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 2001

Main issues: poaching.

New information: IUCN has informed the Centre that a severe shortage of funds is impeding the anti-poaching operations and affecting the management of Kaziranga National Park. It is estimated that more than 200 rhinos have been poached and 60 poachers have been killed in the park in the last decade. More resources are needed to improve the protection of the Park. However, it has been reported that there have been problems with designated funding provided to the Regional Government actually reaching the Park. Consequently, few of the patrol vehicles are in running condition and boats have not been repaired for a long time.

It has also been reported to IUCN that during the winter, the surrounding people enter the park for community fishing, which is sometimes associated with illegal activities, such as stealing rifles from forest guards and damaging river boats. Fishing inside the Kaziranga National Park has now been banned. The State Party has issued a prohibitory order to ban fishing from the wetlands of the National Park and has stated that stern action will be initiated against any violation of the order.  The Park presently has more than 1500 endangered one-horn rhinoceros, which are subject to poaching.

IUCN has also received reports of large herds of elephants going on the rampage in areas in and around Kaziranga National Park. In June 2000, more than 15 people were killed by elephants in the Golaghat district of Assam. Numaligarh is the location of a new oil refinery and according to experts this has been one of the major reasons for the increased intensity of animal/people conflicts. Local villagers say that elephants here are no longer scared of traditional methods - like torch flames and drum beating - used to scare away the animals from human habitations. It has been estimated that at least 300 people have been killed by rampaging elephants in Assam, in the last three years. Assam wildlife authorities have urged the Central Government to allow them to capture the wild elephants to minimise damage. IUCN is concerned that the wildlife/people conflict may result in resentment towards the National Park.

Action Required

The Bureau requests that the State Party submit to the Centre, before 15 September 2001, a report on the major management issues of the site, particularly those related to financing of anti-poaching operations and minimising conflicts between elephant herds and human habitations, in order to enable the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau to review the information and suggest appropriate measures.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

In June 2001, the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau had invited the State Party to provide, before 15 September 2001, a report on major management issues of the site, particularly those related to financing anti-poaching operations and human-elephant conflicts. A report on the subject is still awaited. The Centre is in the process of contacting the Ministry of Environment and Forests of India to explore possibilities for the Centre/IUCN mission to Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, India, planned for February 2002, to include a visit Kaziranga National Park Asthe extra-costs to visit Kaziranga will be minimal, it would be a good opportunity to obtain a first-hand impression on constraints facing Park management.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 25 BUR V.122-125

V.122     The Bureau noted that IUCN informed the Centre that a severe shortage of funds is impeding the anti-poaching operations and affecting the management of Kaziranga National Park. It is estimated that more than 200 rhinos have been poached and 60 poachers have been killed in the Park in the last decade. More resources are needed to improve the protection of the Park. However, it has been reported that there have been problems with designated funding provided to the Regional Government actually reaching the Park. Consequently, few of the patrol vehicles are in running condition and boats have not been repaired for a long time.

V.123     It has also been reported that during the winter, the local people enter the Park for community fishing, which is sometimes associated with illegal activities, such as stealing rifles from forest guards and damaging river boats. Fishing inside the Kaziranga National Park has now been banned. The State Party has issued a prohibition order to ban fishing from the wetlands of the National Park and has stated that stern action will be initiated against any violation.  The Park presently has more than 1500 endangered one-horn rhinoceros, which are subject to poaching.

V.124     IUCN has also received reports of large herds of elephants going on the rampage in areas in and around Kaziranga National Park. In June 2000, elephants killed more than 15 people in the Golaghat District of Assam. Numaligarh is the location of a new oil refinery and according to experts this has been one of the major reasons for the increased intensity of animal/people conflicts. It has been estimated that rampaging elephants have killed at least 300 people in Assam, in the last three years. Assam Wildlife authorities have urged the Central Government to allow them to capture the wild elephants to minimise damage. IUCN was concerned that the wildlife/people conflict may result in resentment towards the National Park.

V.125     The Bureau requested that, in order to enable the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau to review the information and suggest appropriate measures, the State Party submit to the Centre, before 15 September 2001, a report on the major management issues of the site, particularly those related to financing of anti-poaching operations and minimising conflicts between elephant herds and human habitations.

Decision Adopted: 25 COM VIII

 

Reports on the state of conservation of natural properties inscribed on the World Heritage List noted by the Committee

Great Barrier Reef (Australia)

Fraser Island (Australia)

The Sundarbans (Bangladesh)

Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)

Gros Morne National Park (Canada)

Nahanni National Park (Canada)

Los Katios National Park (Colombia) 

Caves of the Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (Hungary/Slovakia)

The Committee noted that the issues raised concern only the Slovak part of this transboundary site.

Sundarbans National Park (India) 

The Delegate of India informed the Committee that there is no National Waterways Project that is planned or likely to impact this site.

Kaziranga National Park (India)

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)

Lorentz National Park (Indonesia)

The Observer of Indonesia thanked the Australian authorities for their financial assistance. He informed the Committee that it would be difficult to comply with the deadline of 1 February and that a report could be provided by the end of March 2002.

Aeolian Islands (Italy)

The Observer of Italy confirmed that there was a court decision on 4 December 2001, which is not yet public, but that it is hoped to be available soon. She informed the Committee that the collaboration between the autonomous regional Government and the central Government has commenced and that a meeting will take place to find a solution. 

Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania)

The Delegate of Egypt brought to the attention of the Committee the importance of protecting the wetlands, which are known to be important rest places for the migratory birds along their routes. He suggested that the World Heritage Centre should have a plan defining the wetlands, which are important for the birds and to use this information for establishing "satellite" World Heritage sites. IUCN informed of the co-operation between the World Heritage Centre and the Ramsar Convention as well as with Bird Life International for the protection of the wetlands. He also highlighted the importance of the surrounding areas to the World Heritage sites and the links with the Man and Biosphere programme for the protection of the sites. The Secretariat informed of the on-going discussions with the Secretariat of the Convention of Migratory Species to establish a Memorandum of Understanding between these two Conventions.

Gunung Mulu National Park (Malaysia)

Sian Ka'an (Mexico)

The Delegate of Mexico informed that the confirmation of the Ecological Land-Use Plan is in its final phase and consequently she asked that the deadline for the report requested by the Bureau be set for 15 May 2002 for examination at the twenty-sixth session of the Committee in June.

Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)

Western Caucasus (Russian Federation)

Golden Mountains of Altai (Russian Federation)

Doñana National Park (Spain)

Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Sri Lanka)

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast (United Kingdom)

St Kilda (United Kingdom)

Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (United States of America)

Canaima National Park (Venezuela)