1.         Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1991

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

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

The region having recently suffered from military conflict and civil disturbance, the Government of Niger requested the Director-General of UNESCO to launch an appeal for the protection of the site

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

In progress

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/325  

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-2013)
Total amount approved: USD 172,322
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

May 2005 and February 2015: IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 2 February 2018, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/documents, providing the following information:

The report further notes impacts from climate change and the need for climate change adaptation programmes, and reiterates the need to secure wildlife corridors in order to facilitate the migration of wildlife from the property to other protected areas as part of the second phase of the Niger Fauna Corridor Project (Projet Niger Fauna Corridors – PNFC).

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The State Party is continuing its efforts to implement the corrective measures, in particular to continue to improve surveillance and monitoring at the property, including through the recruitment of additional park rangers and engagement of local communities. The development of a Surveillance Plan and a Management Plan remain urgent needs, and the submission of the IAR in that regard is noted. The International Assistance Panel in January 2018 reviewed this request and sent it back to the State Party for revision, however, a revised version was not received in time for consideration at the April 2018 Panel. It is therefore recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to submit a revised IAR in line with the comments made by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN.

The information provided by the State Party on illegal logging and poaching should be further clarified, as it is on the one hand reporting a reduction of reported cases, while on the other hand noting impacts on habitats and wildlife from deforestation and poaching, among other impacts related to the presence of uranium, oil and gold exploration and exploitation permits in the vicinity of the property. The presence of these permits is of significant concern, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide maps clearly showing the location of these permits in relation to the property. The State Party should further ensure that all exploration and exploitation activities are subject to a prior Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, to ensure that these activities do not have a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. These EIA should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, prior to authorizing these activities, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The lack of adequate support to the captive breeding programme of Red-necked Ostrich at Iférouane is of concern. Noting the critical importance of captive breeding programmes for the recovery of this species in Niger, it is recommended that the Committee request the State party to seek expert advice on how to improve the programme and reiterate its request to the State Party to secure the necessary funding for its effective operation, and to closely collaborate with other States Parties to develop and implement a regional action plan for the conservation of this species. It is also recommended that the Committee again strongly encourage the State Party to seek the expert advise of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Conservation Planning Specialist Group to evaluate and improve the efficiency of the programme and to develop a strategy for a potential reintroduction of the species.

It is noted that monitoring of other species is occurring in the property. However, the State Party did not provide any data resulting from these monitoring programmes. Noting that the 2015 mission to the property concluded that Cheetah was considered locally extinct unless proven otherwise, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to clarify whether any new information about the presence of Cheetah has emerged since the mission. Similarly, while the State Party’s efforts to restore degraded areas, including those affected by the invasive Prosopis juliflora, are appreciated, no data are provided regarding the extent of the invasion and its impacts on OUV. Such data, both as regards the populations and trends of key species and the spread of IAS, are needed to inform management decisions, as well as for the development of a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). It is therefore recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to seek advice from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN with a view to preparing a DSOCR, and that it retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.15, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s continued efforts to implement the corrective measures, in particular the recruitment of additional staff for the property and the continued engagement of local communities to enhance surveillance of the property, and requests the State Party to continue and further strengthen these efforts;
  4. Noting that the development of a Surveillance Plan and a Management Plan remain urgent needs, also welcomes the State Party’s initiative to submit an International Assistance Request (IAR) with the aim of addressing these needs, and encourages the State Party to submit a revised IAR in line with the comments provided by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  5. Notes with significant concern that support for the captive breeding programme of Red-necked Ostrich in the property remains inadequate, and reiterates its request to the State Party to secure the necessary funding for the effective operation of the captive breeding programme through close collaboration with other States Parties to develop and implement a regional action plan for the conservation of this species, and strongly encourages the State Party to seek expert advice of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Conservation Planning Specialist Group to evaluate and improve the efficiency of the programme and to develop a strategy for a potential reintroduction of the species;
  6. Also notes with significant concern the reported presence of uranium, oil, and gold exploration and exploitation permits in the close vicinity of the property, as well as the continuation of illegal gold panning, and also requests the State Party to provide maps clearly showing the location of these permits in relation to the property, and to ensure that all exploration and exploitation activities are subject to a prior rigorous Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, to ensure that these activities do not have a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and submit these EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, prior to authorizing these activities, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to provide detailed information and data on poaching and timber harvesting within the property and its vicinity, as well as the actions taken to combat these threats;
  8. Also noting the State Party’s ongoing efforts to monitor key species in the property, and to restore degraded areas, including those affected by the invasive alien species (IAS) Prosopis juliflora, further requests the State Party to clarify whether any new information regarding the presence of Cheetah has emerged since the 2015 mission to the property, which considered this species to be locally extinct, and further reiterates its request to the State Party to:
    1. Submit to the World Heritage Centre the monitoring results for each species in order to demonstrate their conservation status and trends,
    2. Design and implement, in consultation with IUCN’s Species Survival Commission Invasive Species Specialist Group, an eradication plan or IAS Management Plan for Prosopis juliflora, as appropriate;
  9. Also encourages the State Party to seek advice from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN with a view to preparing the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  10. Requests furthermore 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;
  11. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) 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: