1.         Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) (N 153)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (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/153/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-1991)
Total amount approved: USD 107,845
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

July 2001: joint World Heirtage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations:
Seventeenth session of the World Heritage Committee - paragraph X.2
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee – paragraph VIII.27 / Annex X page 116.

Main issues: poaching, transfer of animals (threatened Derby Eland population);

New informationThe State Party has not yet responded to the Centre’s letter dated 8 December 2000 informing the State Party of the concern expressed by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau over the reported proposals to transfer animals, including the Derby Eland from the World Heritage site, and has so far not invited a monitoring mission to the site as requested by the Bureau.  IUCN reports the concern about the capture and removal of wildlife from Niokolo-Koba National Park.  For example, from April to July 1999, a South African team captured 74 roan antelope, 10 buffalo and 23 Buffon’s kob and moved these animals to the  small, privately owned Bandia reserve and ultimately translocated to the 6,000 hectare Fathala Forest where SPEFS is planning to establish a wildlife park for tourists.  A further capture operation was conducted in Niokolo-Koba in May 2000, when 9 western giant eland and 10 waterbuck were captured and translocated to Bandia.  IUCN reports that these game captures were conducted under an agreement signed by Senegal’s former Minister of Environment with the “Société pour la Protection de l’Environnement et de la Faune au Senegal” (SPEFS) in June 1999, and a second agreement signed by Senegal’s current Minister of Environment with SPEFS in April 2000.  The latter agreement specified that the Government of Senegal will donate 70 roan, 50 kob, 10 buffalo, 20 bushbuck, 10 grey duiker, 10 waterbuck, 10 western giant eland and 30 western hartebeest to SPEFS.  IUCN further reports that an Article of agreement states that 45 roan will be transferred to South Africa, as “payment in kind” for the logistics and expertise provided by the South Africans.  35 of the captured roan antelope were transported from Senegal to Sable Ranch in South Africa in July 2000.

IUCN and the Centre express great concern about several aspects of these recent captures and translocations.  The site where the animals are to be relocated is known to be completely unsuitable for some species such as the giant eland.  IUCN’s position is that translocation should not occur unless it is clearly demonstrated that it will: 1. benefit the conservation of the endangered species; 2. cause no significant harm to conservation in Niokolo-Koba National Park; and 3. result from a clear decision taken by the Senegalese authorities and publicised as such. IUCN reports that the President of IUCN has met with the Minister of the Environment of Senegal, Mr. Mamadou Lamine Ba, in March 2001 in Dakar. During this meeting the Minister agreed that the IUCN Antelopes Specialist Group visit Senegal and assist the Ministry in finding a suitable solution to the present situation as proposed by IUCN.

Action Required

The Bureau notes with concern the reports concerning Niokolo-Koba National Park, and requests the State Party to provide by 15 September 2001, a report on the state of conservation of this site, including a detailed update on the current situation of the animals removed from the Park. The Bureau welcomes the recommendations of the Centre and IUCN and urges the State Party to invite a monitoring mission to the site in 2001, as suggested by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the World Heritage Bureau.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

A Centre/IUCN monitoring mission to the site was undertaken from 5 to 15 July 2001.  The full mission report is provided as an information document WHC-2001/CONF.207/INF.7.   As suggested in the report,  the Centre and IUCN propose that an aerial survey should be conducted as a matter of urgency. This survey should determine the number and distribution of giant eland in Niokolo-Koba NP’s eastern part and the adjacent Faleme Hunting Zone. Because of the present low density of giant eland, a total coverage of the primary giant eland area in Niokolo-Koba NP is recommended. A sample count following standardised methodology could be undertaken in the remaining areas of Niokolo-Koba NP and the Faleme Hunting Zone.

All National Park staff working in Niokolo-Koba or visiting the Park should be encouraged to record detailed giant eland information on standardised data sheets whenever possible. These records could possibly be kept at the Park offices in Tambacouda and later entered into a computer database. Observations should include standardised information such as date, habitat type, locality, group sizes and number of calves. Other regular visitors to Niokolo-Koba NP, such as tour operators, could also be encouraged to collect specific information on giant eland.   It is desirable to protect a small number of giant eland outside Niokolo-Koba NP. The present six giant eland in Bandia Reserve could serve this purpose.  No further captures and relocations of giant eland from Niokolo-Koba NP to areas outside the Park should be considered for the time being.  A short field research project on giant eland should be considered for submission requesting support from the World Heritage Fund.   This project should collect detailed population data, movements and habitat use. A one-year field project should be able to achieve the initial goals. Radio collaring of a few selected individuals would be essential to ensure that study animals could be reliably located. 

