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Simien National Park

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Financial resources
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Human resources
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Loss of biodiversity

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Presence of armed groups
  • Poaching; Loss of biodiversity
  • Encroachment at the borders of the site
  • Road construction
  • Lack of management mechanism (including legislation)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 7 (from 1978-1996)
Total amount approved : 233,171 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

At its 25th session (Helsinki 2001), the Committee requested the State Party to submit a report specifically addressing the issues that were emphasised in the IUCN/UNESCO monitoring mission report (April 2001). Based on this report the Committee set the following benchmarks in relation to the possible removal of Simien National Park from the List of World Heritage in Danger:

·  Realignment of the Park’s boundary to exclude the villages along the boundary;

·  Extension of the Park to include at least Mesarerya and Lemalino Wildlife Reserves;

·  Significant and sustainable reduction in the human population density within the Park, especially within the core area; and

·  Effective conservation within the extended National Park of a larger population of Walia Ibex and Simien Fox.

The Centre and IUCN received the State Party’s report dated 3 December 2002. Additionally, a report dated 21 March 2003 was received from the Swiss-based National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North – South, in cooperation with the East and Southern Africa Partnership Programme (ESAPP) of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) (University of Berne), based on a mission undertaken to the National Park from 25 February to 7 March 2003.

These reports provide the following information with regard to the benchmarks:

·  On the question of realignment of the Park’s boundaries, the State Party reports that discussions between all relevant stakeholders have been initiated in November 2002, under a new Simien Mountains National Park Integrated Development Project, jointly implemented by the Governments of Ethiopia and Austria. Detailed boundary negotiations are expected to take place on a village-by-village basis involving each of the 30 villages surrounding the Park. These negotiations might take away too much land from the Park and hence diminish its biodiversity value.

·  On the issue of the Park extension, the State Party notes that this will be included in the planning and negotiation process started by the Austrian funded project. The process will include the definition of purpose and extent of additional conservation reserves, one in the Silki – Kidus - Yared – Abba Yared area and one in the Weynobar –Analu –Ras Dejen – Abbat Dejen area.

·  The State Party gives no information about the reduction of the human population density in the Park. NCCR reports that no reduction of the human population within the Park has taken place yet and that contacts made with one village show strong resistance to resettlement. It has informed IUCN about its plans to undertake a scientific study, which would assess numbers of wildlife in the National Park in cooperation with the Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI). The study would begin in October 2004 and would include the issue of review of World Heritage boundaries.

·  On the issue of the effective conservation of the Walia Ibex and Simien Fox within the park, the State Party reports that populations have significantly increased from 1998 to 2001. Direct counts of Walia Ibex are indicating a increase from 270 individuals in 1995 to 514 in 2002, whilst the population of Simien Fox is reported to have increased from an estimated 20 – 30 individuals in 1997 to 45 in 2002. NCCR reports that they were unable to confirm these figures and recommend to carry out a detailed assessment of wildlife populations using techniques which exclude any double counting.

 

The State Party also provides information on the efforts of the regional government to strengthen the management of the Park. The rehabilitation of the Dirni Camp was completed, 16 additional scouts recruited, the number of vehicles increased to four, two computers were purchased and the operating budget increased from around US$ 56 000 in 1998 to around US$ 83 000 in 2001. A regional steering committee, led by the vice president of the regional government was also created in order to follow up the activities and progress on the conservation of the site. The State Party also reports that the illegal activities such as cultivation and logging have been reduced, although no detailed figures are reported. Numerous measures for community development and agriculture have been undertaken and efforts will be stepped up under the Simien Mountains National Integrated Development Project. The State Party further reports that the numbers of tourists and the collected revenue have been increasing. The NCCR/CDE mission report highlights the subsequent need for the development of plans for tourist camps and a comprehensive master plan for private investments in the vicinity of the Park.

 

IUCN:

IUCN notes, based on the NCCR/CDE mission report, that there have been significant improvements in strengthening coordination and management of development activities in the Simien Mountains. The new information provided above has been proposed on a consensual basis between IUCN and the Centre.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7A.3
Simien National Park (Ethiopia)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the State Party on actions undertaken during the past year to improve the conservation of the Simien National Park World Heritage property;

2. Recommends that the State Party continue implementing the positive measures mentioned in its report until significant on-the-ground conservation improvements are evident;

3. Recommends that IUCN, using expertise from its Species Survival Commission and in co-operation with the State Party, takes measures to verify the increase in the population estimates of Walia Ibex and Simien Fox reported by the State Party;

4. Invites the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2004, additional information on progress made on the state of conservation of the property, particularly in relation to the benchmarks for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and other recommendations outlined in the IUCN/UNESCO mission report (April 2001) for noting or review as appropriate by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session in 2004;

5. Decides to retain the Simien National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

27 COM 8B.2
Properties maintained on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-03/27.COM/7A),;

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, Afghanistan (27 COM 7A.21)
  • Butrint, Albania (27 COM 7A.26 )
  • Tipasa, Algeria (27 COM 7A.17)
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin (27 COM 7A.15)
  • Angkor, Cambodia (27 COM 7A.22)
  • Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, Central African Republic (27 COM 7A.12 )
  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea (27 COM 7A.4)
  • Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2) 
  • Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Sangay National Park, Ecuador (27 COM 7A.13)
  • Abu Mena, Egypt (27 COM 7A.18)
  • Simien National Park, Ethiopia (27 COM 7A.3)
  • Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras (27 COM 7A.14)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, India (27 COM 7A.9)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi, India (27 COM 7A.23)
  • Old City of Jerusalem & its Walls (27COM7A.29)
  • Timbuktu, Mali (27 COM 7A.16)
  • Air & Ténéré Natural Reserves, Niger (27 COM 7A.5)
  • Bahla Fort, Oman (27 COM 7A.19)
  • Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan (27 COM 7A.242)
  • Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru (27 COM 7A.28)
  • Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Philippines (27 COM 7A.25)
  • Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Senegal (27 COM 7A.6)
  • Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia (27 COM 7A.8)
  • Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda (27 COM 7A.7) 
  • Everglades National Park, United States of America (27 COM 7A.11)
  • Historic Town of Zabid, Yemen (27 COM 7A.20)

Draft 27 COM 7 (a) 3

 

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the State Party on actions undertaken during the past year to improve the conservation of the Simien National Park World Heritage site;

2. Recommends that the State Party continue implementing positive measures mentioned in its report until significant on-the-ground conservation improvements are evident;

3. Recommends that IUCN, using expertise from its Species Survival Commission and in cooperation with the State Party, take measures to verify the increase in the population estimates of Walia Ibex and Simien Fox reported by the State Party;

4. Invites the State Party to provide additional information on progress made in the state of conservation of the site, particularly in relation to the benchmarks for the removal of the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger and other recommendations outlined in the IUCN/UNESCO mission report (April 2001) for review at the 28th session of the Committee in 2004;

5. Decides to retain the Simien National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Report year: 2003
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1996-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)
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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