1.         Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1991

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 127,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

September-October 1998: World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: At its last session (Kyoto, 1998), the Committee recalled the fact that it had recommended a mission to this site to evaluate the state of conservation and to determine whether the site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee noted the findings of the Centre/State Party/IUCN site mission (September-October 1998), and of previous missions of IUCN-Niger indicating that the numbers of most wildlife species are recovering. The flora, except in some valleys where over-use by local people was noted, is mostly intact. Species like the ostrich however, are seriously threatened by poaching and international trade in live animals and its by-products; the ostrich population in the Reserves has dropped to less than 10% of 1990-91 estimates. The Peace Agreement between the Government and the rebels has been effective and the impact of rebel activities on the site has been less severe than previously expected.

The Committee was informed of the State Party’s efforts to elaborate an emergency rehabilitation programme for the site focusing on: (i) restoring sites used as bases by the rebels in the past; (ii) strengthening surveillance and protection capacity; (iii) promoting ostrich breeding in partial enclosures; (iv) carrying out rapid evaluation of impacts on populations of key faunal species; (v) establishing a Committee for development and management of the site; and (vi) conducting training workshops on threats to natural heritage for selected target groups like border police, customs officers etc.

New information: The full text of the emergency rehabilitation plan will be presented to the Bureau in Document WHC-99/CONF.204/INF.12. In accordance with the recommendation of the Committee, made at its last session, the Centre and IUCN are co-operating with the State Party and donors such as SDC, DANIDA and UNDP to: (i) explore modalities for financing the implementation of the emergency rehabilitation plan; and (ii) identify priority activities for support from the World Heritage Fund. The results of these efforts, and a recommendation concerning the possibility of removing the Air and Ténéré Reserves from the List of World Heritage in Danger will be presented to the twenty-third session of the Bureau.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to examine specific recommendations to be submitted by the Centre and IUCN at the time of its session and take the appropriate decisions thereupon.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

International assistance: Since its inscription on the World Heritage List in 1991, Aïr and Ténéré Nature Reserve has benefited from a preparatory assistance grant of US$ 10,000 and training grants amounting to US$ 40,000.

The twenty-third session of the Bureau (5-10 July 1999) noted that the Chairperson had approved a sum of US$ 20,000 for the organisation of a national training workshop for border guards, park and forest conservation personnel. The project is one of the five activities foreseen in the emergency rehabilitation plan prepared by the State Party and submitted to the twenty-third session of the Bureau. The organisation of this seminar is being delayed until the first quarter of the year 2000 in order to allow sufficient time for the preparation of training materials and to accommodate the availability of international experts chosen by the State Party.

The twenty-third session of the Bureau had recommended that the Centre and IUCN explore ways and means for financing the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, including submission of other projects for assistance from the Fund to the consideration of the Chairperson and to the twenty-third session of the Committee. Accordingly, the Centre has received a request for US$ 20,000, for rehabilitating a few sites damaged during rebel activities of the past and for research studies intended to evaluate the current status of the wildlife populations inhabiting the Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves. This project is now under review by the Centre and IUCN for submission for approval by the Chairperson. Both activities proposed for implementation as part of this project are part of the emergency rehabilitation plan reviewed by the twenty-third session of the Bureau. The State Party may submit additional projects to the consideration of the twenty-third session of the Committee.

Summary of previous deliberations:

Twenty-second session of the Committee – paragraph number VII.10. Twenty-third session of the Bureau – paragraph number IV.9

New information: IUCN’s Niger Office’s is co-operating with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife of Niger, under the terms of an MOU, to ensure co-ordination and co-operation among donors including the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the GEF. The MOU specifically aims to:

(a) promote environmental concerns in policy and development within the region;

(b) promote synergies and co-operation in donor funded activities in Aïr and Ténéré and surrounding areas;

(c) provide information to encourage co­operation among key stakeholders;

(d) support long-term strategic planning processes for conservation and sustainable development in Aïr and Ténér and surrounding areas; and

(e) disseminate information on progress on conservation and sustainable development in the Aïr and Ténéré region.

