State of Conservation (SOC)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (1999)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:55,000USD
|1998|| Regional Capacity-Building Training Workshop for the Promotion of ...
Reapproval: 30 Jun, 2000 (n°1308 - 40,000 USD)
|1994||Preparation of a management plan for the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary||15,000 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Boundary question
- Management regime
- Legal status of the different components
Current conservation issues
Twenty-second session of the Committee – page 98 of Annex IV ;
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.36
New information: A letter of 11 September 1999 from the Director General of Nature Conservation Department in the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment, in response to the request of the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau, has acknowledged that the size of the wild Arabian oryx population had dropped from 450 to about 100. Of the 100 remaining, only 13 are females, hence the risks of the local extinction of the species are significant. Past re-introduction projects had succeeded, but with the increase in oryx numbers the poachers returned to once again reduce the population size sharply. An additional 45 oryx, rescued from the wild are in captivity and are awaiting release once security in the wild is guaranteed. Recommendations from a recent International Arabian Oryx Conference (March, 1999) held in Abu Dhabi, addressed the issue of illegal trade of oryx and suggested the creation of a co-ordinating body with a permanent secretariat in one of the range states to enhance co-operation and exchange of experience across the Arabian Peninsula. The tightening of regulations and improved regional co-operation to prevent illegal transboundary movement of and trade in Arabian Oryx were also recommended. The oryx breeds well in captivity and with careful management a healthy source of animals can be guaranteed for further re-introduction programmes. Oman intends to host a follow up conference next year and improve local community participation and environmental tourism to improve local support for site protection. The Oryx Project Management team has been strengthened by the appointment of new staff.
The Director-General’s letter informed the Centre of the explorations undertaken by an oil company already holding a concession within a part of the Sanctuary. The letter furthermore states that a full EIA was undertaken by internationally well-known consultants and that the scope, consultations and assessment were fully in accordance with the planning policies recommended in the management planning study (Final Report) which has been incorporated within the draft management plan. However, none of the above mentioned documents, i.e. EIA, management planning study or draft management plan have been submitted to the Centre. IUCN has raised serious concerns regarding the management of this site, given the fact that the boundary marking and management planning project financed in part by the World Heritage Fund is long overdue for completion. Other issues of concern include impacts of off-road vehicle use and overgrazing by domestic wildlife. A «Regional Capacity Building Training Workshop for the Promotion of Awareness in Natural Heritage Conservation in the Arab Region», for which the Committee approved a sum of US$ 40,000 at its last session in Kyoto, Japan, is due to be held in Oman in February 2000. Participants of this Regional Capacity Building activity are expected to visit the site and assess the status of conservation of the site, including progress made in the implementation of the boundary marking and management planning project.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
X.28 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) included as Annex VIII to this report. Additional observations made during the Committee session are reflected below.
Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)
Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)
The Delegate of Australia thanked IUCN for the consultative process started, which could be a model for other State Parties. He also informed the Committee that the area of marine protection around Macquerie Island had been extended and now comprises 16 million ha, the world's largest highly protected marine zone.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
The Delegate of Colombia informed the Committee that a visit by a delegation from the Ministry for Environment to Los Katios was recently carried out. The visit included areas that were previously not accessible. He emphasized that the proposal to grant collective land ownership over 100,000ha would be outside the Park in the buffer zone. He commented that his Government would be pleased to receive the visit of the monitoring mission to this site in 2000. The Colombian authorities have enhanced transboundary co-operation with Darien National Park (Panama) and strengthened the protected area system.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Observer of the United States underlined his Government's role in safeguarding Galapagos Islands and congratulated the Government of Ecuador on progress made. He noted the landmark decision of the Galapagos Law and questioned whether it had been implemented, in particular concerning the forty-mile zone. The Secretariat informed the Committee that some threats related to illegal fishing have been reported. IUCN noted the implementation of this pioneering legislation is vital and specific regulations need to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. The Delegate of Ecuador provided information from the Ministry of Environment noting progress concerning control of introduced species and general improvements in relation to biodiversity conservation at the site. Concerning the control of the 40-mile zone, she stated that the law has not yet been implemented, but that the basis for the conservation and environmental control is there. She thanked the Committee for all its efforts to safeguard the Galapagos.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya)
Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)
The Observer of Nepal expressed his gratitude for the international support for the important project on tourism carried out at Sagarmatha National Park. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that it is a ground-breaking project.
Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
The Delegate of Thailand noted the raised serious concerns raised by the Bureau regarding the management of this site, given the decline in numbers of the Arabian Oryx and the fact that the boundary marking and management planning is long overdue for completion. He recalled that the Committee inscribed the site without legislation and management plan in December 1994. He highlighted the Operational Guidelines in relation to the deletion of properties. The Delegate of Benin noted that rigour was not always applied in the past years and that a number of sites would not have been accepted if they were presented today. Concerning the question of deletion, a site would be put first on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand made it clear that he had not proposed the deletion of the site from the World Heritage List and that he was totally aware of the modalities in that respect. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that similar problems concerned a number of sites and that these issues would certainly be dealt with by the periodic reporting process. IUCN pointed out that it had consistently raised concerns about this site. IUCN noted that legislation does not have effect if there is not sufficient resources for its implementation. The Chairperson reminded the Committee members about the rarity of Arab natural sites on the List. In concluding, the Chairperson thanked the Committee for the debate and noted that awareness needs to be raised in countries about the World Heritage Convention, its obligations and World Heritage values to be preserved for future generations, in particular among decision-makers. He thanked the Delegate of Thailand for his statement and encouraged the Committee to further reflect on how to enhance the protection of World Heritage sites.
Huascaran National Park (Peru)
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
The Observer of Russia requested that the information provided during the adoption of the report of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on this site be included in the Bureau report.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
Gough Island (United Kingdom)
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau expresses its serious concerns regarding the continuing delays in the implementation of the boundary marking and management planning project, impacts of oil exploration and of off-road vehicles use and overgrazing by domestic stock. The Bureau requests the Centre and IUCN to raise these issues with the relevant State Party officials during their participation at the Regional Capacity Building workshop in February 2000. The Bureau suggests that the Centre and IUCN co-operate with the State Party to provide a report to the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau in mid-2000. The report should address all unresolved issues and problems threatening the integrity of this site and advise the Bureau on whether or not this site should be considered for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger.”
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).