1.         Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania) (N 506)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1989

Criteria  (ix)(x)

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/506/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2004-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 35,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/506/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

No formal monitoring missions. World Heritage Centre missions in the framework of activities in Mauritania in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Illegal fishing;

b) Mechanical shellfish harvesting;

c) Oil exploitation;

d) Tourism and increased accessibility due to the new Nouadhibou-Nouakchott road;

e) Lack of management capacity and resources.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/506/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

As requested by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), the State Party submitted in February 2007 the finalised Development and Management Plan (2005-2009), and a progress report on implementation of the legal mechanisms.

The State Party is in the process of preparing the Marine Environment Code (MEC) in collaboration with other government ministries, which is to be coherent with the Framework Law on the Environment (Law 2000/45). The State Party has ratified the 1992 Conventions on Compensation and Civil Liability (CLC 92, FUND 92); adopted Decree 2006/058, which specifies the organisation regulations and management of the property; and adopted Decree 2006/068, which implements the Special Law (Law 2000/24) for the Banc d’Arguin National Park.

The State Party did not report on the recommendation of the Committee to request “particularly sensitive sea area” (PSSA) status from the International Maritime Organisation for the waters of the property; or on the request to apply Law 2000/025, which prohibits any use of dragnets in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The report further provides information on its efforts to curb illegal fishing and poaching. The State Party has established a marine surveillance system in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries Surveillance and Marine control (DSPCM) and the local residents, and tripled the funding for the department’s budget in marine surveillance. The State Party also reported that illegal fishing using motorised vessels is better controlled, but continues to be a problem and threatens the integrity of the marine portion of the property. The State Party’s campaign to raise awareness has reduced poaching by local populations however, marine resource use, in particular fishing, has increased. On the positive side, camel populations within the property have recovered recently.

The State Party also carried out the first phase of activities of the Ecotourism Development Strategy in 2006, but did not provide information on the other recommendations adopted by the Committee at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions, including:

a) the mitigation measures relating to the new Nouadhibou-Nouakchott road

b) taking the necessary precautions against oil spills;

c) reporting on the outcome of the independent panel which reviewed the social and environmental aspects of the agreement between the Government and Woodside;

d) providing the documents on the Environmental Impact Assessment studies by oil companies operating near the property;

e) taking due account of the measures needed to alleviate the threats to the livelihood of the local population;

f) integrating into the Public Sector Capacity Building Project, in partnership with the World Bank, a pilot project which includes the property;

g) considering the creation of a biosphere reserve to include the property and the Cap Blanc Satellite Reserve and other appropriate areas;

h) progress with the preparation of the Marine Environment Code;

i) Accession of the State Party to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, (MARPOL).

j) progress on the implementation Law 2000/45

The report also provides limited information, and no quantifiable data, that can be used for assessing and monitoring the threats to the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.12

The World Heritage Committee,

1.Having examined Document WHC 07/31.COM/7B,

2.Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.9, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.Welcomes that the State Party has completed the Management Plan, begun to implement an Ecotourism Strategy, and has passed several key laws necessary for the effective management and protection of the property;

4.Notes with concern that the State Party reports that illegal activities are threatening the integrity of the marine portion of the property;

5.Regrets that the State Party did not report on progress made in addressing many of the recommendations as requested in the 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions, nor on the mitigation measures for the new Nouadhibou-Nouakchott road;

6.Reiterates its request to implement the above mentioned recommendations and in particular:

     a)to seek "particularly sensitive sea area" (PSSA) status from the International Maritime Organisation as soon as possible, and to pass a law that prevents prospecting, exploration or exploitation of mineral or petrochemical resources within the property;

     b)to implement a programme to monitor the threats to marine resources,

     c)to produce and implement an Oil Spill Emergency Response Plan in consultation with IUCN and the petrochemical industry, using international best practice;

7.Further requests that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 a report on the state of conservation of the property and on progress made in achieving the recommendations from the 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions, as well as those mentioned above, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.