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Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park

Central African Republic
Factors affecting the property in 2011*
  • Civil unrest
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Insecurity
  • Poaching
  • Mining
  • Transhumance and illegal grazing
  • Illegal fishing
  • Illegal occupation of the property
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Illegal grazing;
  • Uncontrolled poaching by heavily armed groups and subsequent loss of up to 80% of the Park’s wildlife;
  • Deteriorating security situation and a halt to tourism.
Corrective Measures for the property

See Decision 33 COM 7A.1 (Seville, 2009). http:whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1761

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2011
Requests approved: 3 (from 2001-2007)
Total amount approved : 200,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2011**

May 2001 and April 2009: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring missions. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 31 January 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the Central African Republic (CAR). This summary report outlines the measures taken by the State Party, from an institutional and technical perspective, to implement corrective measures that were adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009).

In its Decisions 33 COM 7A.1 and 34 COM 7A.1, the Committee requested the State Party to organize a workshop with all stakeholders to develop a short-term emergency plan for a priority area of reduced size, to restore the integrity of the property. This workshop, planned for September 2010, unfortunately could not be held before the 35th session of the Committee. A letter was sent to the State Party to encourage it to submit a request for international assistance for this purpose.

In addition, the high-level meeting requested by the Committee could not be organized because of the concurrence of presidential and legislative elections.

a) Restructuring of the management of the park for a simple and efficient organization specifically dedicated to the park

The State Party provides information that the management strategy for protected areas in the north-east, including the property, was validated in 2010. This strategy proposes a zoning of the property defining a central core surrounded by Village Hunting Zones (VHZ), the implantation of advanced surveillance bases, a development plan for the entire north-east territory including the redefinition of transhumance corridors, the increased size of the team monitoring the property and VHZ peripheries.

b) Strengthening of supervisory staff to ensure the main management missions (planning, surveillance, ecological monitoring, adminstration, logistics)

The State Party has not provided any new information concerning the strengthening of supervisory staff. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that a technical assistant of the Central African Armed Forces (CAAF) was appointed in spring 2009 and assigned to conservation teams.

c) Increasing the number and training of ground staff essentially devoted to surveillance ensuring this transition period, strengthened at the outstart by support from armed forces

The State Party notes that several missions by Central African Armed Forces (CAAF) elements were carried out in the area in support of the supervisor trackers for the programme for the Conservation and Rational Use of the Forest Ecosystems of Central Africa (ECOFAC) - VHZ, but no further details are reported. Since 2009, 60 Water and Forestry agents were planned to be appointed to north-east protected areas, in addition to the 60 ECOFAC supervisor trackers already in place, but IUCN notes that these agents have still not been appointed to the north-east, or within the property. The report does not mention whether these agents will be specifically assigned to the Manovo-Gounda National Park (MGNP) as requested by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

d) Functional zoning of the park with a priority intervention zone to conserve to the maximum the components determining the Outstanding Universal Value of the park (environment and fauna)

The State Party notes that the map draft of the park including the new configuration of the property has been produced and validated. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the management strategy for the north-east protected areas proposes a zoning of the property with a core area surrounded by a belt of VHZ. Unfortunately the report does not include the zoning map, and it is therefore difficult to assess its impact on the protection status of the property.

e) Implementation of an action plan targeting restoration of security in this priority zone

The State Party recalls that the Ministry of National Defence has provided military equipment to conservation teams of the northern protected areas every year since 2007, but does not report new information concerning the implementation of a plan focused on restoring security in the property. The State Party considers that the support of international institutions in the implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process, and the holding of elections are significant elements in bringing security to the northern region where the property is located.

f) Allocation of a provisional budget for these priorities, limited to the most necessary, to already engage in this phase a reflection on sustainable management;

The State Party does not report any new information concerning the allocation of a provisional suitable budget. It appears that a budget is not yet defined.

 

g) Implementation of a plan to emerge from the crisis, through concertation with the different protagonists, in particular from Chad and Sudan.

