1.         Taï National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 195)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1982

Criteria  (vii)(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/195/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1983-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 80,014
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/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/195/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2002

IUCN has  received a copy of the 2001 Tropenbos Côte d’Ivoire report La chasse et la filière viande de brousse dans l’espace Taï, Côte D’Ivoire, by H.-U. Caspary, I. Koné, C. Prouot and M. De Pauw.  The study focuses on the different forms of hunting as well as the different activities in the bush meat supply chain in the Taï region, including the World Heritage site.  It deals with the role of different actors involved in wildlife exploitation and is intended as a contribution to the discussion on the development of new wildlife management strategies with a view to the announced reopening of hunting in Côte d’Ivoire. 

 

Results of the study include:

·  Approximately 20,000 subsistence hunters, 600 semi-professional hunters and 60 professional hunters operate in the periphery of Taï National Park;

·  The yearly game takeoff by subsistence hunters occurs principally in the peripheral zone of the Park.  It comprises rodents and other small game species and reflects the impoverished range of wildlife in agricultural areas; 

·  The takeoff by professional hunters occurs within the Park and the neighbouring gazetted forests and is estimated at between 56 and 76 tones per annum, largely consisting of primary forest species particularly monkeys and bovidae;

·  The range of game sold in rural restaurants differs between the east and west of the Park, with the west offering a more diverse selection, of which more than 50% are protected species;

·  In the urban areas of the Taï region, livestock meat was more abundant than bush meat, however in rural markets the quantity of livestock meat was similar or lower than bush meat, particularly in the west of the Park;

·  The possibilities for intervention in the bush meat supply chain in the Taï region depend on two important factors ie: 1) the decision of the Ivorian Government to give a ruling on the conditions for re-opening hunting in the country, and 2) the knowledge of the ecological parameters of game in rural areas, eg: densities, carrying capacity and the maximum sustainable takeoff rate.

 

The report makes several recommendations in light of the Government’s announcement to re-open hunting, including:

·  Support the drawing up of the necessary conditions for the reopening of hunting;

·  Encourage breeding programmes and research (eg: population dynamics, densities, carrying capacities);

·  Intensify surveillance to reduce hunting in the Park;

·  Plan, carry out and control hunting experimentally in the Taï region in close collaboration with the local population and according to defined criteria;

·  Develop methods for monitoring fauna and hunting, especially in future hunting zones.

 

IUCN received additional reports on the wildlife situation at the site:

·  In most parts of the Park, poaching has literally emptied the forest of the larger vertebrates, and poachers are shooting hornbills for consumption.

·  In the east, poaching camps with well-maintained trails wide enough to drive a scooter have been observed.

·  A World Bank financed road built from Abidjan to San Pedro along the coast in the early 1990’s opened the Southern part of the Park to poaching. Here, chimpanzee populations documented in 1990 had disappeared by 1994.

·  There is some evidence that the prohibition on hunting is threatening the survival of traditional knowledge held by subsistence hunters, while industrial poaching has risen due to lack of political will and ability to apply/enforce the law. 

 

IUCN notes the study confirms again the link between food security and wildlife consumption.  IUCN also notes the principal threat to wildlife is not subsistence hunting but large-scale commercial poaching.  The availability and price of meat from domestic livestock sources versus bush meat is having consequences for hunting pressure on wildlife.  This strongly supports the need to link authorities responsible for public health, food security and wildlife/game management.

 

IUCN notes that wildlife protection requires effective management, including well armed and trained anti-poaching units as well as investment (development aid) in education, health, infrastructure, public services and economic activities in the areas adjacent to the Park.

 

For hunting to be a sustainable activity, the Park must be effective in conserving wildlife and have mechanisms to ensure that regulations can be enforced - this is lacking in the Taï area.  Prohibition of hunting is meaningless unless rigorously enforced.  Hence a re-opening of hunting, with local hunting associations charged with the responsibility for their resource (rather than large scale commercial hunting licenses) could be an option if this is associated with improved enforcement as well as effective wildlife monitoring.  Local and International NGOs could possibly play a key role in this process.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 26 COM 21B.6

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Requests the State Party to provide a detailed report of the wildlife poaching situation at the site, including information on reported intentions to reopen hunting throughout the country and follow-up to the recommendations.  If affirmative, the State Party should elaborate the plans and methods it proposes to regulate and control the activity at the World Heritage site;

2. Urges the State Party to invite a monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the site with the aim of informing the Committee whether the site should be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.