1.         Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) (N 153)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

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/153/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-1986)
Total amount approved: USD 42,845
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Road project; Poaching; Management issues

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1989

The Government of Senegal is proposing a new road which would bisect the park and connect two villages on either side. IUCN has conducted an evironmental impact study of the proposal for the EEC and has suggested an alternate route that would eliminate damage to the site. The World Bank has also expressed its concern over the possible impacts on the site. 

Action Required

The Bureau should request a statement of the position of the Senegal Government and urge them to adopt the alternative route.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1989

IUCN reported to the Thirteenth Session of the Bureau a proposal of the Government of Senegal to construct a new road to connect two villages on either side of the park using a route which would bisect the park. IUCN had conducted an environmental impact study of the proposal for the EEC and suggested an alternative route which would avoid damage to the World Heritage site.

The Bureau requested the Secretariat to prepare a letter to the highest authority in Senegal recalling this States Party's obligation to protect the natural values for which Niokolo-Koba was inscribed on the World Heritage List and expressing the Bureau's strong preference for the alternative route outside the Park.

IUCN has also made representations on its own behalf to the President of the Republic of Senegal. However, at the time of the writing there has been no indication of any change in the roading proposals.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 13 BUR IV.B.4

The Bureau was informed of the project to construct a major highway across the Park, which would be financed by a number of Development Banks. Several impact studies - some contradictory in their conclusions - had been made: the Bureau expressed its preference for the alternative route outside of the Park to the North, which in addition to preserving the natural values of Niokolo-Koba, would serve to link up isolated villages. The Bureau requested the Secretariat to prepare a letter to the highest authority in Senegal recalling this State Party's obligation to protect the natural values for which Niokolo­Koba was inscribed on the World Heritage List and expressing the Bureau's strong preference for the alternative route outside the Park.

Decision Adopted: 13 COM VIII.16

Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal)

The Committee recalled that there was a project to construct a major highway across the Park which would greatly jeopardize its natural values, and that the Bureau had expressed its preference for an alternative route outside the Park. On 1 August 1989, in accordance with the Bureau's recommendation, the Director-General of Unesco had written to the President of Senegal, His Excellency A. Diouf, informing him of the Bureau's preference for the alternative route. The Secretariat indicated to the Committee that, at a meeting held in Dakar on 14 November 1989, the Senegalese authorities had nevertheless stated their intention to proceed with the construction of the highway across the park.

The World Bank had advised the Secretariat of its involvement in this project with associated bodies, through the preparation of a proposed programme for a Transport Sector Credit of which this project was part. The Bank had concluded, on the basis of the documents provided by Senegal, that the alternative route outside the park had not been sufficiently assessed. The Committee agreed with the Bank's proposal to carry out a more detailed study of the alternative route, which is presently being examined under a Bank appraisal mission in the field.

The Committee requested the Secretariat to contact the Senegalese authorities to recall their responsibility in maintaining the integrity of this World Heritage site, stressing that the Committee offered its full co-operation in seeking a satisfactory solution to this issue which would safeguard the natural World Heritage values. The Committee also requested the Secretariat to contact the World Bank to inform it of the Committee's views.