in document WHC-2000/CONF.204/9. A representative of the State Party who participated at the Centre/IUCN Workshop in Amman, Jordan from 6 to 7 October 2000, also emphasised the importance of implementing the recommendations of the March 2000 mission team.
The Committee recommended that the State Party take all necessary steps to implement, as expeditiously as possible, the recommendations of the mission team that visited the site in March 2000. The Committee highlighted, in particular, the importance of the development of a clear timetable of activities leading to measurable improvements of the Lake and surrounding marshes within the next five years. The Committee requested the Centre to contact the State Party once again to obtain a formal written response to the recommendations proposed by the mission team that visited the site in March 2000. The Committee retained this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The Committee may wish to review new information that may be available at the time of its session and take necessary decisions and recommend appropriate actions to the consideration of the State Party, advisory Bodies and the Centre.
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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”).