Effective law enforcement (anti-poaching operations) will remain of critical importance, not only as far as the survival of giant eland is concerned but also other species in the Park. It is proposed that the services of a specialist consultant be sought to consider various alternative law-enforcement strategies. This must be done in close co-operation with National Parks’ authorities as well as community representatives in the Niokolo-Koba region. The project “The protection, reproduction and veterinary control of large antelopes, such as the Derby eland” proposed by the Tropical and Sub-tropical Agronomy at the ITSZ CZU in Prague, should be reviewed by all key stakeholder groups. The project could play a major role in ensuring the survival of the giant eland. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 25 BUR V.93-96

V.93       The Bureau noted that the State Party had not responded to the concerns expressed by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau over the reported proposals to transfer animals, including the Derby Eland, from the World Heritage site. It also had not invited a monitoring mission to the site as requested by the Bureau.  IUCN reported the concern about the capture and removal of wildlife from Niokolo-Koba National Park.  For example, from April to July 1999, a South African team captured 74 roan antelope, 10 buffalo and 23 Buffon’s kob.  These animals were moved to the small, privately-owned Bandia Reserve and ultimately translocated to the 6,000 hectare Fathala Forest where the SPEFS is planning to establish a wildlife park for tourists.  A further capture operation was conducted in Niokolo-Koba in May 2000, when 9 western giant eland and 10 waterbuck were captured and translocated to Bandia.  IUCN reported that these game captures were conducted under an agreement signed by Senegal’s former Minister of Environment with the “Société pour la Protection de l’Environnement et de la Faune au Senegal” (SPEFS) in June 1999, and a second agreement signed by Senegal’s current Minister of Environment with SPEFS in April 2000.  The latter agreement specified that the Government of Senegal will donate 70 roan antelope, 50 kob, 10 buffalo, 20 bushbuck, 10 grey duiker, 10 waterbuck, 10 western giant eland and 30 western hartebeest to SPEFS.  IUCN further reported that an article of the Agreement states that 45 roan antelope will be transferred to South Africa, as “payment in kind” for the logistics and expertise provided by the South Africans.  35 of the captured roan antelope were transported from Senegal to Sable Ranch in South Africa in July 2000.

V.94       IUCN and the Centre expressed great concern about several aspects of these recent captures and translocations.  The site where the animals are to be relocated is known to be completely unsuitable for some species such as the giant eland.  IUCN’s position is that translocation should not occur unless it is clearly demonstrated that it will: 1) benefit the conservation of the endangered species; 2) cause no significant harm to conservation in Niokolo-Koba National Park; and 3) result from a clear decision taken by the Senegalese authorities and be publicised as such.

V.95       The Centre informed the Bureau that new information was received from the Director of the Department of National Parks of Senegal concerning the operation to translocate elephants from Burkina Faso into the site at the end of 2001 or early 2002. This would be during the colder season when the vegetation is available. The operation is supported by the French Funds for Co-operation, the French Global Environmental Facility, the European Union and the Cap-Vert French Forces. Senegal is calling for additional international assistance for capture, transportation and release of the animals.

V.96       The Bureau noted with concern the reports concerning Niokolo-Koba National Park, and requested the State Party to provide by 15 September 2001, a report on the state of conservation of this site, including a detailed update on the current situation of the animals removed from the Park. The Bureau welcomed the recommendations of the Centre and IUCN and urged the State Party to invite a monitoring mission to the site in 2001, as suggested by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the World Heritage Bureau.

Decision Adopted: 25 COM VIII.96

VIII.96 The Committee endorsed the recommendations of the IUCN/Centre mission, and requested the State Party to review the document and report back with an action plan for implementation of the recommendations by 1 February 2002 for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the Committee (June 2002).