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World Heritage Convention

Decision 35 COM 7A.10
Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined document WHC-11/35.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.2, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Welcomes the confirmation that illegal logging has been halted in Marojejy National Park, but notes with concern that illegal exploitation continues in Masoala National Park and that the pressure appears to have moved to other protected areas despite Decree 2010-141 prohibiting the cutting, exploitation and export of rosewood and ebony in Madagascar;

4. Expresses its concern regarding the significant increase in agricultural clearings in Masoala National Park, and the increase in artisanal mining and indications of increased poaching;

5. Takes note of the conclusion of the reactive monitoring mission of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN that for the time being the values for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List are not yet questioned but that the integrity of the property is affected;

6. Urges the State Party to take urgent action such as corrective measures to halt illegal logging operations, including:

a) Finalize the registration of all existing stocks of wood and ensure their immediate seizure,

b) Eliminate all of these stocks within one year after the seizure, with no possibility of renewing the stock. It will be the responsibility of the State Party to propose an appropriate process for the liquidation and control of the stock, resulting in the complete elimination of all wood stored within 18 months,

c) Finalize immediately the inscription file for the Dalbergia and Diospyros species endemic to Madagascar in Appendix III of the CITES and submit the inscription of these species in Appendix II of the CITES to the next Conference of States Parties in order to strengthen their protection status,

d) Enforce the implementation of the Decree of March 24, 2010, and, more globally, the Decrees of November 2000 and April 2006, in particular by publishing in the press an official document signed by the Minister of Environment to clarify precisely the status of these woods and their conservation, for information to the public, all State departments in charge of controlling them, and all potential players in the timber industry, and by commissioning an independent observer to monitor the implementation of the decree;

7. Requests the State Party to implement other technical corrective measures recommended by the joint reactive monitoring World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to restore the integrity of the property:

a) Strengthen the prerogatives of Madagascar National Parks (MNP) and give some of its staff the appropriate power to pursue and report on-site breaches, and to verbalise these offences,

b) Strengthen the occasional joint patrols to increase the surveillance capacity of MNP and ensure the support of other State services in the process,

c) Provide independent monitoring of the integrity of all six components of the property through aerial surveillance,

d) Strengthen collaboration with the local population to halt clearing, by promoting local sustainable development projects in cooperation with MNP,

e) Establish a system with the village surveillance committees to monitor access to the parks, in particular to control the penetration of mineral collectors,

f) Ensure the rehabilitation of the most degraded (cleared) sites by selective reforestation, with assistance from the local workforce;

8. Considers that the implementation of corrective actions should be completed within a period of two years, and that international support for the implementation of these actions should be channeled through competent and recognized organizations selected by the World Heritage Centre in agreement with relevant authorities;

9. Adopts the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger as follows:

a) The illegal exploitation of precious woods is halted in the six components of the property,

b) The clearance rate in the six components of the property does not exceed 0.01% per year,

c) The areas heavily degraded by agricultural clearing and illegal logging are reclaimed and their ecological restoration is underway,

d) No significant signs of poaching of the lemur species and other key species within the property;

10. Reiterates the importance that the States Parties to the Convention shall take measures to ensure that illegal timber from Madagascar, as defined in Decree 2010-141, is both forbidden and cannot enter their domestic markets;

11. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, including, notably, an overall assessment of the impacts of illegal logging in Masoala and Marojejy National Parks, and an evaluation of the implementation of corrective measures, for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012;

12. Decides to retain the Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Code
35 COM 7A.10
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2011 Rainforests of the Atsinanana
Decisions Adopted by the Word Heritage Committee at its 35th Session (UNESCO, 2011)
Context of Decision