VII.32 Simen National Park (Ethiopia)
The Bureau at its twentieth extraordinary session recalled discussions held at its twentieth session concerning reports received by the University of Berne (Switzerland) on the deterioration of the Walia ibex population and other large mammals (such as bushbuck, Simen fox and bushpig) which have become extremely rare. At the twentieth session of the Bureau additional information on the state of conservation of the site was provided by IUCN (loss of biodiversity, encroachment at the borders of the site, impacts of the road construction) and a report by the University of Berne was made available to the Bureau members. The Bureau endorsed recommendations made in this report, including a planning and coordination meeting at the regional level, a technical mission to the site and the preparation of a technical assistance request.
As a follow-up to the recommendations by the Bureau, a technical mission to the site took place from 2 to 9 November 1996 which included review meetings with the Ethiopian Wildlife authority, the Wildlife Programme Steering Committee, UNDP, UNCDF, as well as meetings with regional governments' representatives in Bahr Dar on the possibilities for sustainable coexistence of wildlife and natural resources with human land users. As a result of the mission an international assistance request was received and information to the Bureau accompanied by a summary report including draft recommendations, (Information Document WHC-96/CONF.203/INF.2) and the Committee (Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.23).
The recommendations included the co-sponsoring of a workshop with stakeholders scheduled for April 1997 and a co-ordination of donor involvement, as well as a recommendation to include the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
IUCN provided additional information on the state of conservation of the site. It was recalled that considerations have been given to placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 1987 and that all requirements for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger stipulated in Paragraph 79 of the Operational Guidelines were met.
The Committee, considering the information provided and the recommendations of the mission contained in Information Document WHC-96/CONF.201/INF.23 decided to inscribe Simen National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger.