1.         Chitwan National Park (Nepal) (N 284)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1984

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/284/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1989)
Total amount approved: USD 80,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/284/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

December 2002: IUCN monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/284/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

Following the decision of the 26th session of the Committee, and the invitation of the State Party, IUCN carried out a monitoring mission to the site from 16 to 20 December 2002.

The IUCN mission found a considerable increase in poaching of rhinos in recent years. The mission report notes that 27 dead rhinos had been found from mid-July to mid-December 2002. The report stated that the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MFSC) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) were aware of this critical situation, and had expressed their commitment to address the problem.

The mission noted habitat degradation through the spread of invasive species such as water hyacinth, Mikenia species, tall grasses, etc. Habitat management is thus appropriately ranked as Priority 1 in the current Management Plan of the National Park (2001-2005). The mission also raised its concern over the pollution in the Narayani River induced by a number of adjacent industries.

The mission was informed that the Kasra Bridge on the Rapti River was built without carrying out the environmental impact assessment (EIA) that had been requested by the 26th session of the Committee. IUCN noted that the Department of National Parks and Wildlife had registered its protests against this project, funded by the Japanese Debt Relief Fund (DRF), The World Bank (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and His Majesty Government of Nepal (HMGN). The total cost of the bridge was US$ 1.62 million. The 3.8 km link road to the existing public right of way from Dhurbhaghat to Bankatta was also built without an EIA. However, due to the controversy over these projects, neither the link road nor the bridge have been opened for use yet. The mission noted that the road is already in a bad condition due to heavy floods and erosion caused by the Rapti River.

In relation to the plan to build a 33kV transmission line from Jagatpur to Madi, the mission noted that the route for this development had still not been decided and an EIA was to be carried out. The IUCN mission recommended that the transmission line should not cross the National Park at any point, or if such a crossing is absolutely essential, then the crossing of the transmission lines within the Park, restricted to the least possible distance, should be built underground. IUCN emphasized that an EIA of this project is essential before it starts.

The mission was informed that the project to erect a causeway on the Reu River has currently been held up, as the Government did not approve funds for this development.

The full text of the report of the IUCN mission is available, in English only, upon request. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.9

The World Heritage Committee [5],

1. Expresses its serious concerns over the failure to carry out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the lack of consultations with the World Heritage Centre or IUCN in the design and implementation of the Kasra Bridge Project and the link road from Durbhagat to Bankatta, despite the protests of the national authority responsible for the property, namely the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation;

2. Requests that the Director of the World Heritage Centre write to the highest officials of the concerned bi- and multilateral funding agencies, namely the Japanese Debt Relief Fund, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank as well as to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Development Co-operation in the State Party, transmitting the Committee's displeasure on this matter and urging that the three donor agencies;

3. Urge the State Party and the three donor agencies to provide information to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 on why EIAs were not undertaken for the two projects and how decisions to finance projects without EIAs were made in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004;

4. Invites the State Party to provide a detailed work plan to implement recommendations outlined in the IUCN monitoring mission report and to regularly report progress on the implementation of those measures to the Committee;  

5. Requests the World Heritage Centre to co-operate with the the State Party in mobilizing international assistance, from the World Heritage Fund as well as other partners and donors, to assist in the conservation of the property;

6. Recommends that the State Party contact the IUCN Species Survival Commission (Invasive Species Specialist Group) to explore best solutions for the control of invasive species.

[5]  Decision adopted without discussion