The State Party recalls that trans-border actions taking into account all issues related to natural resource conservation and the development of local communities are planned under the Regional Indicative Programme of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), however no details on the type of activities are provided. The report notes that the Central African-Chad Joint Committees will meet in 2011 to discuss transborder issues.

h) Other current conservation issues - petroleum prospecting within the property

IUCN notes that since January 2011 a Chinese oil company, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is located at Gordil (one of the bases of the Park). It is possible that petroleum prospecting is being conducted inside the property, accompanied by poaching-related activities. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that this type of activity will only accelerate the deterioration of the Outstanding Universal Valueof the property and its wildlife, already greatly reduced. They recall that several years ago the Committee adopted a clear position on mining and petroleum prospectingissues in inscribed properties, deeming them incompatible with World Heritage status.

i) Result of the ECOFAC / MIKE aerial survey mission conducted in early 2010

The report mentions a 2010 ECOFAC inventory in collaboration with the Monitoring the Illegal Killing Elephant (MIKE) programme. This inventory was conducted in north-eastern Central African Republic over nearly 95,000 km2 in an area including Manovo-Gounda-St Floris (MGSF) and Bamingui-Bangoran National Parks, the Vassako-Bollo Strict Nature Reserve, the Aouk-Aouakalé Wildlife Reserve, and the Hunting Areas and Village Hunting Zones. The inventory shows a very serious decline in the concentration of big game. A decline of 90% had already been revealed by a 2005 inventory, and this new inventory indicates a further reduction of 75% of the wildlife compared to the 2005 inventory. After the black rhino, which had already disappeared in 1980, elephant and giraffe have now also completely disappeared from the property and are recorded only in the hunting areas, and therefore outside the property. Most of the other species have also almost disappeared, including buffalo, giant eland, Defassa waterbuck, ostrich, hippopotamus and cheetah. The remaining wildlife is concentrated in the VHZ and southern hunting areas located outside the property.

The inventory also considers it possible that hundreds of thousands of Chadian cattle transit every year in the study zone. The overview also noted the presence of two small-scale diamond mines in the MGSF National Park, along water bodies, and a significant reduction of large wildlife around the mines due to poaching. The report concluded that the countdown to the extinction of wildlife in northern CAR appears to have started and there is very little time to reverse this process. The authors consider that within a period of 2 to 5 years the activity of large-scale hunting will have exhausted the wildlife, accelerating the collapse of the VHZ system - the last pockets of big game conservation - and likely leading to their reconversion to pasture. This will cause the loss of not only the last opportunity to restore the property's outstanding universal value, but also the socio-economic benefits associated with it.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the Eco-Fauna project of the European Union is currently being launched in the vicinity of the property and continues to bolster the VHZ. However, they believe that few results can be expected for the preservation of the property, as the project's strategy is focused primarily on the VHZ rather than on the conservation of the property itself. In addition, the budget seems inadequate in view of the area of intervention to cover (4 million Euros for an area of 100,000 km2).

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2011

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the 2009 mission noted that a rigorous evaluation should be conducted to confirm the existence of outstanding universal value of the property, according to criteria (ix) and (x). Even if the ECOFAC / MIKE inventory was conducted on a wider area, with a transect in the property, it would seem that criterion (x) is called into question because of the sharp decline in the wealth of biodiversity present at the time of inscription, and the disappearance of almost all key species of large mammals, due to poaching and competition with transhumant cattle that have invaded a large part of the property. Criterion (ix) is also questionable as the effective disappearance of most big game key species questions the representativeness of the property and the natural ecological processes. Moreover, the growing presence of transhumant cattle in the Park, as well as petroleum prospecting and mining activity within the property, greatly compromise its integrity.

