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Ecological restoration of the Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Ténéré Natural Reserves © Holger Reineccius | Holger Reineccius
Geographical focus
Africa

In 1992, one year after its inscription, the Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves were placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to the deterioration of the state of conservation of the property, caused by insecurity generated by the civil war.  

Despite a significant improvement of the security context, several issues such as poaching, logging, gold panning, lack of human and logistical resources, and the lack of an Action Plan for the implementation of the Committee's recommendations and corrective measures have kept the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Objectives

The property still has exceptional landscape and wildlife values, and benefits from a strong local community support. The property therefore has the capacity to be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger if it receives adequate financial and technical support over a certain period. The current management plan has ended, and the updating process, financed by the World Heritage Fund, is ongoing. This could be a unique opportunity to support the implementation of the approved Management Plan. This support would result in the creation of a conservation dynamic that would restore the integrity of the park. 

Main activities

  • Reinforcement of the management team in terms of logistical and human resources (to reach 20 agents) in order to reduce the main threats of poaching, gold panning and logging, by means of an evolving patrol system.
  • Promotion of co-management through the creation of local management units composed of community agents and eco-guards.
  • Implementation of a systematic ecological monitoring system in a number of selected key sites.
  • Awareness raising for the local population through the reactivation of valley chiefs' networks with the support of community agents

Achievements

On-the-ground activities to start in August 2022.

Partners

The State Party and Wild Africa Conservation (WAC)


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

World Heritage Properties (1)
States parties (1)
Geographical focus
Africa
Decisions / Resolutions (1)
Code: 43COM 7A.14

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.54, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Party to implement the corrective measures, and the positive collaboration with the local communities through the involvement of the valley leaders in raising awareness and monitoring of the property, but considers that further progress is needed in view of the magnitude of the threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Notes that ecological monitoring has confirmed the presence of several characteristic species of the OUV, but reiterates its deep concern that other species appear to be extinct locally and requests the State Party to continue ecological monitoring efforts;
  5. Also requests the State Party to develop and implement as a matter of urgency the General Management Plan of the property and the monitoring plan, as well as a strategy to combat the spread of invasive species;
  6. Expresses its concern about the proliferation of exploration and exploitation permits for uranium, oil and gold in the immediate vicinity of the property, as well as the pursuit of illegal gold panning and further requests the State Party:
    1. To provide further information (location maps, concessions, permit details) on these different mining projects,
    2. To ensure that the impacts of these projects on the OUV of the property are assessed in the framework of Strategic Environmental Impact Assessments (SEIA), in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advisory Note on Environmental Assessment before new permits are granted,
    3. To submit, as soon as available, a copy of these SEIAs to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN,
    4. Not to grant new mining exploration or exploitation permits around the property without a SEIA being conducted to assess the OUV impacts of the property, including the cumulative effects of those projects;
  7. Regrets that the report submitted by the State Party does not provide detailed information on poaching and logging in and around the property, as well as on actions taken to combat these threats, and request furthermore it to provide maps showing the location, severity, and extent of the main identified threats;
  8. Reiterates its encouragement to the State Party to seek the advice of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to prepare a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  10. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Read more about the decision
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