1.         Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) (N 338)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1992-2011

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

Corrective measures identified

A series of corrective measures was adopted by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005). Following the 2008 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission, the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008) updated the corrective measures as follows:

a) Urgently conduct a baseline survey on recovery of wildlife populations and set up a full monitoring system which will allow monitoring and documenting the recovery of flagship species;

b) Resolve the problem of fund release which did not progress significantly since the last mission;

c) Complete the work for the reconstruction and improvement of park infrastructure;

d) Fill the remaining vacant positions in the park by recruiting the best elements of the volunteers, and/or others, into permanent positions;

e) Strengthen and consolidate park management operations, in particular the efforts for reducing illegal logging and wildlife poaching in the Panbari Range;

f) Continue efforts for the reintroduction of the one-horned rhino and assess the need and feasibility for a restoration programme of the swamp deer.

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 165,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: As of 2008, the property is benefiting from the UNF funded World Heritage India programme. Project interventions include: enhancing management effectiveness and building staff capacity; increasing the involvement of local communities in the management of the property and promoting their sustainable development; and raising awareness through communication and advocacy. 

Previous monitoring missions

1992: IUCN mission; 1997: UNESCO mission; February 2002: IUCN monitoring mission; April 2005: UNESCO/ IUCN monitoring mission; February 2008: World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Insurgency 1988-2003;

b) Forced evacuation of Park staff;

c) Destruction of Park infrastructure;

d) Poaching and logging;

e) Illegal cultivation.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/338/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

At the time of preparation of this report, the State Party had not submitted a state of conservation report, which was requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, Spain). Therefore, progress on the implementation of the corrective measures is difficult to assess. However, IUCN has received reports and data from its network of scientists and members on certain aspects of the state of conservation of the property.

With respect to wildlife monitoring and the establishment of an effective monitoring system (corrective measure a), IUCN has received reports that the park authority, in collaboration with conservation NGOs, has recently developed wildlife monitoring forms to serve as the basis for a monitoring database. A number of conservation NGOs, including ATREE (Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment), Aaranyak, and WWF-India, among others, will soon begin surveying the property’s tiger population, and are currently monitoring populations of swamp deer, hispid hare, Bengal florican, Pygmy hog and the relocated one-horned rhinoceros.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the reports received by IUCN on efforts to monitor wildlife population, since these will be essential to demonstrate a clear upward trend in wildlife populations to allow a future decision on a removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. They note that information on the results from these monitoring activities and on the implementation of the 5 other corrective measures was not provided by the State Party.

IUCN also received reports that invasive species are increasingly a major threat to the property’s habitats. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall the recommendation of the 2008 reactive monitoring mission to assess the status of invasive species within the property, and to develop and implement effective control measures.

IUCN has received reports that several local ecotourism groups within the property have begun building roads and other infrastructure without informing the park authorities. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the State Party monitor the activities of these groups, ensure they are undertaken in close collaboration with the park authorities, and increase control of vehicle movement. They recall the recommendation of the 2008 reactive monitoring mission to build a regional vision on tourism taking into account the limited carrying capacity of the property ensuring that any tourism developments are consistent with the values of the property.

IUCN has also received reports that a paramilitary group on the Indo-Bhutan border, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), is attempting to set up base camps within the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that instability and the presence of groups of insurgents in the past had been at the origin of increased poaching which led to the declines in wildlife populations and the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in danger and recommend that the State Party continue its reported efforts to ban these camps.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that without a report by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures and on the status of wildlife populations, it is impossible to evaluate the progress made towards a removal from the List of World Heritage in danger. They reiterate that a clear upward trend in the populations of key wildlife species needs to be demonstrated in order to consider this removal, as decided by the Committee at previous sessions. In light of the above, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the property should be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Noting as well that a management plan for the property has not been finalized and approved, they encourage the State Party to continue its efforts in implementing the corrective measures, finalizing the draft management plan, and developing an effective monitoring system and database. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7A.12

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.12, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Welcomes the State Party's report which mentions important progress in the implementation of the corrective measures and also provides some data on wildlife populations but not on population trends as requested by the Committee and regrets that the very late submission of the state of conservation report did not allow a proper assessment of the data by IUCN;

4. Reiterates its position that a clear upward trend in the populations of key wildlife species needs to be demonstrated in order to enable removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

5. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible with clear data on the trends of wildlife populations since the time of inscription, including details on the available monitoring data on which these trends are based;

6. Requests the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, once the data on wildlife populations are provided, to evaluate the state of conservation of the property and in particular review the available data on trends in wildlife populations to assess their recovery and to advise on the consideration of the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 35th session in 2010;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the properly and on the implementation of the corrective measures, as well as on the progress made in the finalization and approval of the management plan for the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011, with a view to considering the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

8. Decides to retain the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) on the World Heritage List in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-10/34.COM/7A, WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add.2),

2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: