Taï National Park
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
- Civil unrest
- Commercial hunting
- Financial resources
- Human resources
- Illegal activities
- Land conversion
- Management systems/ management plan
- Subsistence hunting
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Severe impact caused by heavy wildlife poaching and organized hunting,
- Human encroachment particularly by local agricultural communities,
- Influx of refugees from the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Total amount approved : 80,014 USD
|Financement de l'Atelier National de Formation ... (Approved)
|Preparing a technical co-operation project for ... (Approved)
|2-year training for one specialist from Tai National ... (Approved)
|Contribution to the construction of a wardens' station, ... (Approved)
Missions to the property until 2003**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003
At its twenty-sixth session (Budapest, 2002), the World Heritage Committee requested 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". The Committee further urged 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. The State Party, following the request of the Committee has invited a monitoring mission to the site (letter to the Centre dated 16 August 2002).
On 1 April 2003, the State Party sent a report entitled "National workshop for training and awareness building: Contribution of Scientific Research to the management, conservation and sustainable development of a World Heritage site on forest zone: Tai National Park in South West Ivory Coast, as a result of two workshops held from 7 - 9 November 2002 in Tai National Park; and from 28 - 30 January 2003 in Abidjan. The workshops addressed the following issues:
-Lack of Master Plans providing priority orientations for research;
-Lack of co-ordination between researchers and conservators on the one hand, and foreign institutions on the other;
-Almost complete lack of national scientific research in Protected Areas;
- Lack of monitoring, evaluation and synthesis of research activities;
- Lack of access to and diffusion of research products.
The workshops further underlined the structural and institutional problems which have impacted Tai National Park, and which led to the creation of an independent protected area management system "Projet Autonome pour la Conservation du Parc National de Tai" (PACPNT). These problems include:
- The role of local populations in the implementation of the new conservation policy for the Tai National Park does not appear to be fundamentally different from their assigned role prior to PACPNT.
- The nature and importance of anthropic pressure exerted by the residents on the TNP does not appear to have evolved towards a sustainable conservation of the Park;
- The actions initiated in the development of a framework for a new conservation policy for the Taï National Park have not encouraged a change in behaviour on the part of the residents with regard to Taï National Park and its sustainable conservation.
Also, the research on management, conservation and sustainable management of the Park brought up a certain number of questions:
- What has been achieved through research activities in the Taï National Park and how have they significantly contributed towards the conservation of this site?
- In what way can scientific research encourage the active participation of all partners involved in the management of the Taï Area in the implementation of the TNP long-term conservation programme and in the economic, social and cultural development of the region?
- What are the strategies to be developed and expanded so that scientific research may play a lead role in the sustainable development, conservation and management of Taï National Park?
The State Party has recently informed the World Heritage Centre that all contacts have been cut off with the site believed to be occupied by the rebels. The State Party requested the Committee to inscribe this site in the World Heritage List in Danger.
In January 2003, IUCN received a report dated 16 August 2002 one month before the outbreak of the civil war. The report outlines the work of the “Project Autonome pour la Conservation du Parc National de Taï”, financed by GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) since 1993 and provides some basic statistics for the period from 1996 to 2001. Before the outbreak of the conflict and Since the beginning of the GTZ project, the reports show that: - Surveillance in the Tai National Park is among the best in the region and results from the monitoring studies show some improvement in the situation on the ground. Monitoring is taking place with the assistance of local people, many of whom were poachers previously. There is some indication of an increase in the density of monkeys between 1998 and 2001 and it is noted that no large species has disappeared from the Park. Satellite images also show that there is a positive evolution of forest growth in degraded areas, while an environmental education programme has been developed in the region. - The boundaries of the Park have been completely demarcated with the use of a GPS and entered into a database; - Anti-poaching patrols have helped reduce the effect of poaching on the Park. In summary: - An average of 90 people have been arrested per year for various illegal activities with a maximum number in 1999 due to the increased capacity of the guards assisted by the project; - Poaching is the greatest problem with the majority (81%) of arrests relating to illegal poaching, followed by gold mining and then crop growing; and - There was a decrease in arrests in 2001, dropping to only 25 people. - The Park management is seeking to develop greater collaboration with local people, NGOs and international organizations, especially in relation to developing ecotourism. About 250-350 visitors have been visiting the site per year but the current instability in the country has caused this to drop. Training of the local population, cooperation with the private sector and an improvement in the security situation are necessary for ecotourism to develop successfully.
