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Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Niger
Factors affecting the property in 2001*
  • 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;
  • Need to update the emergency rehabilitation plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2001
Requests approved: 5 (from 1999-2000)
Total amount approved : 142,000 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee – paragraph VIII.12
Twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau - paragraph IV. 11

New information: On 14 March 2001, IUCN was informed by the State Party that since the end of the rebellion in the area, numerous visits to the Reserves have been fielded. Local people have regained their confidence and are actively participating in development activities. The Programme of Support for the Management of the Natural Reserves held an extraordinary session of its Pilot Committee on 7 February 2001 and a new phase of project activities is due to be in place before the end of 2001 or early 2002. Danish and Swiss bilateral aid agencies are committed to financing the new phase. The outcome of the donor mission concluded during 9-16 February 2001 is awaited. The GEF Project for the site is however, still under negotiation.

The Fonds Francais pour l'Environment Mondial (FFEM) is providing financial assistance to the conservation of the Sahelo-saharan antelopes in the framework of the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) and that assistance will benefit conservation activities in some parts of the Reserves. Population status of addax, gazelles and wild sheep are improving and Reserve staff undertake regular anti-poaching patrols.

Unfortunately, the ostrich population seems to have been completely wiped out during the rebellion. US$ 25,000 from the World Heritage Fund contribution for implementing the rehabilitation plan will enable the State Party to experiment with an ostrich re-introduction programme. Implementation of other aspects of the rehabilitation programme approved by the Committee in 1999 are also progressing. A new request for US$ 20,000 has been submitted for the consideration of the Chairperson to organise a workshop for members of the local Committee for the development and the management of the site.

Action Required

The Bureau recalls the fact that the State Party had informed the last session of the Committee of its wish to complete the implementation of all activities of the rehabilitation programme before inviting the Committee to consider removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau notes with satisfaction the improving conservation status of the Reserves and requests the Centre and IUCN to find ways and means to expedite the design and development of the GEF project for the conservation of the Reserves. The Bureau requests the Centre to transmit the Bureau's appreciation of the efforts of the Danish and Swiss Governments and the FFEM for the conservation of the site and urges those donor States Parties to the Convention to make long-term commitments for the protection of the Reserves. The Bureau suggests that the IUCN/Centre mission to evaluate the outcome of the rehabilitation programme be delayed until 2002 to allow time for the completion of all planned activities to be undertaken as part of the rehabilitation programme.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Principal issues:

Rehabilitation of rebel impacted areas; wildlife and other surveys to assess achievements of rehabilitation plan being implemented; staff training and infrastructure development. Development of conservation projects in co-operation with donors and partners.

New information:

As reported to the last Bureau, an amount of US$ 20,000 approved by the Chairperson was used to organize a workshop for members of the local Committee for the development and the management of the site in Iferouan, Niger from 19-24 September 2001 in which the Centre was represented.  A “Feasibility and modality study on the project for the reintroduction of Red necked Ostriches for Aïr and Ténéré”, prepared with the assistance of National Wildlife Research Centre in Saudi Arabia, has been completed.

 

A mission for rapid evaluation of fauna in Aïr and Ténéré, financed by the World Heritage Fund contributions for the implementation of the emergency rehabilitation plan approved by the Committee at its twenty-third session in 1999, was undertaken from 5 – 27 March 2001. IUCN reviewed a copy of the Rapid Wildlife Assessment Report for Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves and made the following observations on the findings of the report: 

 

The principle species of large mammals had recovered to viable levels similar to those seen before the war, except for the ostrich, which had totally disappeared, and the gazelle which was rarely seen during the assessment mission in March 2001.  IUCN notes that despite the recovery of many species, the overall state of conservation of the site remains threatened and has highlighted the following recommendations of the Report: (a) restart and strengthen surveillance activities; (b) establish regulations on tourist activities; (c) create a breeding centre for large Sahel-Saharan mammals and ostrich, with a view to reintroduce individuals and strengthen conservation of wild populations; (d) develop a wildlife census system to include the participation of stakeholders; and (e) develop reliable survey techniques for estimating the addax population.

 

IUCN notes that the ostrich in Aïr and Ténéré is a North African sub species and is now found as a viable population only in Chad.  IUCN believes that it is important to re-introduce the ostrich selecting individuals from the population in Chad as other sub-species of ostrich may not adapt to the specific conditions in Niger.  Re-introduction is vital for generating benefits for the local community in the long-term as they will be able to undertake breeding programmes and make a living from the utilisation of the ostrich population and its products.

