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Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

India
Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Civil unrest
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Other Threats:

    Destruction of Park infrastructures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Construction of a dam (issue resolved);
  • Bodo people insurgency;
  • Destruction of Park infrastructures; 
  • Illegal removal of vegetation;
  • Poaching
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 2 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved : 165,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1998**

January 1997: World Heritage Centre mission

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Committee, at its last session, took note of the fact that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) of India and the State Government of Assam had begun implementing a 2-3 year rehabilitation plan at a total estimated cost of US$ 2,135,000 of which US$ 235,000 had been requested by the State Party as emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund. The Committee was satisfied with the use of the first instalment of US$ 75,000, approved by the Bureau at its twenty first session in June 1997 for the purchase of three vehicles, two boats and 55 wireless communication sets. Hence, the Committee at its last session approved a second instalment of US$ 90,000, as emergency assistance, to cover costs of 2 wooden fibre boats, 400 patrolling gear and construction of buildings to serve as ranger stations and provide for staff housing within the Park

A member of the Centre staff will undertake a mission to New Delhi during late April 1998, and will discuss progress with regard to the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for Manas with relevant authorities in New Delhi. The findings of the mission will be reported at the time of the twenty-second session of the Bureau.

Action Required

The Bureau, based on additional information that may be available at the time of the twenty second session of the Bureau, may recommend appropriate actions to the consideration of the State Party and/or the Committee as well as the Centre and IUCN.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Bureau, at its twenty-second ordinary session in June 1998, was informed that the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for this site, approved at its last session in June 1997, was progressing satisfactorily. All equipment purchased using the first instalment of US$ 75,000 approved under emergency assistance by the Bureau in June 1997 has been delivered to the site. Construction of range posts and staff housing to be undertaken using the second instalment of US$ 90,000 approved by the Committee as emergency assistance at its last session (Naples, 1997), has however, been delayed due to heavy rains, but will begin soon after the end of the rainy season in November 1998.

The Indian authorities informed a member of the Centre staff who was on mission to New Delhi in August 1998 that while security conditions in and around Manas have improved, the problem of insurgency is still widespread in the State of Assam and militants often traversed the Sanctuary. Nevertheless, both MOEF and the Park Director were of the view that the conditions for site-protection and relationship with local villagers were gradually improving. The Park authorities are taking necessary precautions to locate the new constructions to be financed by the World Heritage Fund in areas where they are not completely isolated and could be vulnerable to raids by militants who are frequently in search of arms and ammunition. The Indian authorities have suggested that the Committee consider reviving its invitation, made at the time of inscription of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary of India on the World Heritage List in 1985, to Bhutan to ratify the Convention. Bhutan’s ratification of the Convention will make it possible for the nomination and inscription of Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park as a World Heritage site and hence could significantly strengthen patrolling and surveillance operations for the protection of the whole of the trans-border Manas ecosystem.

MOEF has agreed to inform the Centre, before the beginning of the twenty-second session of the Committee, on national counterpart funding provided in 1998 for the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for Manas

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 BUR V.A.9
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)

The Bureau recalled the fact that the Committee, at its last session, had noted that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) of India and the State Government of Assam had begun implementing a 2-3 year rehabilitation plan at a total estimated cost of US$ 2,135,000 of which US$ 235,000 had been requested by the State Party as emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund. The Committee was satisfied with the use of the first instalment of US$ 75,000, approved by the Bureau at its twenty-first session in June 1997. This was used for the purchase of three vehicles, two boats and 55 wireless communication sets. At its last session it approved a second instalment of US$ 90,000, under emergency assistance, to cover costs of two wooden fibre boats, 400 sets of patrolling gear and construction of buildings to serve as ranger stations and provide for staff housing within the Park. The Bureau noted that the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, despite delays in construction activities caused by an earlier than normal on-set of the monsoons, was proceeding satisfactorily and conditions for the conservation and management of the site were improving.

The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to continue to monitor the implementation of the rehabilitation plan and submit a progress report to the twenty-second session of the Committee in November-December 1998, on the use of US$ 90,000 approved by the Committee at its last session in Naples. It recommended that the Committee retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

22 COM VII.9
SOC: Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)

VII.9 Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)

The Committee was informed that the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for this site, approved at the twenty-second session of the Bureau (June 1997), was progressing satisfactorily. All equipment purchased using the first instalment of US$ 75,000 approved under emergency assistance by the Bureau in June 1997, has been delivered to the site. The Committee agreed to the use of the small sum of unspent balance from the US$ 75,000 (i.e. US$ 872) by the UNESCO Office in New Delhi for a sitevisit to Manas in early 1999. Construction of range posts and staff housing to be undertaken using the second instalment of US$ 90,000, approved by the Committee as emergency assistance at its last session (Naples, 1997), has however, been delayed due to adverse climatic conditions in the area throughout 1998, but is expected to gather momentum in 1999.

The Committee noted that while security conditions in and around Manas have improved, the threat of insurgency still prevails in the State of Assam and militants often traversed the Sanctuary. Nevertheless, the Committee was informed that the Indian authorities were of the view that conditions for siteprotection and the relationship with local villagers were gradually improving. The Committee noted the fact that the Indian authorities had provided US$ 400,000 to strengthen the conservation of Manas during 1997-98 and provided an additional US$ 100,000 in 1998. Additional contributions will be considered for disbursement as soon as the funds provided so far are utilized in accordance with plans agreed upon by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in New Delhi, the State Government of Assam and site management.

The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested the Centre to continue monitoring the progress in the implementation of the rehabilitation plan for this site. Furthermore, the Committee decided to request the Director-General of UNESCO to invite the Government of Bhutan to ratify the World Heritage Convention and to consider nominating the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan for consideration by the Committee for World Heritage status. The Committee noted that this could help to strengthen the overall protection of the trans-border Manas ecosystem.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

“The Committee decides to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requests the Centre to continue monitoring the progress in the implementation of the rehabilitation plan. The Committee also requests the Director General of UNESCO to invite the Government of Bhutan to consider ratifying the World Heritage Convention and nominate the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan as a World Heritage site in order to strengthen the overall protection of the trans-border Manas ecosystem.”

Report year: 1998
India
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-2011
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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