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Comoé National Park

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2013*
  • Civil unrest
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a)  Conflict and political instability;

b)  Lack of management control and access;

c)  Poaching;

d)  Encroachment: human occupation and agricultural pressure;

e)  Bush fires.

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Unrest in Côte d’Ivoire is having an adverse effect on the site
  • Poaching of wildlife and fires caused by poachers
  • Over-grazing by large cattle herds
  • Absence of effective management
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1050

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see pages https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1050  and  https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4336 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1050 
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2013

Total amount granted: USD 50,000 from the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and Rapid Response Facility

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2013
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 97,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2013**

June 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 2 February 2013.  The State Party also provided the inventory of the materials and funds for the management of the property. An IUCN reactive monitoring mission visited the property from 19 to 26 January 2013, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012). The mission report is available online at the following Internet address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/37COM/.

The report and the mission noted the following progress in the implementation of the corrective measures:

a)  Establishment of an effective system of control and patrolling for the whole property

The State Party indicates that an effective control and patrolling system has been established by the management authority of the Park (OIPR); security patrols cover the entire site and its peripheral zone, with surveillance units and sector staff, counting 65 technical agents carrying out 15-day patrols a month. The report also mentions the rehabilitation of some of the infrastructures, 166 km of access routes (of 980) and maintenance of 196 km of the boundaries.

The mission noted that the situation on the ground has improved since the last reactive monitoring mission in 2006. In addition to the patrols and equipment for the agents, the mission noted training in anti-poaching for 37 forestry commandos and 13 elements of the Côte d’Ivoire Republican Forces, training on legal procedures for 25 staff of the management body, training in ecological monitoring for 19 auxiliary villagers, 8 OIPR agents and SIG agents and ecological monitoring for the MIST data base.

b)  Development and launching of the implementation of a Management Plan for the property and a three-year rehabilitation project for the property

The mission confirmed the information contained in the State Party report that the management body held a planning workshop in July 2012 to update the Management Plan for Comoé National Park. One of the products resulting from that workshop was a three-year rehabilitation plan for the property. However, this plan is not yet approved or implemented.  The mission notes a willingness on the part of the State Party to establish a revised zoning plan for the property but remarks that no timetable has been prepared in this respect.  It recommends that the State Party initiate a dialogue with the local populations when the boundaries of the property are settled, during 2013.

c)  Extension of the activities of the management structure to cover the entire property

In its report, the State Party mentions that in view of the normalization of the socio-political situation, the OIPR has redeployed management staff to the three remaining sectors of the Park and that all management activities cover the entire area of the site.

However, the mission was informed that not all the sectors were covered by the activities of the management structure and recommends that the request of the population of Yalo relating to the creation of a control post manned by staff and equipment be favourably considered by the State Party in 2013.

d)  Restoration of the integrity of the property

The State Party reports that the reinforcement of awareness and surveillance operations enabled notable progress in combating encroachment by cattle and in reducing signs of illegal activities. As concerns agricultural encroachment in the western part of the Park, actions are undertaken with support of local customary authorities to re-establish the integrity of the property. Regarding the issue of transhumance, requests for funds are submitted to carry out a study to recommend appropriate action to be envisaged involving all the communities and authorities.

The mission confirms the strong commitment of the OIPR and the political-administrative authorities, as well as that of the customary chiefs, to the restoration of the integrity of the property.

e)  Other World Heritage Committee recommendations

In addition to the corrective measures announced since 2006, a certain number of specific recommendations are contained in Decision 36 COM 7A.2 of 2012.

  i)  A census of the key species and indications of poaching and other threats

The mission notes that the aerial inventory that was planned for March 2012 was postponed due to technical and administrative problems. Nevertheless, in the absence of an aerial inventory, OIPR, in cooperation with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF), carried out a ground survey between March and August 2012. Even although the methodology is different and the comparison with the 2010 results is delicate, the recent cross-country hikes indicate that most of the threats now appear to be under control. However, the mission noted that the populations of the key species (elephant, chimpanzee and lion) were greatly reduced and that the lion seemed to have completely disappeared from the property. The mission recommends the implementation of an aerial inventory, without delay, to confirm the status of the populations of the flagship species that motivated inscription of the property and that they be repeated every two years to enable the monitoring of the populations.

