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

Not yet identified

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 2018

On 31 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at http://whc.org/en/list/475/documents/, providing the following information:

Further, the World Heritage Centre was informed, last April, of the rehabilitation project for the National Road 8 that crosses the Manovo-Gounda Saint-Floris Park. The Centre wrote to the State Party on 9 April 2018 to request the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of this project. The World Bank, one of the donors with the French Development Agency (AFD), transmitted to UNESCO on 19 April, the documents relating to the project, including the “Environmental and Social Safeguard Action Plan” and the “Terms of Reference for the Environmental and Social Impact Studies”.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The results of the census again confirm the critical situation of this property: the decimation of large wildlife continues endlessly and has resulted in the disappearance of the elephant in the property. The pressure of poaching, notably by national and foreign armed groups, remains strong, to which is added the presence of large transhumant groups and their cattle in search of pasturage as well as artisanal mining exploitation. The progressive degradation of wildlife has compromised since several years the OUV of the property.

The mobilization by the State Party, through the different ECOFAUNE+ and PCBAC-SEAC projects, to improve the state of conservation of the property is warmly welcomed. The efforts of the CAR and its partners concentrate on the major threats, notably transborder transhumance; artisanal mining exploitation and insecurity. These threats remain worrying, taking into account the insecurity context that prevails in the region and which can limit the extent of interventions in the field of conservation. The signature of a Transborder Tripartite Anti-Poaching Agreement signed between the CAR, Cameroon and Chad, and the establishment of a strategy for threat management are commendable achievements. It is therefore recommended that the Committee notes with concern the serious threats weighing on the OUV of the property and congratulates the three States Parties of the CAR, Cameroon and Chad for the establishment of a transboundary anti-poaching strategy. It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party, in concertation with the neighboring States, to undertake all necessary measures to combat transboundary transhumance and poaching and to obtain the technical and financial means to achieve this.

The negotiations for the establishment of a partnership between CAR and the WCS for the management of the property are also favorably welcomed. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue its cooperation with WCS through the implementation of management and surveillance activities to enable the ecological restoration process of the property to begin, and that it launches an appeal to donors to support this initiative and avoid the probable and imminent loss of the OUV of the property.

The rehabilitation project of National Road 8 that crosses the Park also raises concern, given that this road risks facilitating access to the property and reinforces illicit exploitation of its natural resources. The documents received concerning the ESIA have been transmitted to the IUCN for evaluation. It is noted with utmost concern that neither the Environmental and Social Safeguard Action Plan, nor the Terms of Reference for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) make any reference to Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park and its status as a World Heritage property. The evaluation of the impacts of the project on the OUV of the property, already greatly degraded, must obligatorily be part of the ESIE. In May 2018, the State Party invited a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission requested by the Committee in its Decision 38 COM 7A.34. For security reasons, the mission did not take place and was rescheduled for autumn 2018, security conditions permitting. It is recommended that the joint mission evaluates the state of conservation of the property and determines whether there remain perspectives for regeneration of the characteristics of the property justifying its OUV. Finally, it is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.45

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.4, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes with utmost concern the results of the census that reveal that the decimation of large wildlife continues endlessly and has already resulted in the disappearance of the elephant and that the progressive degradation of wildlife has, for several years, compromised the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Expresses its concern as regards the persistent threats from poaching by armed groups, transboundary transhumance, artisanal mining exploitation and insecurity and congratulates the States Parties of the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Chad for the signature of the transboundary Tripartite Anti-Poaching Agreement and the development of a regional strategy to combat transhumance and poaching and requests these States Parties to secure the technical and financial means to urgently implement this strategy;
  5. Warmly welcomes the continued efforts of the State Party, with support from the ECOFAUNE+ (Wildlife Ecosystem of north-eastern CAR) and PCBAC-SEAC (Central Africa Biodiversity Conservation Programme – Protecting Central Africa’s Elephants) projects and technical partners, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, to improve the management and protection of the property and its surroundings and launches an appeal to donors to support the ecological restoration process of the property, to avoid the probable and imminent loss of its OUV;
  6. Regrets that the State Party did not inform the World Heritage Centre in advance of the rehabilitation of the National Road 8, recalls that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the project must take into account the “IUCN Advisory Note on World Heritage: Environmental Evaluation” to assess eventual impacts on the OUV of the property and also recalls the importance of avoiding acceptance of any new project that could aggravate the existing threats and could compromise the progress achieved in the management of the project;
  7. Takes note of the invitation of the State Party for a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, for autumn 2018, security situation permitting, to evaluate the state of conservation of the property and determine whether there remain perspectives for the regeneration of the characteristics of the property justifying its OUV;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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;
  9. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to this property;
  10. Also decides to retain Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: