1.         Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1997-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

 

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1761

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1761

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1761

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2012)
Total amount approved: USD 225,488
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

May 2001 and April 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring missions. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

The State Party has not submitted a state of conservation report on the property in response to the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013).  Note must be taken of the very difficult situation currently affecting the Central African Republic since the last session, with an outbreak of violence and internal conflicts. These internal difficulties probably account for the absence of response. Due to this situation, the organization of a workshop to elaborate an emergency action plan has not been possible.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The lack of information hinders the correct assessment of the evolution of the state of conservation of the property. However, IUCN has received information from groups present at the site recently, and over preceding years. This information indicates that the state of the property has further degraded since the last report submitted to the Committee, with an increase of illegal activities such as gold panning, mining, illegal grazing, and large-scale poaching carried out all year round, with foreign and heavily armed poachers installed in situ.

It should be recalled that at the 35th session of the Committee (UNESCO, 2011), the World Heritage Centre and IUCN considered “that it would seem that criterion (x) is called into question because of the sharp decline in the wealth of biodiversity present at the time of inscription, and the disappearance of almost all key species of large mammals, due to poaching and competition with transhumant cattle that have invaded a large part of the property. Criterion (ix) is also questionable as the effective disappearance of most big game key species questions the representativeness of the property and the natural ecological processes. Moreover, the growing presence of transhumant cattle in the Park, as well as petroleum prospecting and mining activity within the property, greatly comprise its integrity”.

It must also be recalled that the Committee, at its 37th session, noted with concern that the potential for regeneration of the wildlife population from the remaining pockets of biodiversity adjacent to the property, which are very fragile, could rapidly disappear if security of the region and an effective control of poaching is not guaranteed. The workshop intended to prepare an emergency plan based on the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009) has not yet been held.

It is recommended that the Committee regret that the State Party has not submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, and expresses its strong concern as to the dangers being faced by the property and which have further worsened since its last session, and the fact that to date no emergency plan has been prepared.

With respect to the concerns expressed by the Committee at its 35th session regarding the important degradation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and the fact that as the only information received since the last session of the Committee indicates a deterioration of the situation, the property appears to answer to conditions for its withdrawal from the World Heritage List. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, as soon as the security situation allows, to assess whether the OUV of the property has been definitively lost and if a deletion from the World Heritage List should be envisaged by the Committee, in accordance with the procedure foreseen in Chapter IV.C of the Operational Guidelines.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7A.34

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.1, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Regrets the degradation of the security situation in the Central African Republic marked by an outbreak of violence and internal conflicts;
  4. Reiterates its utmost concern regarding the likely disappearance of most of the flagship species of large mammals in the property, due to poaching and the impact of transhumant cattle, and expresses its deep concern as regards the further deterioration of the situation since its last session;
  5. Also expresses its continuing concern that the property may lose its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) which may lead to its deletion from the World Heritage List, in conformity with Paragraph 176 d) and Chapter IV.C of the Operational Guidelines and requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission as soon as the security situation permits, to assess whether there remain perspectives for regeneration of the characteristics of the property that justify its OUV;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to organize a workshop to assess the feasibility of the restoration of the OUV of the property in the current conditions of security and based on these conclusions, the eventual preparation of an emergency action plan in accordance with the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009);
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a progress report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the current state of conservation of the property and the perspectives of regeneration of the characteristics of the property that justify its OUV, as well as the conditions of integrity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  8. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring mechanism to this property;
  9. Decides to retain Manovo Gounda St. Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.