1.         Kaziranga National Park (India) (N 337)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

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/337/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1997-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 50,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/337/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/337/

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

Summary of previous deliberations: This site supports the largest population of the greater Indian one-horned rhinoceros; a 1993 census revealed 1164 animals in the Park. Other important species in the Park include the swamp deer, the tiger, the elephant and the water buffalo. At its twenty-first session (Naples, 1997) the Committee approved a sum of US$ 50,000 for constructing 10 guard camps and five upland wildlife refuges and for the purchase of audio-visual equipment for the Park interpretation centre.

New Information: Record rainfall in mid-1998 resulted in exceptional flooding of the Brahmaputra River and parts of the Park went under 6 metres of water. More than a square kilometre area of the floodplain was lost and the Director of the Park informed IUCN that an estimated 652 animals, including 42 rhinoceroses, were lost due to the flood. During the floods WWF-India provided material assistance and the Indian army constructed ten islands on high ground for wildlife to take refuge. The rain had delayed the beginning of the construction of the five upland wildlife refuges using the financial assistance approved by the Committee in December 1997. A staff member from UNESCO Office in New Delhi, India, visited Kaziranga from 7 to 9 March 1999 and reported that work on the construction of the five upland refuges and other aspects of the World Heritage funded project had begun and is progressing satisfactorily. IUCN has noted that 44 km2 of new land had been added to the Park which now covers a total area of 470 km2.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to recognise the support provided by WWF-India and the Indian Army for wildlife protection during the 1998 floods. The Bureau may invite the State Party to provide a detailed report on wildlife censuses that may have been undertaken after the 1998 floods and on long-term measures which are currently being implemented to mitigate future flood damage to Kaziranga. The Bureau may request the State Party to clarify whether it intends to propose the inclusion of the recent extension (44 sq. km) of the Park into the World Heritage site.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.33

 

New Information: The State Party has not yet responded to the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau’s invitation to provide a detailed report on wildlife censuses that may have been undertaken after the 1998 floods and on long-term measures which are currently being implemented to mitigate future flood damage to Kaziranga and on whether or not the State Party intends to propose the inclusion of the recent extension (44 sq. km) of the Park into the World Heritage site. A staff of the Centre met with a senior planner from the State Government of Assam during a mission in Japan and drew his attention to the need for responding to the invitation of the Bureau so that the information that may be provided by the State Party could be submitted to the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 1999.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 23 BUR IV.B.33

This site supports the largest population of the greater Indian one-horned rhinoceros; a 1993 census revealed 1164 animals in the Park. Other important species in the Park include the swamp deer, the tiger, the elephant and the water buffalo. Record rainfall in mid-1998 resulted in exceptional flooding of the Brahmaputra River and parts of the Park were under 6 metres of water. More than a square kilometre area of the floodplain was lost and the Director of the Park informed IUCN that an estimated 652 animals, including 42 rhinoceroses, were lost due to the flood. During the floods, WWF-India provided material assistance and the Indian army constructed ten islands on high ground for wildlife to take refuge. The rain had delayed the beginning of the construction of the five upland wildlife refuges using the financial assistance approved by the Committee in December 1997. A staff member from UNESCO Office in New Delhi, India, visited Kaziranga from 7 to 9 March 1999 and reported that work on the construction of the five upland refuges and other aspects of the World Heritage funded project had begun and are progressing satisfactorily. IUCN has noted that 44 km2 of new land had been added to the Park, which now covers a total area of 470 km2.

The Bureau recognised the support provided by WWF-India and the Indian Army for wildlife protection during the 1998 floods. The Bureau invited the State Party to provide a detailed report on wildlife censuses that may have been undertaken after the 1998 floods and on long-term measures which are currently being implemented to mitigate future flood damage to Kaziranga. The Bureau requested the State Party to clarify whether it intends to propose the inclusion of the recent extension (44 sq. km2) of the Park into the World Heritage site.

Decision Adopted: 23 COM X.B.28

X.28 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) included as Annex VIII to this report. Additional observations made during the Committee session are reflected below.

Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)

Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)

Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)

The Delegate of Australia thanked IUCN for the consultative process started, which could be a model for other State Parties. He also informed the Committee that the area of marine protection around Macquerie Island had been extended and now comprises 16 million ha, the world's largest highly protected marine zone.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)

Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)

Los Katios National Park (Colombia)

The Delegate of Colombia informed the Committee that a visit by a delegation from the Ministry for Environment to Los Katios was recently carried out. The visit included areas that were previously not accessible. He emphasized that the proposal to grant collective land ownership over 100,000ha would be outside the Park in the buffer zone. He commented that his Government would be pleased to receive the visit of the monitoring mission to this site in 2000. The Colombian authorities have enhanced transboundary co-operation with Darien National Park (Panama) and strengthened the protected area system.

Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

The Observer of the United States underlined his Government's role in safeguarding Galapagos Islands and congratulated the Government of Ecuador on progress made. He noted the landmark decision of the Galapagos Law and questioned whether it had been implemented, in particular concerning the forty-mile zone. The Secretariat informed the Committee that some threats related to illegal fishing have been reported. IUCN noted the implementation of this pioneering legislation is vital and specific regulations need to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. The Delegate of Ecuador provided information from the Ministry of Environment noting progress concerning control of introduced species and general improvements in relation to biodiversity conservation at the site. Concerning the control of the 40-mile zone, she stated that the law has not yet been implemented, but that the basis for the conservation and environmental control is there. She thanked the Committee for all its efforts to safeguard the Galapagos.

Kaziranga National Park (India)

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)

Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya)

Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)

The Observer of Nepal expressed his gratitude for the international support for the important project on tourism carried out at Sagarmatha National Park. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that it is a ground-breaking project.

Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)

The Delegate of Thailand noted the raised serious concerns raised by the Bureau regarding the management of this site, given the decline in numbers of the Arabian Oryx and the fact that the boundary marking and management planning is long overdue for completion. He recalled that the Committee inscribed the site without legislation and management plan in December 1994. He highlighted the Operational Guidelines in relation to the deletion of properties. The Delegate of Benin noted that rigour was not always applied in the past years and that a number of sites would not have been accepted if they were presented today. Concerning the question of deletion, a site would be put first on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand made it clear that he had not proposed the deletion of the site from the World Heritage List and that he was totally aware of the modalities in that respect. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that similar problems concerned a number of sites and that these issues would certainly be dealt with by the periodic reporting process. IUCN pointed out that it had consistently raised concerns about this site. IUCN noted that legislation does not have effect if there is not sufficient resources for its implementation. The Chairperson reminded the Committee members about the rarity of Arab natural sites on the List. In concluding, the Chairperson thanked the Committee for the debate and noted that awareness needs to be raised in countries about the World Heritage Convention, its obligations and World Heritage values to be preserved for future generations, in particular among decision-makers. He thanked the Delegate of Thailand for his statement and encouraged the Committee to further reflect on how to enhance the protection of World Heritage sites.

Huascaran National Park (Peru)

Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)

The Observer of Russia requested that the information provided during the adoption of the report of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on this site be included in the Bureau report.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

Gough Island (United Kingdom)

Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)

Canaima National Park (Venezuela)

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)