Taï National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 195)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1982
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/195/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 139,995
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Artisanal gold mining
- Agricultural encroachment (issue resolved)
- Impacts of the post-electoral crisis (issue resolved)
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
On 11 November 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/documents/, which reports the following:
- Poaching continues to be a threat in 2016 but annual ecological surveys indicate relatively stable populations of key wildlife since 2014, notably elephant (171), chimpanzee (406), duiker and monkey;
- Satellite image data from January 2015 for Taï National Park showed 97.7% rainforest coverage;
- The number of illegal activities detected decreased between 2014 and 2015, from 1.59 to 0.48 cases/km respectively, possibly due to greater stakeholder involvement in the management of the property and awareness campaigns conducted. However, poaching increased in 2016 following the lifting of the ban on the consumption of bushmeat;
- An increase in the number of patrols within the property and sensitization efforts by the regional consultation committee have led to significant declines in gold mining from 0.40 to 0.01 cases/km in 2014 and 2016 respectively, and closure of 14 sites in the Nawa region. There are plans to acquire drones in the future to further improve surveillance operations;
- An operational strategy is being implemented to improve the monitoring of poaching and other illegal activities, which includes the use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), satellite imagery, an information network, annual ecological monitoring data collection, and focusing on vulnerable areas;
- The draft decree for the extension of the park boundaries to include N’zo Wildlife Reserve has been transmitted to the Secretariat of the Government. The geo-referenced information with the new park boundaries will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as the decree has been signed.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
The State Party’s progress towards controlling and eliminating gold mining through the support of the regional consultation committee and the reported significant decrease in recorded cases and the closure of detected sites are welcomed. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue its efforts towards eliminating gold mining from within the property.
The increased patrol efforts to monitor poaching and other illegal activities within the property and the implementation of an operational strategy using multiple tools and approaches are welcomed. However, it is of concern that these illegal activities continue to pose major threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. Although the reported stabilization of key wildlife is noted, a further breakdown by species of data on monkeys and duikers is required. Of particular concern is the reported lifting of the ban on bushmeat consumption that has led to an increase in poaching in 2016. This requires urgent intervention by the State Party in order to address local subsistence hunting and commercial illegal trade in bushmeat, including at the level of hunters, traders and consumers. An action plan is required to identify alternative economic incentives and raise awareness in conjunction with increased patrols and law enforcement.
It is regrettable that the decree for the extension of the national park has still not been signed and that therefore a request for a boundary modification has not been submitted. Recalling that some of the needs to align the property with the national park were for clear demarcation and management, this is becoming a pressing outstanding issue.
Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.20
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.89, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
- Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party towards controlling and reducing gold mining with the assistance from the regional consultation committee, reiterates its position that mining exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Position Statement of not undertaking such activities within World Heritage properties, and requests the State Party to continue its efforts in order to eliminate this threat from the property;
- Also welcomes the increased patrol efforts and the implementation of an operational strategy to improve the monitoring of poaching and other illegal activities, including the application of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), however, noting with concern the reported increase in poaching following the lifting of the ban on bushmeat consumption, also requests the State Party to urgently address both local subsistence and commercial illegal trade in bushmeat, at the hunter-, trader- and consumer-levels;
- Reiterates again its request to the State Party to publish as soon as possible the decree formalizing the extension of the Park in order to align the boundaries of the property with those of the national park to enable more effective management, and to submit, once published, a boundary modification of the property to the World Heritage Centre, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee;
- Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.