It did, however, produce a draft Desired State of Conservation, in cooperation with the State Party, with a series of objectives and indicators to be achieved within two to three years to enable the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

ii)  Officially confirm that no mining exploration license covering the property has been granted

The State Party report provides no information regarding this issue. The mission notes that the information relating to mining exploitation in the Côte d’Ivoire is dispersed between the Ministry responsible for Mining and various decentralized structures on the ground.

However, the mission gathered some information concerning the Bouna zone. The coordinates of about fifteen authorized gold mining sites in this zone were recently provided to OIPR. None of these sites is located inside the property, and the nearest site is about 4 kilometres to the east of the boundary. With regard to industrial exploration, there are two excavation permits located outside the property. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2013

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the important progress accomplished by the State Party since the normalization of the security situation. OIPR has been able to regain control of the property and recommenced management and surveillance operations. Pressure on the property has thus been addressed, although it still remains current.  They recommend that surveillance efforts be continued and the programme of local measures around the property be strengthened, notably through the establishment of village structures around the property, the development of targeted micro-projects and the involvement of communities in the different aspects of the management of the property.  They note that it is important to officially confirm the funding perspectives for the management of the Park.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the conclusion of the mission that the Outstanding Universal Value for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List was greatly degraded, especially since 2002. In particular, the populations of key species like the elephant and the chimpanzee have been reduced to a disturbing degree. Moreover, the lion appears to have disappeared from the property. Nevertheless, the mission considered the current populations of other species could be reconstituted if the appropriate conditions were present and therefore the OUV could be recuperated.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that an inventory of the populations of key species must be organized as soon as possible to assess the current state of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and to define indicators and a timetable for the reestablishment of the flagship species. They note that the mission produced, in cooperation with the State Party, a draft Desired state of conservation with a series of objectives and indicators, but the value indicators can only be defined once the data of the inventory is available. The mission also proposed to update the corrective measures integrated into the draft decision. They recommend that the property be maintained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that to date, no response has been received by the World Heritage Centre regarding the mining exploration permits that were granted inside and on the periphery of the property. They note that the mission was able to confirm that the two exploration permits in the Bouna zone do not encroach the property, but this information remains to be confirmed by the State Party for the entire property. They recommend that the Committee request the State Party to officially confirm to the Committee by 1 February 2014, that no mining permit, for exploration or exploitation, industrial or artisanal, affects the property and to submit to the World Heritage Centre the results of the impact studies concerning the mining permits granted in the northern part of the property on its Outstanding Universal Value, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2013
37 COM 7A.2
Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 227)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.    Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add,

2.    Recalling Decision 36 COM 7.A.2 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.    Warmly welcomes the important progress accomplished by the State Party in the implementation of certain corrective measures since the normalization of the security situation, notably regaining control of the property by the management authority and the resumption of management and surveillance operations once again;

4.    Regrets that the State Party has still not responded to the Committee request to confirm officially that no mining exploration permit affecting the property has been granted, and requests the State Party to officially confirm that no mining permit, exploration or exploitation, industrial or artisanal, affects the property and to submit the results of the impact studies on the mining permits granted in the northern part of the property on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

5.    Notes with concern the conclusion of the IUCN monitoring mission that the OUV for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List is greatly degraded and that the populations of key species like the elephant, the chimpanzee and the lion have been reduced to a worrying degree, but notes that the current populations of other species can recover if the appropriate conditions are reunited, and therefore the OUV can be recuperated;

6.    Also requests the State Party to carry out an aerial inventory without delay to confirm the status of the populations of flagship species that motivated the inscription of the property and to repeat it at least once every two years to monitor the rehabilitation of the populations;

7.    Takes note of the draft Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and urges the State Party in cooperation with IUCN to define the value indicators once the inventory data is made available;

8.    Strongly urges the State Party to implement the corrective measures as highlighted by the monitoring mission, notably:

a) Complete the development and rehabilitation of the necessary infrastructure for the effective control and patrolling of the property, including the establishment of staffed and equipped control posts in all the sectors of the Park,

b) Approve and implement the Management Plan for the property, as well as the three-year Rehabilitation Plan, taking specific note of the following points:

(i) Define the boundaries of all the proposed zones in the provisional zoning of the property and the activities allowed and forbidden in each zone,

(ii) Establish provisions for the formalization and responsibilization of the participatory management structures within all the villages that surround the property, including the control and monitoring of the property,

c) Finalise the restoration of the integrity of the property, totally excluding cattle in the Park, combating agricultural encroachment in all the sectors of the property and in rehabilitating the degraded land;

9.    Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the corrective measures for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

10.  Decides to retain the Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

37 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-13/37.COM/7A, WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add and WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add.
  2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 37 COM 7A.29 )
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 37 COM 7A.30 )
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 37 COM 7A.16 )
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 37 COM 7A.37 )
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.17 )
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.2 )
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 37 COM 7A.3 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.4 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.5 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.6 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.7 )
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 37 COM 7A.8 )
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 37 COM 7A.23 )
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.10 )
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 37 COM 7A.32 )
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 37 COM 7A.33 )
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 37 COM 7A.18 )
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 37 COM 7A.14 )
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 37 COM 7A.24 )
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 37 COM 7A.25 )
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 37 COM 7A.26 )
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 37 COM 7A.11 )
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 37 COM 7A.19 )
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 37 COM 7A.20 )
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 37 COM 7A.12 )
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 37 COM 7A.27 )
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 37 COM 7A.36 )
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 37 COM 7A.38 )
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.13 )
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 37 COM 7A.34 )
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 37 COM 7A.21 )
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 37 COM 7A.22 )
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 37 COM 7A.35 )
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 37 COM 7A.15 )
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 37 COM 7A.39 )
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 37 COM 7A.28 )
Draft Decision:  37 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7.A.2 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Warmly welcomes the important progress accomplished by the State Party in the implementation of certain corrective measures since the normalization of the security situation, notably regaining control of the property by the management authority and the resumption of management and surveillance operations once again;

4.  Regrets that the State Party has still not responded to the Committee request to confirm officially that no mining exploration permit affecting the property has been granted, and requests the State Party to officially confirm that no mining permit, exploration or exploitation, industrial or artisanal, affects the property and to submit the results of the impact studies on the mining permits granted in the northern part of the property on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;

5.  Notes with concern the conclusion of the IUCN monitoring mission that the OUV for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List is greatly degraded and that the populations of key species like the elephant, the chimpanzee and the lion have been reduced to a worrying degree, but notes that the current populations of other species can recover if the appropriate conditions are reunited, and therefore the OUV can be recuperated;

6.  Also requests the State Party to carry out an aerial inventory without delay to confirm the status of the populations of flagship species that motivated the inscription of the property and to renew them at least once every two years to monitor the rehabilitation of the populations;

7.  Takes note of the draft Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and urges the State Party in cooperation with IUCN to define the value indicators once the inventory data is made available;

8.  Strongly urges the State Party to implement the corrective measures as highlighted by the monitoring mission, notably:

a)  Complete the development and rehabilitation of the necessary infrastructure for the effective control and patrolling of the property, including the establishment of staffed and equipped control posts in all the sectors of the Park,

b)  Approve and implement the Management Plan for the property, as well as the three-year Rehabilitation Plan, taking specific note of the following points:

(i)  Define the boundaries of all the proposed zones in the provisional zoning of the property and the activities allowed and forbidden in each zone,

(ii)  Establish provisions for the formalization and responsibilization of the participatory management structures within all the villages that surround the property, including the control and monitoring of the property,

c)  Finalise the restoration of the integrity of the property, totally excluding cattle in the Park, combating agricultural encroachment in all the sectors of the property and in rehabilitating the degraded land;

9.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the corrective measures for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

10.  Decides to maintain the Comoé National Park (Cote d’Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Report year: 2013
Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 37COM (2013)
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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