As part of this co-operation some revisions to the emergency rehabilitation plan, reviewed by the Bureau at its twenty-third session in July 1999, are under consideration. There is interest on the side of the State Party to introduce additional activities like more training workshops for staff, purchase of a four-wheel drive vehicle etc. IUCN will report on the outcome of its Niger Office’s consultations with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at the time of the twenty-third session of the Committee.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 23 BUR IV.A.9

The Bureau recalled that the Committee had recommended (Naples, 1997), a mission to this site to evaluate the state of conservation and to determine whether the site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. At its last session (Kyoto, 1998), the Committee had noted the findings of the Centre/State Party/IUCN site mission (September-October 1998), and of previous missions of IUCN-Niger which indicated that the numbers of most wildlife species are recovering. The flora, except in some valleys where they seem to be over-used by local people, is mostly intact. Species like the ostrich however, are seriously threatened by poaching and international trade in live animals and its by-products; the ostrich population in the Reserves had dropped to less than 10% of 1990-91 estimates. The Peace Agreement between the Government and rebels appears to be effective and the impact of rebel activities on the site has been less severe than previously expected.

The Committee learned of the State Party’s efforts to elaborate an emergency rehabilitation programme for the site, focused to: (i) restore sites used as bases by the rebels in the past; (ii) strengthen surveillance and protection capacity; (iii) promote ostrich breeding in partial enclosures; (iv) carry out rapid evaluation of impacts on populations of key faunal species; (v) establish a committee for development and management of the site; and (vi) conduct training workshops on threats to natural heritage for selected target groups like border police, customs officers etc.

The Bureau examined the emergency rehabilitation plan presented in Document WHC-99/CONF.204/INF.12 and noted that the Chairperson had approved a grant for supporting a training seminar for border police and customs officers. The Bureau was informed that IUCN's Country Office for Niger has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife of Niger for launching a programme entitled « Air 2000 », in co-operation with other donors like SDC, DANIDA and GEF. The signing of this MOU has resulted in some modifications to the component of the emergency rehabilitation plan activities, indicated in the Document WHC-99/CONF.204/INF.12 and which were to be submitted for financial support from the World Heritage Fund. Following the request of the Observer of Niger, the Bureau asked the Centre and IUCN to explore ways and means to finance the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, including the submission of projects for financial assistance to the consideration of the Chairperson and the twenty-third session of the Committee (29 November to 4 December 1999). The Bureau agreed with the recommendation of IUCN that the decision on whether or not the Committee should consider removing the Air and Ténéré Reserves from the List of World Heritage in Danger should be deferred until 2000, when the monitoring results of the impact of the implementation of the rehabilitation plan would be available. Hence, the Bureau recommended that the Committee retain Air and Ténéré in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 23 COM X.A.10

X.10 Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger)

The Committee was informed that the Chairperson had approved, in April 1999, US$ 20,000 for the sensitization of all stakeholders to the conservation needs of the site. The project is one of the five activities foreseen in the emergency rehabilitation plan prepared by the State Party and submitted to the twentythird session of the Bureau in July 1999. The total cost of implementing the plan is estimated at US$ 127,000. The Bureau had endorsed the plan and recommended that the Centre and IUCN explore ways and means for financing the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, including submission of other projects for assistance from the Fund to the consideration of the Chairperson and to the twenty-third session of the Committee. Accordingly, based on requests submitted by the State Party, the Chairperson had approved, in October 1999, the following two additional requests:

Furthermore, the Committee noted that the State Party has submitted an emergency assistance grant for a sum of US$ 75,000 for consideration by the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau. The US$ 75,000 comprised the following activities:

