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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7A.12
Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7A.48 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Party to implement the corrective measures, and requests it to continue their implementation;
  4. Welcomes the finalization and quality of the 2022-2024 Development and Management Plan (PAG), and requests the State Party to urgently implement the actions detailed therein, and to provide clarifications concerning its financing, the partnership mentioned with a non-governmental organization and the link with the emergency surveillance plan as well as the strategy for the fight against invasive alien species (IAS);
  5. Thanks the donors supporting the conservation of the property, in particular the Government of Norway for its support in the implementation of the PAG through the World Heritage Centre;
  6. Once again regrets that the report does not provide detailed information on poaching, illegal gold panning and excessive logging in and around the property, as well as on the actions implemented to combat these threats, and reiterates its request that the State Party provide maps showing the location of the main threats identified, as well as indications of their severity and extent, and of the control actions carried out, partially available in the PAG;
  7. Notes with satisfaction the State Party's commitment to assign additional forestry officers and requests it to recruit sufficient staff and strengthen collaboration with the valley chiefs to ensure the effective management of the property and implement the PAG;
  8. Welcomes the proposed Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and requests the State Party to finalize it based on the recommendations of IUCN and to transmit it to the World Heritage Centre for adoption at the 46th session;
  9. Takes note of the actions taken to combat the proliferation of the Prosopis juliflora species and mitigate desertification, and requests the State Party to provide details on these actions and include them in the PAG for the property;
  10. Reiterates its concern that some flagship species of the OUV remain highly threatened or endangered, and urges the State Party to develop a monitoring and recovery plan for the signature antelope species in consultation with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Antelope Specialist Group and implement the actions detailed in the PAG;
  11. While noting the assertion by the State Party that the exploration and exploitation permits for gold, uranium and oil are located more than 100 km from the property and have been subject to regulatory procedures and regular monitoring of operations by the competent authorities, reiterates its concern about the proliferation of exploration and exploitation permits, noting in particular the permits located at the south-eastern limit of the property. It thus requests the State Party to provide more information concerning the nature and status of these permits and to ensure that the impacts of exploitation projects on the OUV of the property are assessed within the framework of environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA), in accordance with the Guidance and Toolkit on Impact Assessments in a World Heritage context;
  12. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, 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 46th session;
  13. Decides to retain Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Context of Decision