1.         Keoladeo National Park (India) (N 340)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO visit to the property in 2005

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

The State Party submitted a report on 31 March 2006.

The State Party reports that in 2005 there was more than average rainfall in the catchment area of Ajan Band, the temporary reservoir from which water is supplied to the wetland areas of the park, and thus the park received 481 million cubic feet (mcft) water, which is sufficient to meet its requirement (optimum 540 mcft). In previous years, the park received less than a fourth of this requirement, with adverse impacts on the wetland ecosystem of the park. According to the report, the Rajasthan State Government is also exploring the supply of water from Chambal River as an alternative to the unstable water supply from Gambhir River.

During the previous drought years, the wetland area in the park has been invaded by Prosopis juliflora and other woodland species, which are still spreading despite all efforts to remove them, which is indicative of the pervasive dryness of the park. Invasive water hyacinth, which drifts into the park with the water released to the park, is however removed as required.

The IUCN/UNF/UNESCO Enhancing our Heritage (EoH) project, which includes Keoladeo National Park as a pilot site, implemented a water quality monitoring programme in the park in 2005. This included the development of protocols for data collection and analysis and initial collection and analysis of baseline data.

Considering that, according to the State Party report, agrochemicals used in surrounding villages threaten the wetland ecosystem of the park, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome this important initiative and note that both water quantity and quality are now being monitored at the park.

In 2005, the EoH project has also 1) reviewed Keoladeo National Park’s protection strategies and recommended measures to enhance their effectiveness; 2) developed a capacity building plan for the park; and 3) reviewed the opportunities and limitations for benefit sharing with local communities. In addition, a project was undertaken on enhancing communication, interpretation skills and capabilities for effective tourism management in Keoladeo National Park. This project provided a number of training sessions to park staff. The findings of all these activities will be used in phase 3 of the EoH project.

More than one hundred thousand tourists (60% domestic) visit Keoladeo National Park annually. These tourists are having an increasing impact on the park, for example through littering and disturbance of water birds. It is noted that every entry to Keoladeo National Park has an “eco-development surcharge” which is used for both further development of the park and surrounding villages. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome this innovative initiative as a means of building broader support for the park.

The State Party indicates, however, that additional funding is necessary to ensure the effective management of pests as well as to implement long term solutions for the water problem of the park.

It is noted that the intense monsoon rains in 2005 temporarily improved the park’s water situation. However, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN regret that the State Party report did not respond specifically to all the requests of Decision 29 COM 7B.8. For example, it does not clarify what specific actions the State Party will take to ensure a sufficient water supply to the property even in years where the monsoon rains fail.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7B.13

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.8, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes that the 2005 monsoon rains have improved the water situation in Keoladeo National Park;

4. Urges the State Party to implement long term solutions for the water problem of the park to ensure a sufficient water supply to the property even in years where the monsoon rains fail, and effectively deal with the problem of invasive species;

5. Calls upon the international donor community to provide further financial and technical support to the State Party for the implementation of such long term solutions for the water problem of the park and for an invasive species management programme;

6. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated, comprehensive report by 1 February 2007 on the state of conservation of the property, including information on any actions taken by the State Party to ensure sufficient water supply to the property as well as the information requested by the Committee in Decision 29 COM 7B.8, for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.