1.         Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania) (N 506)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1989

Criteria  (ix)(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/506/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/506/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/506/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1994

On the 6 January 1994 the Centre received notice from the President of the Fondation Internationale du Banc d'Arguin (FIBA) that the Paris-Dakar Rally had traversed the World Heritage site for a distance of 90 to 100 km. There was considerable concern that this may have been ecologically disruptive and the Centre and other partners brought this to the attention of the Government of Mauritania. Subsequently, the Centre's staff met with the Director of the Park on 7 March 1994 and reviewed the situation. The net result with which partners concurred, was that the damage was not significant. However, the concern for environmental protection was stressed with the Park Director and it was emphasized that it would be useful to have the boundaries of the Park more visibly delineated. Further discussions were held on possible international assistance from sources other than the World Heritage Fund.

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Report prepared by IUCN

  1. PROPERTY: BANC D'ARGUIN NATIONAL PARK (Mauritania)
  2. DATE INSCRIBED AND CRITERIA: 1989. iii, iv
  3. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FROM WORLD HERITAGE FUND: None
  4. CONDITION OF PROPERTY:

The situation regarding the passage through the park by the Paris - Dakar motor rally has been dealt with in the monitoring report by the World Heritage Centre.

A much greater issue of concern to IUCN is the plan to capture six monk seals from the park (total population is between 100-130) and move them to Antibes in the south of France. The purpose for this is captive breeding and the project is being funded by the European Union and the French Environment Ministry. There are a number of logistical problems with this and critics say that the money spent on capture and re-location would be better used to protect the seals in situ. IUCN's marine programme has expressed some concerns over the captive breeding plan and the Species Survival Commission is also maintaining an interest in the project.

5.   EVALUATION:

Half of the remaining world's population of Mediterranean monk seals are found in the Banc d'Arguin World Heritage site. The capture operation, scheduled for this October, will take a significant proportion. It would be a serious blow to the viability of the herd if it does not go proceeding to plan.

6.   SUGGESTED ACTION BY THE WORLD HERITAGE BUREAU:

The Bureau should write the implementors of the captive breeding project to remind them that Banc d'Arguin is a World Heritage site and urging them to keep 1UCN and the World Heritage Centre informed of the planned removal of seals from the site.

7.   REFERENCES:

Patel, Tara. 1994. Monk Seals to be Captured for Breeding Study. New Scientist. 11 June.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1994

At its last session the Bureau took note of the IUCN report on a planned capture operation of six monk seals from the sea population of the park. The Centre was informed by the French Ministry for the Environment that the experiment was carefully planned and coordinated with IUCN. The capture operation and breeding experiment is surveyed by the "Comite scientifique international pour le suivi du programme francais de sauvegarde du phoque moine".

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The Committee may wish to take note of the above information.

Decision Adopted: 18 COM IX

Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania)

The Committee recalled that IUCN reported to the Bureau at its eighteenth session on a planned capture operation of six monk seals from the sea population of the park. Subsequently, the Centre was informed by the French Ministry for the Environment that the experiment was carefully planned and coordinated with IUCN's Species survival Commission and that the capture operation and breeding experiment is under the direction of the "Comité scientifique international pour le suivi du programme français de sauvegarde du phoque moine".

The Committee took note of the above information.

 

Decision Adopted: 18 BUR VI.B

The Bureau took note of the Centre's report on the Paris-Dakar rally crossing the site, which had very little impact on the ecological situation of the Park. IUCN reported on the plan to capture six monk seals from the seal population of the park (100­130) and move them to Antibes (Southern France) for captive breeding. After some discussion on captive breeding experiences, the Bureau requested that the propensity of the planned capture operation be reported to the World Heritage Committee.