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Simien National Park

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Other Threats:

    Declining populations of Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf and other large mammal species

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Declining populations of Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf and other large mammal species;
  • Increasing human populations and livestock numbers in the park;
  • Agricultural encroachment;
  • Road construction.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Depletion of the Walia ibex population and of other large mammals
  • Phenomenon of encroachment
  • Impacts of road construction
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

USD 100,000 in support of community conservation and development of the grazing pressure reduction strategy (Spain and Netherlands) with important co-financing from Global Environment Fund (GEF).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 10 (from 1978-2013)
Total amount approved : 323,171 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 13 February 2014, the State Party submitted a detailed state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/9/documents/.  A number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions are presented in this report:

  • Re-gazettal of the Park boundaries is now being submitted to the Council of Ministers, and scheduled to be finalized by June 2014. Once the re-gazettal process is completed, the boundary modification dossier will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
  • The necessary financial means to implement the already developed grazing pressure reduction strategy are still lacking, while livestock health and wildlife protection measures have been taken;
  • A number of activities to support alternative livelihoods for local communities have lessened pressures on the park, but limited funding reduces the scale of implementation;
  • Gich village, which consists of 418 households and is situated in the middle of the property, was prioritized for the voluntary resettlement, given its impact on the property. Mutual agreement was reached with the community to resettle to the nearby town of Debark. Field operations have recently started, but  significant additional resources would be needed to complete the action, both to cover the legal compensations and the alternative livelihood options;
  • Following the 2012 donor conference, the Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grant Programme in Ethiopia in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre set up a community conservation programme at the property. The State Party is also following up with other potential donors and conservation partners;
  • The regular internal census shows that numbers of key wildlife species have continuously increased over the past 10 years, with current population numbers estimated at about 900 Walia ibex and about 100 Ethiopian wolf;
  • A re-alignment of the Debark - Mekan Berhan - Dilyibza Road is currently being constructed by the Ethiopian Roads Authority outside of the property;
  • The property has great potential as a tourism destination, bringing considerable revenue to local communities and government. A new tourist management plan has been developed in collaboration with conservation partners;
  • Park management has improved thanks to increased human and financial resources.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The World Heritage Committee is recommended to welcome the State Party’s commitments to implement the remaining corrective measures. The re-gazettal of the park boundaries is near completion and the boundary modification dossier is in preparation for which international assistance from the World Heritage Fund has been provided.

The successful initiation of voluntary relocation with the local inhabitants of Gich Village inside the park, the reduction of unsustainable agricultural pressures on the property and the efforts to promote alternative livelihoods are also welcomed.

The World Heritage Centre has been able to mobilize some limited funding to support the Committee’s recommendation to review the grazing pressure reduction strategy in order to identify priorities for immediate implementation. The State Party should also strengthen the follow-up with donors, who participated in the 2012 donor conference and expressed interest in supporting the development of alternative livelihoods and grazing strategies, in order to secure the long-term ecological integrity of the property and to create the conditions to remove the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Considerable efforts and financial means are urgently needed in order not to lose momentum in the current initiative and the Committee is recommended to reiterate its call on the international community to provide the necessary funding.

If sufficient financial resources are secured to complete the implementation of the corrective measures, it should be possible to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger in the next 2 to 3 years. Meanwhile, it is recommended that the World Heritage Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.43
Simien National Park (Ethiopia) (N 9)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.10, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to complete the re-gazettal of Simien Mountains National Park in 2014 as well as its sustained efforts to strengthen the management effectiveness of the property and to implement the corrective measures;
  4. Considers that if sufficient financial resources are secured to complete the implementation of the corrective measures, it should be possible to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger in the near future;
  5. Notes with appreciation the support already provided by different donors to assist the State Party with the implementation of the corrective measures, and reiterates its call to the international community to increase the financial support to the property for a speedy implementation of the remaining corrective measures;
  6. Requests the State Party to follow up with the interested donors and conservation partners who attended the 2012 donor conference in order to mobilize the additional funding required; reiterates its request to review the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy in order to identify priorities for immediate implementation;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  8. Decides to retain the Simien National Park (Ethiopia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
38 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 38 COM 7A.14)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 38 COM 7A.15)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 38 COM 7A.31)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 38 COM 7A.21)
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.32)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 38 COM 7A.1)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 38 COM 7A.16)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 38 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 38 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 38 COM 7A.2)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 38 COM 7A.3)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 38 COM 7A.4)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 38 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 38 COM 7A.24)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 38 COM 7A.25)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 38 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 38 COM 7A.5)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 38 COM 7A.20)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 38 COM 7A.22)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 38 COM 7A.18)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 38 COM 7A.29)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 38 COM 7A.26)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 38 COM 7A.19)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.30)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 38 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 38 COM 7A.13)
Draft Decision:   38 COM 7A.43

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.10, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to complete the re-gazettal of Simien Mountains National Park in 2014 as well as its sustained efforts to strengthen the management effectiveness of the property and to implement the corrective measures;

4.  Considers that if sufficient financial resources are secured to complete the implementation of the corrective measures, it should be possible to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger in the near future;

5.  Notes with appreciation the support already provided by different donors to assist the State Party with the implementation of the corrective measures, and reiterates its call to the international community to increase the financial support to the property for a speedy implementation of the remaining corrective measures;

6.  Requests the State Party to follow up with the interested donors and conservation partners who attended the 2012 donor conference in order to mobilize the additional funding required; reiterates its request to review the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy in order to identify priorities for immediate implementation;

7.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

8.  Decides to retain the Simien National Park (Ethiopia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2014
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1996-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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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