1.         Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania) (C/N 39bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (iv)(vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1984-1989

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1979-2014)
Total amount approved: USD 300,099
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

USD 50,000 from Switzerland, USD 35,000 from the Netherlands, USD 20,000 from the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) and USD 8,000 self-benefitting funds from the United Republic of Tanzania in 2013-2014; USD 50,000 from the Flanders Funds-in-Trust in 2014-2015

Previous monitoring missions

April 1986: IUCN mission; April-May 2007 and December 2008: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 1 December 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/ and which presents progress in a number of conservation issues previously addressed by the Committee, as follows:

On 31 January 2017, ICOMOS and IUCN submitted a joint analysis of the proposed upgrades of the Lodoare Gate to Golini Main Road  and the access road to Olduvai museum, and on 9 February 2017, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre met with the State Party at UNESCO Headquarters to discuss the proposed project. Additional information was requested during this meeting, some of which were submitted on 24 April 2017, namely a map of the road with the project locations including borrow pits, and an analysis on the downstream impacts on the OUV of Serengeti National Park World Heritage property and the proposed mitigation measures.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies

The road surface upgrade project aims to reduce the maintenance costs of the road and demand for construction materials inside the property. With a heavy traffic volume of over 500 vehicles/day, the proposed upgrade may further increase traffic and give easier access for poaching.

A closure of the road to heavy commercial traffic could contribute to its reduced wear, and therefore to a less frequent need for resurfacing. In this respect, during the 9 February 2017 meeting, the State Party indicated that the Southern Bypass road outside of the property is being considered as an alternative road for commercial use and may ease traffic inside the property. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to put on hold the upgrading of the Lodoare Gate to Golini Main Road until the results of the feasibility study of the Southern Bypass road are available and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Should the feasibility study rule out the option of the Southern Bypass road, the ESIA/HIA should be extended to cover the entire road traversing the property and Serengeti as previously requested by the Committee. Nevertheless, in considering the proposed road upgrade, the identification of potential downstream impacts of the road on the OUV of Serengeti and their proposed mitigation, represent encouraging efforts on the part of the State Party, if effectively implemented. The submission of the map with locations of the borrow pits is appreciated but the ESIA/HIA for the Lodoare Gate to Golini Main Road currently does not assess the impact of the proposed opening of new borrow pits within the property or the implications of wetland restoration on wildlife migration patterns.The EIAs/HIAs of the extraction activity, dredging and deepening of water sources in proposed locations for sourcing of material for the upgrade of the road are additionally required.

Although the ESIA/HIA acknowledges impacts on cultural/archaeological attributes, which are likely to be permanent and irreversible, in particular in relation to Middle and Late Stone Age sites at Malombo, Meshili and Bashay sites in Olduvai Gorge, as well as along the length of the project location site, it does not include a detailed inventory of cultural/archaeological sites, whereby the impact could be greater than indicated. Further details are therefore needed on the location of cultural/archaeological attributes and ESIA/HIAs on the impact on these sites based on adequate preliminary survey work and documentation.

The State Party has achieved a commendable zero recorded cases of elephant poaching within the property during the reporting period. The State Party should take a dynamic and adaptive approach to anti-poaching, and continue to monitor the rate of population growth to ensure successful recovery of the species. It is appreciated that Parthenium hysterophorus has reportedly been brought under control through the addition of this invasive weed in the Strategic Management Plan, but no data have been submitted.

Given the growing interest for tourism developments, the State Party’s reaffirmation that all development projects will be subject to EIAs and HIAs in accordance with the guidelines of IUCN and ICOMOS is welcomed. The continuation of an open dialogue with local communities to address sustainable livelihoods and wildlife protection is also noted, and should continue to be used as an opportunity to review wide-ranging governance issues, feeding into the revision of the General Management Plan.

Although an HIA has been completed for the proposed Laetoli Hominid Footprints Museum and associated facilities, further progress with that project should await the findings and recommendations of the Advisory mission proposed by the State Party. However, as such a mission should advise on a number of issues, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property in order to address conservation of the additional set of footprints discovered at the Laetoli site in 2014, advise on the proposed Laetoli Museum project, the road upgrade project and proposed tourism developments, as well as review progress in balancing conservation, livelihood and development needs.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.39

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.34, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party for achieving zero recorded elephant poaching within the property during the reporting period through the establishment of two new ranger posts in targeted poaching-prone areas, and encourages it to take an adaptive approach to anti-poaching and continue to monitor the rate of elephant population recovery;
  4. Appreciates the inclusion of Parthenium hysterophorus in the Invasive Alien Plants Strategic Management Plan that has been implemented since 2011, and the progress reported to bring it under control inside the property;
  5. Welcomes the State Party’s reiteration that all development projects are subject to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in accordance with the guidelines of IUCN and ICOMOS, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Also welcomes the continuation of dialogue with the local communities, the progress made to update the General Management Plan (GMP) for the property, and the State Party’s intention to submit this plan to the World Heritage Centre for review;
  7. Takes note of the strategy and the ongoing efforts in the construction of the southern Serengeti-Ngorongoro by-pass road to cater for public and commercial transportation;
  8. Commends the efforts being undertaken by the State Party to currently regulate the passage of heavy commercial vehicles on the Loduare gate to Golini road and further welcomes the steps accomplished so far towards hardening of this road for improvement of visitor experience and conservation purposes in line with Decision 36 COM 7B.35;
  9. Acknowledges the submission of comprehensive ESIA/HIA report in this regard, which includes assessments of downstream impacts of opening new borrow pits and restoring wetlands, and of all known cultural/archaeological sites, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Requests the State Party to invite a World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property in August 2017, in order to provide advice to the State Party on the conservation of the additional set of footprints discovered at the Laetoli site in 2014, proposed Laetoli Hominid Footprints Museum, and monitor progress on the road upgrade project and proposed tourist developments as well as review progress in balancing conservation, livelihood and development needs;
  11. Also acknowledges the completion of the HIA for the proposed Laetoli Hominid Footprints Museum and associated facilities and also requests the State Party to ensure that further development of this project is postponed in order to take into account the outcomes of the Reactive Monitoring mission;
  12. Finally 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.