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Strengthening conservation and management measures in the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex in times of insecurity


Over the past few years, the security situation at the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex has become a major concern as several armed groups have been operating in the region, causing the evacuation of management staff in some components of the property and leading to an increase in illegal activities (poaching, transhumance, gold panning). In addition to the security situation, the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex is also threatened by growing demographic pressure around the property and climate change. 

The urgency of the situation calls for a concerted and rapid response from all key stakeholders to ensure the lives of surveillance staff and integrity of the property.


Improving the security situation in the property

Support the preparation of national and regional consultations for the implementation of emergency plans.

Ensuring overall habitat protection 

Strengthen monitoring systems using information from satellite collars.


  • Installation of satellite collars on 25 elephants and 14 antelopes from November to December 2020 as a collaborative effort of a conservation consortium – the operation was the largest of its kind in the region.
  • National and regional consultations initiated in April 2022.
  • Emergency grants provided to Benin's and Niger's W National Park in 2023.
  • Strenghtening anti-poaching measures in Niger's W National Park.


The States Parties of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger and UNESCO in close cooperation with organisations supporting the conservation of the protected areas included in the property (African Parks, GIZ, IUCN, WAC)

This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Norwegian government.

See Also 1
World Heritage Properties 1
Geographical focus
Decisions / Resolutions (1)
Code: 44COM 7B.79

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 8B.3, adopted during its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the guards killed in the line of duty and to all the staff of the national administrations in charge of the management of the property;
  4. Takes note of the strengthening of the operational capacity of the eco-guards and their numbers, and the organization of joint surveillance patrols with the defence and security forces and considers that this collaboration should be reinforced over a longer period in view of the security situation in the region;
  5. Expresses its grave concern with regard to the increasing insecurity in the region and the property, in particular the presence of armed terrorist groups who operate in the property, causing the evacuation of the management staff of the Arly and W Parks in Burkina Faso, and leading to an increase in illegal activities (poaching, transhumance, gold panning), endangering the lives of the surveillance staff of the Park and integrity of the property;
  6. Also considers that in the light of increasing insecurity and the resulting relative absence of management presence in the two Arly and W components of the property in Burkina Faso, the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property may be affected if the current security measures taken are not effective;
  7. Expresses its concern with regard to the impacts of transhumance in the property, and requests the States Parties to implement the Development and Management Plans (PAG) for the ecological blocks of the property strictly respecting the defined zonings;
  8. Congratulates the States Parties of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger for the signature in May 2019 of the Tripartite Agreement concerning the harmonized management of the protected areas of the transnational W-Arly-Pendjari Complex, and encourages them to implement the provisions of this Agreement;
  9. Warmly welcomes all the activities undertaken in the consensual definition of the buffer zone for the W National Park in Niger, and also requests the Niger State Party to submit the new map to the World Heritage Centre through the procedure of a minor modification to the boundaries of the property to ensure a coherent approach to the buffer zones of the whole W-Arly-Pendjari Complex;
  10. Noting the technical and financial difficulties, further requests the States Parties of Benin and Burkina Faso to submit to the World Heritage Centre a new map of the boundaries of the buffer zone on the scale of 1:50 000 by 1 December 2022 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session;
  11. Regrets that no information on the results of the different inventories carried out have been provided and therefore requests furthermore the States Parties to make available this information to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible for examination by IUCN;
  12. Welcomes the efforts deployed firstly to incorporate the climatic considerations into the efficient management of the property, and secondly to mitigate the effects by implementing adaptive activities, and also encourages the States Parties to continue their efforts with the technical and financial partners involved in these initiatives;
  13. Requests moreover the States Parties to invite, as soon as possible, a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property to evaluate its current state of conservation;
  14. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session.

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