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Simien National Park

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 2000*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Land conversion
  • Other Threats:

    Loss of biodiversity

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Presence of armed groups
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Encroachment at the borders of the site
  • Road construction
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2000
Requests approved: 7 (from 1978-1996)
Total amount approved : 233,171 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2000

Summary of previous deliberations:
Twenty-third session of the Committee – paragraph number – X.6
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – paragraph number – IV.5

New information: A meeting between the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia to UNESCO and the Director and concerned staff of the Centre was convened on 16 February 2000. During that meeting, the Director recalled the decisions of the Bureau and the Committee since inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1996. In particular, the Director of the Centre referred to the recommendation of the twenty-third session of the Committee (Morocco, 1999) that the Chairperson undertake a mission to Ethiopia to meet with relevant national and regional authorities and to re-establish a basis for regular exchange of formal communications between the State Party and the Committee.  In accordance with the wish of the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia, the Director sent a letter, dated 22 February 2000, to His Excellency the Ambassador of Ethiopia to France, proposing a 4-5 day mission of the Chairperson and suggesting possible dates for the mission. In addition, the letter suggested that: (a) the Director of the Centre accompany the Chairperson on the mission to Ethiopia; (b) the Ethiopian authorities organize consultations between the mission team and national as well as regional authorities responsible for Simen National Park; (c) the mission team be given the opportunity to visit the site and learn of the conditions that may have led to Simen National Park being included in the List of World Heritage in Danger and of rehabilitation measures that are being implemented by the Ethiopian authorities; and (d) the Chairperson and the Director prepare a report for submission to the twenty-fourth  session of the Committee due to be convened in Cairns, Australia from 27 November to 2 December 2000.

The Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia via a letter of 14 April 2000 has informed the Centre that his country, including the Regional authorities where the site is located, are ready to receive the visit of the Chairperson and the Director of the Centre. Possible dates for the mission are being discussed and will be reported at the time of the Bureau session.

Action Required

The Bureau recommends that the Committee retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requests that the Centre co-operate with the State Party in order to field the mission led by the Chairperson and assisted by the Director of the Centre as soon as possible and submit a detailed report on the state of conservation of the site, progress achieved in the rehabilitation efforts undertaken so far, and additional measures needed for the restoration of World Heritage values of the site, to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2000

The Director of the Centre via a letter dated 28 August 2000 informed the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia that the Chairperson and he were unable to undertake a mission to Ethiopia before the twenty-fourth session of the Committee due to severe time constraints. However, the Head of the Regional Bureau of Agriculture responsible for the management of this site is due to make a presentation at the Centre/IUCN workshop on the "Role of World Heritage in Danger Listing in Promoting International Co-operation for the Conservation of World Natural Heritage", in Amman, Jordan, during 6-7 October 2000. Centre and IUCN staff will discuss all issues pertaining to the conservation of this site, including the need for a potential mission to the site by the Chairperson and the Director of the Centre in early 2001, and report on their findings at the time of the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2000
24 BUR IV.A.7
Simen National Park (Ethiopia)

The Bureau was informed of a meeting between the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia to UNESCO and the Director and concerned staff of the Centre, convened on 16 February 2000, when the Director recalled the decisions of the Bureau and the Committee since the site's inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1996. In particular, the Director of the Centre referred to the recommendation of the twenty-third session of the Committee (Morocco, 1999) that the Chairperson undertake a mission to Ethiopia to meet with relevant national and regional authorities and to re-establish a basis for regular exchange of formal communications between the State Party and the Committee.  In accordance with the wish of the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia, the Director sent a letter, dated 22 February 2000, to His Excellency the Ambassador of Ethiopia to France, proposing a 4-5 day mission of the Chairperson and suggesting possible dates for the mission. In addition, the letter suggested that: (a) the Director of the Centre accompany the Chairperson on the mission to Ethiopia; (b) the Ethiopian authorities organize consultations between the mission team and national as well as regional authorities responsible for Simen National Park; (c) the mission team be given the opportunity to visit the site and learn of the conditions that may have led to Simen being included in the List of World Heritage in Danger and of rehabilitation measures that are being implemented by the Ethiopian authorities; and (d) the Chairperson and the Director prepare a report for submission to the twenty-fourth  session of the Committee to be convened in Cairns, Australia from 27 November to 2 December 2000. The Bureau noted with satisfaction that the Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia via a letter of 14 April 2000 had informed the Centre that his country, including the Regional authorities where the site is located, are ready to receive the visit of the Chairperson and the Director of the Centre.

The Bureau recommended that the Committee retain this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau requested that the Centre co-operate with the State Party to field the mission to be led by the Chairperson and assisted by the Director of the Centre as soon as possible, and submit a detailed report on the state of conservation of the site, progress achieved in the rehabilitation efforts undertaken so far and additional measures needed for the restoration of World Heritage values of the site to the twenty-fourth session of the Committee. 

24 COM VIII.8
Simien National Park (Ethiopia)

VIII.8 Simien National Park (Ethiopia)

The Committee was informed that the Director of the Department of Agriculture from the Amhara Region, which is directly responsible for the management of this site, participated in the Amman Workshop. In his presentation, the Director had pointed out several improvements in the state of conservation of the site and expressed his disagreement with the 1996 consultant mission findings that led to the Committee to include Simien in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia, by letter of 16 October 2000 to the Director of the Centre, has confirmed agreement of the Amhara Regional authorities to receive a new and high-level consultant mission that may view and discuss the many efforts of the Regional Government to rehabilitate the Park. Such efforts including: (a) increases in budget and staff deployment; (b) favourable outcome of discussions with local communities; (c) steering committee for rehabilitation and development; (d) a 5-year plan for execution; (e) strengthened co-operation with donors; and (e) increased numbers of key species such as ibexes and red foxes. In the same letter, the Permanent Delegate also informed the Centre that the Amhara Regional Government is intending to propose a realignment of a road expected to run through the Park, resettle farmers currently resident inside the Park and enlarge the Park and redefine boundaries to excise areas occupied by villagers

The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to cooperate with the State Party and the Amhara Region to field a site visit to Simien National Park in order to prepare a report for the next session of the Committee, including observations and comments on existing plans for rehabilitation and changes and modifications to such plans that may be needed. In preparing such a report, the Centre and IUCN may also wish to discuss indicators and benchmarks that may be described and be useful in determining when the site could be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee retained the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee may wish to review new information that may be available at the time of its session and take necessary decisions and recommend appropriate actions for the consideration of the State Party, advisory bodies and the Centre.

Report year: 2000
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1996-2017
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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