 

IUCN strongly supports the report’s recommendations and has suggested that the Committee invite the State Party to implement the recommendations of the Rapid Wildlife Assessment Report. Furthermore, IUCN believes that the State Party could obtain valuable advice on ostrich re-introduction programmes from the ostrich specialist group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC). IUCN considers that the establishment of the ostrich and addax (gazelle) populations of Aïr and Ténéré is likely to take several years and the site may have to be retained in the List of World Heritage in Danger until then.

 

The IUCN Office in Niger has informed the Centre that the Fonds Francais de l’Environment Mondiale (FFEM) has initiated a 5-year programme of support for equipment and the reintroduction of species. This programme is being implemented in co-operation with the “Direction Nationale de la Faune” and the IUCN Office in Niamey. Within the framework of a GEF programme concerned with the “Biodiversity of Sahara”, UNDP and IUCN, Niamey, are also assisting with the implementation of selected aspects of rehabilitation and species reintroduction as well as the establishment of a data base for monitoring. IUCN Niamey is playing a wide-ranging support role in the development of a range of co-operative initiatives with other donors and assisting the Government of Niger to effectively conserve this important site.

 

The Centre, in accordance with the recommendation of the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau in June 2001, has transmitted letters of appreciation to FFEM, Swiss Department of Technical Co-operation and DANIDA for their support to develop several conservation projects for this site.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001
25 BUR V.42-44
Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger)

V.42       The Bureau was informed that since the end of the rebellion in the area, a number of visits to the Reserves have been fielded by the national agency responsible for the management of the site. Local people have regained their confidence and are actively participating in development activities. The Programme of Support for the Management of the Natural Reserves held an extraordinary session of its Pilot Committee on 7 February 2001 and a new phase of project activities is due to be in place before the end of 2001 or early 2002. Danish and Swiss bilateral aid agencies are committed to financing the new phase. The outcome of the donor mission concluded during 9-16 February 2001 is awaited. The GEF Project for the site is also still under negotiation. The Fonds Francais pour l'Environment Mondial (FFEM) is providing financial assistance to the conservation of the Sahelo-saharan antelopes in the framework of the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) and that assistance will benefit conservation activities in some parts of the Reserves. The population status of addax, gazelles and wild sheep is improving and Reserve staff undertakes regular anti-poaching patrols.

V.43       Unfortunately, the ostrich population appears to have been completely wiped out during the rebellion. US$ 25,000 from the World Heritage Fund to implement the rehabilitation plan will enable the State Party to experiment with an ostrich re-introduction programme. Implementation of other aspects of the rehabilitation programme approved by the Committee in 1999 is also progressing. A new request for US$ 20,000 to organise a workshop for members of the local Committee for the development and the management of the site has also been approved by the Chairperson of the Committee.

V.44       The Bureau recalled the fact that the State Party had informed the last session of the Committee of its wish to complete the implementation of all activities of the rehabilitation programme before inviting the Committee to consider removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau noted with satisfaction the improving conservation status of the Reserves and requested the Centre and IUCN to find ways and means to expedite the design and development of the GEF project for the conservation of the Reserves. The Bureau requested the Centre to transmit the Bureau's appreciation of the efforts of the Danish and Swiss Governments and the FFEM for the conservation of the site and urged those donor States Parties to the Convention to make long-term commitments for the protection of the Reserves. The Bureau recommended that the IUCN/Centre mission to evaluate the outcome of the rehabilitation programme be delayed until 2002 to allow time for the completion of all planned activities to be undertaken as part of the rehabilitation programme.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

"The Committee notes IUCN observations concerning the long duration required for the recovery of the ostrich and the gazelle populations in this site and the possibility that the site may have to be retained in the List of World Heritage in Danger until such time when the recovery of these species are sustained. Nevertheless, the Committee expresses its satisfaction with the efforts of the State Party to implement the rehabilitation plan and generate wide-ranging donor support for the conservation of the site. The Committee invites the State Party to consider adopting and implementing the recommendations of the Rapid Wildlife Assessment Report and reiterates the recommendation of the Bureau that the evaluation of the outcome of the rehabilitation plan be delayed until 2002 in order to give the State Party sufficient time to implement specific projects and programmes. The Committee decides to retain this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger".

Report year: 2001
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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