Taï National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 195)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1982
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/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 139,995
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Agricultural encroachment ;
Artisanal gold mining;
Impacts of the post-electoral crisis.
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014
The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property in January 2014, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/documents. The report covers the following points:
- Species monitoring: the 2013 monitoring shows that following a stable phase (2008-2012), the bovid species declined rapidly (-25%). There is a significant increase in the presence monkeys (+20%). The chimpanzee population appears to have increased slightly without regaining its level for the 2005-2011 period. The report mentions cases of mortality linked to the Anthrax epidemic in 2010. The State Party notes an increase in the elephant population in 2013 (148) in comparison to 2011 (108). However, the 2012 biological monitoring report indicates an elephant population of 208 individuals for the year (see page http://www.parcnationaltai.com/index.php/fr/documentation/viewcategory/2-biomonitoring.html).
- Evolution of poaching, gold mining and agricultural encroachment: The number of anti-poaching patrols has been greatly increased. Consequently the number of poachers arrested has also increased. The duikers and the primates are the species most poached. The levels of poaching have diminished from 2.29 cases/km in 2012 to 1.93 in 2013. However, pressure linked to poaching remains high despite the efforts undertaken. The number of gold miners arrested has escalated by 50% between 2012 and 2013 reflecting the efficiency of controls. The threat caused by gold mining remains an important concern. A third of the areas of agricultural encroachment were recovered in 2012-2013, the remaining will be recovered by the end of 2014.
- Establishment of a sustainable financial mechanism: A Contract for Debt Conversion (6.25 billion CFA) for the sustainable conservation of the Tai National Park was concluded with the Federal Republic of Germany. A framework contract between the Foundation for the Parks and Reserves of Cote d’Ivoire and the Ivoirian Office of Parks and Reserves is under preparation concerning funding for the period 2014-2018.
- Development and Management Plan: The final version of the updated plan should be available in spring 2014.
- Decree formalizing the extension of the Park and modification of the boundaries: The law on national parks was modified in 2013 enabling modifications of the boundaries. The decree concerning the Tai Park is awaited.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
Important actions to control the Park have been undertaken with the increase in the number of anti-poaching patrols, and the recovery of illegally occupied land. The State Party is encouraged to continue these actions, notably to finalize as soon as possible the land recovery operations and establish the integrity of the Park territory.
In spite of positive trends, the pressure of poaching remains strong as regards certain species such as monkeys and duikers. The actions of the Park staff should be strengthened by operations jointly carried out with Village Associations for Conservation and Development to ensure surveillance and pedagogical information at the periphery of the Park.
Despite the increased number of controls undertaken by Park staff, gold mining remains of major concern. The number of gold miners arrested is on the increase, thus demonstrating the efficiency of the efforts undertaken in the surveillance of the zones. It is important to continue these efforts, with support from the regional consultation committee for combat against extraction activities in protected areas (order of the Prefect of the Nawa region, 2013).
Major progress has been achieved in resolving the agricultural land encroachment in the Park, with the assistance of the Village Associations for Conservation and Development and the Village Surveillance Committees and the cooperation of the local authorities which deserves to be commended by the Committee (1260 ha recovered, including the destruction of cocoa plantations), and with the hope that the recovery of the greater part of the land (2700 ha of 3960 ha) can be achieved in 2014.
Although some positive trends in the state of conservation of wildlife have been noted, the situation regarding some species remains worrying, in particular bovids and primates. The elephant population also remains fragile. The ongoing biological monitoring deserves recognition.
The announcement of the debt cancellation by one of the State Party’s partners and the announcement of a framework contract with the Cote d’Ivoire Foundation for Parks and Reserves are positive developments to be highlighted. With the necessary financial means, the framework contract should enable the implementation of the updated management plan.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.89
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.2 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
- Commends the State Party for the efforts undertaken to regain control of the property, notably through the strengthening of patrols for illegal activities and the first steps taken in recovering land illegally occupied for agricultural activities, and welcomes the announcement that the final recuperation of illegally occupied land will be achieved by the end of 2014;
- Welcomes the information concerning the identification of sufficient financial means for the implementation of the updated development and management plan;
- Requests the State Party, with assistance from the regional consultation committee on extraction activities, to intensify the control of gold mining activities to eliminate it;
- Also requests the State Party to adopt a protocol for monitoring poaching and other illegal activities to enable a detailed assessment, for annual comparison;
- Reiterates its request to the State Party to publish as soon as possible the decree formalizing the extension of the Park, and to submit, once published, a request for the modification of the boundaries of the property to the World Heritage Centre for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
- Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.