VII.19 Air-et-Tenere Reserve (Niger)
The Committee recalled that the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 at the request of Niger as it was affected by civil disturbances. The Committee recalled that a peace agreement was signed on 20 April 1995 and that it had encouraged the authorities to strengthen their efforts to safeguard the site. In 1995 the dialogue established between the Parties, allowed for a detailed evaluation of the state of conservation of the site as well as the development of an action programme for the recovery of the site.
The Committee took note of additional information provided by IUCN, that an IUCN/WWF project, which had already implemented US$ 6 million over the past ten years, continues at a reduced level to assist in re-establishing the management regime. This IUCN/WWF project will resume with funding from DANIDA and the Swiss Cooperation, when the security situation allows. A mission to the site by project staff is planned in February 1997.
The Secretariat informed the Committee of a meeting in Niger in October 1996, during which an encounter was arranged with the Minister of Environment and the Advisor to the President on the Air et Tenere region. At this meeting information was provided that the itinerary of the Rally Paris-Dakar (January-February 1997) would cross through the World Heritage site. Upon return, the organizer of the rally was contacted and an alternative route was proposed in coordination with the Permanent Delegation of Niger to UNESCO. A meeting was organized in the World Heritage Centre on 8 November 1996 and as a re suit, a new itinerary was agreed upon which does not enter the World Heritage site.
The Committee commended Niger and the Secretariat for this success to avert threats from the Rally to the area. The Delegate of Niger reiterated the request that a mission be organized to the Air et Tenere Region in February 1997 to evaluate the situation of the site inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. He also indicated that the situation in the Air et Tenere Region has improved since the peace agreement was signed.
The Committee decided to retain for the time being the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.