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Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park

Central African Republic
Factors affecting the property in 1993*
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Heavy poaching; Lack of management plan; Poissible transfer of the management of the site to a private foundation

International Assistance: requests for the property until 1993
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1993**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1993

At its last session in December 1992, the Committee recalled the fact that when this site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988, several members of the Committee had registered their reservations as to its state of conservation and several threats to its integrity. The Committee was concerned that despite assurances given to the Committee at the time of its inscription and the US$ 27 million EEC (European Economic Community) project which had been implemented in the region, the deterioration of the property had continued and that the site still does not have a management plan. The Committee noted the intention of the President of the Central African Republic to transfer management of the site to a private foundation, and of the invitation made to UNESCO to participate, as a scientific body, in the management of the site by this foundation. The Committee expressed satisfaction with the fact that the State Secretary to the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technology, in accordance with a recommendation of the Bureau made at its last session, had invited a mission to review the state of conservation of the Park and evaluate the proposal to transfer the management of this site to a private foundation.

The Committee requested the Centre to organize such a mission, building upon a recent project audit carried out by the EEC and to evaluate the proposal to transfer the management of the site to a private foundation particularly in relation to the following: (a) protection of the site; (b) participation of local people in the management of the site, and (c) the social and economic impacts which the setting up of a private management regime will bring to the region and the nation.

The Centre made a preliminary assessment of the report on the Technical and Financial Audit of the Development Programme of the Northern Region (Programme de Developpement de la Region Nord (PDRN)), prepared jointly by the Ministry of Water, Forests, Game, Fish and Tourism of the Central African Republic and the International Foundation for the Protection of Game (IGF) and noted the following important issues:

a)    The EEC Project addressed the development of a whole region, including the Manovo-Gounda Saint Floris site and surrounding areas. At present, ecosystem and habitat conditions inside the Park may be somewhat better than in areas outside. However, there appears to be an overall breakdown in the soci-economic situation in the whole region, and poaching and grazing by livestock belonging to nomadic tribes seem to be rampant.

b)    The equipment available in the Park, e.g. radio-equipment used for surveillance operations, is obsolete. Infrastructure in the region, i.e. roads, bridges, vehicles, etc., are poorly maintained and appear to be breaking down.

c)    Staff is inadequately trained and field reports submitted by staff returning from patrols included major errors in mapping and numbers of wildlife species reported. Faunal and floral inventories are lacking and the number of persons employed in the Park is inadequate to effectively patrol the site.

d)    There seems to be a general lack of understanding of the objectives of protected areas and their role in enhancing regional socio-economic development. Project design and implementation seem not to have included adequate participation of locals resulting in tensions between 'expatriates' and 'nationals' and reducing the efficiency of the implementation of the programme.

The legal and institutional basis for the establishment of the private foundation, which will manage the Free Ecological Zone that includes the Park, on the basis of a 30-year concession offered by the Government of the Central African Republic, also appear to be unclear. The Centre had a meeting, on 23 April 1993, with the Advisor to the President of the Central African Republic, to discuss these and other matters regarding the establishment of the private foundation. The Centre will co­operate with IUCN's Commission on Environmental Law to further study the legal implications of setting up a private foundation and is scheduled to have additional consultations, in mid-May 1993, with the Advisor to the President of the Central African Republic and a selected number of senior Government officials dealing with environmental and legal affairs.

The outcome of these consultations will be reported to the Bureau during its seventeenth session. The Bureau is requested to consider postponing a mission to this site until such time as the legal and institutional basis for the establishment of the private foundation and its operations are better understood.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1993

In response to the December 1992 request of the World Heritage Committee, two meetings were held with representatives of the Central African Republic (CAR) to discuss:

(a) the protection of the site;

(b) participation of local people, and

(c) the social-economic ramifications of a "privatized management regime".

The first meeting in April determined that the issues were of an administrative and legal nature rather than ecological and thus it was decided not to carry out a field mission.

On 10 May 1993 legal representatives of the Central African Republic, UNESCO and IUCN met at the World Heritage Centre to review the above-mentioned items.

The Centre will report to the Committee when new information becomes available on the new management options which are under consideration. However, continuing instability in the area makes any implementation difficult.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1993
17 BUR VIII.2
Manovo-Gounda Saint Fions (Central African Republic)

In response to the December 1992 request of the World Heritage Committee, two meetings were held with representatives of the Central African Republic (CAR) to discuss: (a) the protection of the site; (b) participation of local people, and (c) the social-economic ramifications of a "privatized management regime". The first meeting in April determined that the issues were of an administrative and legal nature rather than ecological and thus it was decided not to carry out a field mission.

On 10 May 1993 legal representatives of the Central African Republic, UNESCO and IUCN met at the World Heritage Centre to review the above-mentioned items (a), (b) and (c).

The following major findings were noted:

(i) the site and the surrounding region are currently socially, politically and economically unstable. Poaching from neighbouring countries is serious and presents high risks to anyone trying to prevent it;

(ii) the Government of the Central African Republic does not have the financial or staff resources to effectively manage the World Heritage site. It is interested in some form of privatization, leasing or franchising. This could involve an advisory body with representation from international organizations as well as local people. The body should have a fund-raising and management capability;

(iii) there is not a consensus on whether privatization would be appropriate. Technically and legally it is feasible, but further clarification of the proposal is required and has been requested.

The Central African Republic was recommended to continue to explore alternative management approaches and the Centre should co-operate in seeking an effective management solution. The Bureau agreed to the above recommendation and the Centre will report to the Committee when new information becomes available. The Bureau requested the Centre to ensure that the State Party respected all obligations incurred by joining the Convention and ensure the long-term conservation of the site.

No draft Decision

Report year: 1993
Central African Republic
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1997-present
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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