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World Heritage Convention

Decision 39 COM 7A.11
Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.44, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the restated political commitment of the State Party, which was also reiterated by the President of Madagascar at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress to address the illegal trafficking of natural resources, in particular rosewood and other precious timber species;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made in implementing the CITES Action plan, in particular the preparatory studies, which were carried out in order to achieve the liquidation of all remaining rosewood stockpiles in the country and develop a forestry sector which is transparent and respectful of the law and regulations;
  5. Requests the State Party to fully implement the CITES Action Plan and recommendations and to ensure that all stockpiles be confiscated as soon as possible as a conservatory measure, their legality established, and that holders of illegal stockpiles be prosecuted;
  6. Takes note of the recommendations of the “Utilization Plan for precious timber stockpiles”, which was submitted to CITES in December 2014 and which proposes to sell most of the stockpiles through international auctions, and urges the State Party to strictly adhere to the recommendations which will be issued by the CITES Standing Committee after its review, to guarantee the transparency and international oversight over any possible sale and to ensure that a substantial part of any revenue generated from possible sales is made available for the conservation of the property;
  7. Expresses its concern that, while illegal rosewood logging in the property has diminished slightly in 2014 compared to 2013, it is continuing to affect the property and in particular Masoala National Park, and also urges the State Party to intensify efforts to immediately crack down on the remaining centers of illegal logging and trafficking;
  8. Further takes note of the progress towards achieving the Desired State of Conservation for the Removal of the Property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but considers the announced policy by the Government of zero stocks, a zero tolerance toward illegal trafficking and the elimination of illegal logging of rosewood needs to be effectively implemented to guarantee the integrity of the property and achieve the DSOCR;
  9. Notes that the Reactive Monitoring mission requested at the 38th session in 2014 was postponed at the request of the State Party and in agreement with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to provide more time for addressing the stockpile issue in accordance with the CITES recommendations, and reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess progress achieved in the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and to update, if necessary, the corrective measures and the timetable for their implementation;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including an evaluation of the implementation of the corrective measures, and information on progress made towards achieving the DSOCR, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  11. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
39 COM 7A.11
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2015 Rainforests of the Atsinanana
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015)
Context of Decision