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Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Niger
Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Decline in wildlife populations

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Armed conflict (issue resolved); 
  • Poaching;
  • Decline in wildlife populations
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Bureau may recall that the Committee at its twentieth (Merida, 1996) and twenty-first (Naples, 1997) sessions approved the organisation of a mission to this site to: evaluate the state of conservation of the site ;  determine the significance of prevailing threats to the site ;  compare data and information on the Reserve before and after its inclusion in the List of the World Heritage in Danger (1992); prepare a long term action plan for the protection of the site with the assistance of the IUCN field project staff; and prepare a detailed  report for the twenty second session of the Committee. Although a contract, for an amount of US$ 22,000, was established with the Ministry for Hydraulics and the Environment for the organisation of this mission during February-March 1998, the mission had to be postponed due to the lack of security clearance from the UN Resident Co-ordinator's Office in Niamey. The Centre and IUCN are currently discussing the possibility to field the mission involving only the IUCN field project staff and representatives from the Ministry for Hydraulics and the Environment, and without representation from the Centre, so as to avoid the obligation of obtaining the security clearance from the UN Resident Co-ordinator's Office in Niamey, Niger.

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 Committee at its twentieth (Merida, 1996) and twenty-first (Naples, 1997) sessions had called for a site visit to evaluate the state of conservation of the site in order to determine whether the site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Exploratory field missions of the IUCN Office in Niger, supported by the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) have indicated that the numbers of most wildlife species are recovering; a population of more than 100 Addax has been found in the South-eastern part of the Ténéré Reserve. The flora also appears to be intact in most parts, except in some valleys where it has been over used by local people. Some wildlife species like the ostrich however, continue to be seriously threatened by poaching and international trade in live animals and its by-products; population size of ostrich in the Reserves has been found to be less than 10% of the 1990-91 estimates. IUCN Niger has advanced in the preparation of a new programme, in co-operation with SDC and DANIDA, for the conservation of the area, with the aim of establishing conditions for conservation of the Reserves and decentralized sustainable use initiatives. The programme will attempt to increase the economic value of the Reserves to local communities through eco-tourism, agriculture and animal husbandry.

The findings of the Centre/State Party mission to the site undertaken from 21 September to 3 October 1998, with the participation of the IUCN Office in Niger, were in agreement with the above-mentioned conclusions. The mission team was of the view that the Peace Agreement signed between the Government and rebels has been effectively implemented. Impact of rebel activities in the area on the integrity of the site has been less severe than expected. The team welcomed IUCN/SDC co-operation to start a project for the conservation of the site and has welcomed the initiative of site management to prepare a plan of priority conservation programmes that need to be implemented. This plan is being elaborated in consultation with the Centre, UNESCO, UNDP, IUCN, the State Party and national and local stakeholders in Niger and is due to be finalized during early 1999. IUCN has acknowledged the prospects for continuing improvements for the conservation of this site.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 BUR V.A.10
Air et Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger)

The Bureau recalled that the Committee at its twentieth (Merida, 1996) and twenty-first (Naples, 1997) sessions approved a mission to this site to: evaluate the state of conservation of the site; determine the significance of prevailing threats to the site; compare data and information on the Reserve before and after its inclusion in the List of the World Heritage in Danger (1992); prepare a long-term action plan for the protection of the site with the assistance of the IUCN field project staff; and prepare a detailed report for the twenty-second session of the Committee. Although a contract, for an amount of US$ 22,000, was established with the Ministry for Hydraulics and the Environment for the organisation of this mission during February-March 1998, the mission had to be postponed due to the lack of security clearance from the UN Resident Co-ordinator's Office in Niamey. The Bureau however learnt that the UN Resident Co-ordinator has finally granted the security clearance needed in mid-June 1998 and that the proposed mission could now proceed without any further delays.

The Bureau recommended that the Centre and IUCN co-operate to field a mission to the site and prepare a detailed state of conservation report and a long term action plan for the site, including recommendations. These recommendations should address whether or not the Committee should retain the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger, for the consideration of the twenty-second session of the Committee.

22 COM VII.10
SOC: Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger)

VII.10 Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger)

The Committee at its twentieth (Merida, 1996) and twenty-first (Naples, 1997) sessions had called for a site visit to evaluate the state of conservation in order to determine whether the site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee was pleased to note that the findings of the Centre/State Party/IUCN mission to the site, undertaken from 21 September to 3 October 1998, and those of previous exploratory field missions of the IUCN Office in Niger undertaken with the assistance of the Swiss Development Co-operation (SDC), have indicated that the numbers of most wildlife species are recovering. The flora appears to be intact in most parts, except in some valleys where over-use by local people was noted. Some wildlife species like the ostrich however, continue to be seriously threatened by poaching and international trade in live animals and its by-products. Population size of ostrich in the Reserves has been found to be less than 10% of the 1990-91 estimates. IUCN Niger has progressed in the preparation of a new programme, in co-operation with SDC and DANIDA, for the conservation of the area, with the aim of establishing conditions for conservation of the Reserves and decentralized sustainable use initiatives. The programme will attempt to increase the economic value of the Reserves to local communities through eco-tourism, agriculture and animal husbandry.

The Committee noted with satisfaction that the Peace Agreement signed between the Government and rebels has been effectively implemented. Impact of rebel activities in the area on the integrity of the site has been less severe than expected. Furthermore, the Committee was informed that the State Party has submitted an emergency programme for the rehabilitation of the site which foresees the implementation of the following activities: (i) restoration of sites which were used as bases by the rebels in the past; (ii) strengthening surveillance and protection capacity; (iii) ostrich breeding in partially enclosed areas; (iv) rapid evaluation of impacts on populations of key faunal species; (v) establishment of a Committee for development and management of the site; and (vi) training workshops for selected target groups like border police, customs officers etc., on threats to natural heritage. The Committee noted that detailed proposals for each of these activities need to be elaborated in consultation with possible donors, such as UNDP so as to ensure their rapid implementation.

The Committee commended the State Party for ensuring the protection of this site in spite of rebel activity and uncertain security conditions and welcomed the interest of SDC, DANIDA, UNDP and other donors to contribute to the conservation of this site. The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to cooperate with the State Party and all other stakeholders to explore modalities for financing the implementation of the emergency rehabilitation plan and to identify priority activities for consideration of support from the World Heritage Fund. The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party to submit to the twenty-third session of the Bureau, a plan of action for implementing the emergency rehabilitation programme and a recommendation as to whether the Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-third session in 1999.

  

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

“The Committee commends the State Party for ensuring the protection of this site in spite of rebel activity and uncertain security conditions and welcomed the interest of SDC, DANIDA, UNDP and other donors to contribute to the conservation of this site. The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party and all other stakeholders to finalise the plan to identify priority conservation programmes and submit it to the twenty-third session of the Bureau. The Committee requested the Bureau to review this plan and recommend whether the Aïr and Ténéné could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger at the twenty-third session of the Committee in 1999.”

Report year: 1998
Niger
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-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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