Whilst IUCN notes that the results of the GTZ project, the report does not provide clear information on the wildlife conservation status in the site and the impact of poaching over the years. No information has been provided by the State Party on the issue of re-opening hunting in the country and the plans to control such hunting in the World Heritage site.
IUCN thanks the State Party for its cooperation and hopes to be able to organize the monitoring mission as soon as the security situation in the country improves. Furthermore, IUCN recommends that the Committee commend the State Party for their efforts to protect the integrity of Taï National Park, as well as GTZ for their long-term support to this site. IUCN notes that while some of the results presented in the State Party report are encouraging, there is a lack of information on the impact of poaching at the site. IUCN recommends that the Committee request a report on the issue of re-opening hunting throughout the country, as well as an update on the effect of the current civil unrest on the site.
Summary of the interventions
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.2
Taï National Park (Côte d'Ivoire)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Recalling decision 26 COM 21 (b) 6 taken during the 26th session of the World Heritage Committee, requesting the State Party to provide a detailed report on the situation with regard to poaching of wildlife at the property, and encouraging the State Party to invite a mission to Taï National Park to evaluate the state of conservation of the property and to inform the Committee on whether or not it should be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger,;
2. Takes note of the recent report submitted by the State Party to the World Heritage Centre informing of the present situation at the property;
3. Takes note that the property is no longer occupied by rebel forces;
4. Expresses its concern with regard to the eventual impact on the integrity of the property caused by civil unrest;
5. Requests the State Party to submit a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004, if possible, with particular reference to the impact of poaching at the property, the reopening of hunting throughout the country and the effects of civil unrest on the integrity of the property;
6. Accepts the invitation of the State Party for a mission, as requested during its 26th session, and requests IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to field a mission as soon as the security in the country is assured. The objective of the mission would be to review the state of conservation of the property. The report of the mission and the report of the State Party are to be provided in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004;
7. Encourages donors such as GTZ (German Technical Co-operation) and the European Union, who already assist the State Party in the management of the development of Taï, as well as the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to continue their support, and also encourages other donors to mobilise their resources to support other properties in the Côte d'Ivoire.
Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 2
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Recalling the decision made at its 26th session requesting the State Party in particular to provide a detailed report of the wildlife poaching situation at the site and urging the State Party to invite a mission to Taï National Park 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;
2. Noting the recent report of the State Party to the World Heritage Centre, received 5 May 2003, which highlights that the situation at this site has deteriorated and is now in real danger due to civil unrest;
3. Expresses its serious concern over the potential impacts of the current civil unrest and the increasing level of poaching on the integrity of the site;
4. Decides to inscribe the Taï National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
5. Requests the State Party to submit a detailed report on the state of conservation of the site by 1 February 2004, particularly addressing the impact of poaching on the site, the re-opening of hunting throughout the country and the effect of civil unrest on the integrity of the site;
6. Welcomes the State Party's invitation for a mission, as requested by its 26th session, and requests IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to carry out a mission as soon as the security situation permits with the aim of reviewing the state of conservation of the site and developing a plan of rehabilitation measures, which would include benchmarks for removing the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
7. Encourages the donor agencies such as the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the European Union, already assisting the State Party in management and development of Taï, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to continue their support, and further encourages other donors to mobilize their resources in support of Côte d’Ivoire sites.
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”).