Further breakdown of the US$ 15,000 requested for evaluation of impacts on wildlife populations and of the US$ 35,000 for the protection and breeding of ostriches are contained in the emergency rehabilitation plan endorsed by the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau in July 1999. (Please refer to document WHC-99/CONF.204/INF.12 of that session). Since the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau had delayed the consideration of this and other international assistance requests until the Committee had decided on the budget allocations for the World Heritage Fund for 2000, the Committee noted that the Bureau would have to consider this request at a special session to be held during the remaining days of its twenty-third session. However, the Committee noted that, if the Bureau approved this emergency assistance grant, then the World Heritage Fund would have financed all activities included in the rehabilitation plan within a period of one year. In addition, the Committee was pleased to note IUCN's efforts to co-operate with the State Party under the terms of an MOU to ensure co-ordination and cooperation among donors such as the GEF, SDC (Swiss Development Corporation) and the DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) in supporting projects for the long-term conservation of the site and the sustainable development of surrounding regions.

The Committee decided to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee invited the State Party to provide a progress report on the implementation of the rehabilitation plan to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee in 2000, including its views on when this site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Decision Adopted: 23 COM XV.4.1

The Committee took note that the following eight requests for international assistance for natural heritage had been approved by the Bureau for a total of US$ 265,700.

1.AFRICA(a).I KENYA Preparatory assistance

Preparation of nomination for «Great Rift Valley Lakes System» incorporating Lake Nakuru and the Naivasha National Park and Lake Bogoria National Reserve

US$ 30,000 requested US$ 30,000 approved

The Committee noted that the amount approved is conditional to the State Party providing a detailed explanation on the potential cultural heritage values of the area being considered for nomination, to be reviewed by ICOMOS.

 

1.AFRICA(b).I NIGER Emergency assistance

Emergency rehabilitation plan for Air & Tenere Natural Reserves

US$ 75,000 requested US$ 75,000 approved

The Bureau approved the amount of US$ 75,000 requesting the World Heritage Centre to explore obtaining cost savings in the purchase and delivery of the four-wheel drive vehicle. The Bureau invited the State Party to include information on the progress made in implementing all projects financed by the World Heritage Fund in the report on the state of conservation on this site included in the List of World Heritage in Danger to be submitted to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee in 2000 (Chapter X, paragraph 10).

 

1.AFRICA(c).I TANZANIA Training assistance

Three fellowships for African specialists in protected area / wildlife management for the academic year 2000-2001

US$ 30,000 requested US$ 30,000 approved

The Bureau approved US$ 30,000, requesting the World Heritage Centre to report to its twenty-fourth extraordinary session, any cost savings and other benefits accrued through the implementation of this fellowship project through the UNESCO Fellowship Unit.

 

1.AFRICA(d).I TANZANIA Technical Co-operation

Workshop for strengthening research and monitoring capacity for natural world heritage sites in Tanzania

US$ 30,000 requested US$ 30,000 approved

The Bureau recommended that the State Party closely involve its GEF focal points in the planning and organization of the workshop and to ensure that the proposal developed as an outcome of the workshop meet GEF financing criteria.

 

1.ARAB(a).I MOROCCO Preparatory assistance

Nomination of Atlas Mountain Nature Reserve

US$ 15,000 requested US$ 15,000 approved

This request for US$ 15,000, normally eligible for approval by the Chairperson, was approved by the Bureau in accordance with paragraph 110(a) of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

 

1.ASIA(d).I JAPAN Technical Co-operation

Support to 7 participants from China (1), Indonesia (2), India (1), Nepal (1) and Vietnam (1) to attend the Kagoshima International Conference on World Natural Heritage, Kagoshima and Yakushima Island World Heritage site, 18-22 May 2000

US$ 25,700 requested US$ 25,700 approved

 

1.LATIN(c).I BRAZILTraining assistance

Implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela

US$ 30,000 requested US$ 30,000 approved

The Bureau authorized the Chairperson to approve the release of funds subject to the receipt of the revised proposal incorporating all comments and suggestions made by IUCN

 

1.LATIN(c).II VENEZUELA Training assistance

Workshop for stakeholders concerned with the conservation of Canaima National Park

US$ 30,000 approved

 

The Bureau authorized the Chairperson to approve the release of funds subject to the receipt of the revised proposal incorporating all comments and suggestions made by IUCN.