The 2009 mission recommended that the MGSF National Park remain on the List of World Heritage in Danger until the first positive results could be recorded through the execution of an emergency safeguarding programme, the main points of which are reflected in the corrective measures. If corrective measures aiming to a) restructure the park management, b) strengthen the supervisory staff to ensure the main management missions and d) produce a functional zoning of the park have been partially addressed, the steps c) increase the number and training of surveillance personnel, e) implementing an action plan to restore security, f) allocate a provisional suitable budget for the priorities and g) implement a plan to end the crisis, are still far from being initiated. Based on the ECOFAC / MIKE aerial surveys of 2010, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the MGSF National Park has lost its Outstanding Universal Valueand integrity, and it therefore meets the criteria for removal of the property from the World Heritage List. However, there is still potential for regeneration of the outstanding universal value of the property in the group of neighbouring Village Hunting Zones, but this potential is very fragile.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN reiterate the importance of the urgent implementation of the recommendations contained in Decision 34 COM 7A.1, notably the development of an emergency action plan to save the outstanding universal value of the property in a priority area of limited size, and of securing funding for its implementation. They believe that the workshop to develop this plan should be organized as soon as possible, and if necessary the State Party may submit a request for International Assistance to the World Heritage Fund for its organization. They believe that if the trends in the loss of wildlife in northern CAR are not reversed quickly, the World Heritage Committee should consider removal of the MGSF National Park from the World Heritage List, under Paragraph 192 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2011
35 COM 7A.1
Manovo Gounda St. Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7A.1, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Notes with concern the insufficient progress in implementing the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009);

4. Notes with alarm that transhumant cattle have invaded a large part of the Park, and artisanal, small-scale mining are occurring within the property, which may threaten the integrity of the property;

5. Expresses its deep concern that the aerial surveys of the 2010 Programme for the Conservation and Rational Use of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (ECOFAC) / MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) revealed that criteria (ix) and (x) are affected due to the disappearance of almost all key species of large mammals in the property, due to poaching and impacts of transhumant livestock;

6. Considers therefore that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is seriously degraded, but that there is still potential for regeneration of wildlife populations from Village Hunting Zones (VHZ) nearby;

7. Requests the World Heritage Centre to support the State Party to organize a workshop to develop the emergency action plan to regenerate the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and strongly encourages the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre an application for international assistance in this regard;

8. Reiterates its request that the States Parties of the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan develop a common strategy to contribute to the regeneration of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property in a priority area of limited size;

9. Appeals to the International Community to provide financial and technical assistance for implementing the emergency plan;

10. Further considers that, in the absence of implementation of the emergency plan, the property will not meet in a very short time the conditions for removal of the property from the World Heritage List, under paragraph 192 of the Operational Guidelines;

11. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a detailed report on the elaboration, financing and implementation of an emergency plan to save the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012;

12. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to the property;

13. Also decides to retain the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

35 COM 8C.2
Establishment of the World Heritage List in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-11/35.COM/7A, WHC-11/35.COM/7A.Add and WHC-11/35.COM/7A.Add.Corr),

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

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 35 COM 7A.24)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 35 COM 7A.25)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 35 COM 7A.15)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 35 COM 7A.32)
  • Colombia, Los Katios National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.16)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 35 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 35 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 35 COM 7A.19)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.9)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 35 COM 7A.29)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 35 COM 7A.30)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 35 COM 7A.20)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 35 COM  7A.21)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 35 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 35 COM 7A.22)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 35 COM 7A.10)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 35 COM 7A.11)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 35 COM 7A.27)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 35 COM 7A.33)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 35 COM 7A.28)
  • Senegal, Niokolo Koba National Park (Decision 35 COM  7A.12)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 35 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 35 COM 7A.18)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 35 COM 7A.17)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 35 COM 7A.14)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 35 COM 7A.34)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 35 COM 7A.23)
35 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Document WHC-11/35.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

  • Afghanistan: Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam; Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley;
  • Bahrain: Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun;
  • Benin: Royal Palaces of Abomey;
  • Botswana: Tsodilo;
  • Cameroon: Dja Faunal Reserve;
  • Central African Republic: Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park;
  • China: Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas;
  • Germany: Upper Middle Rhine Valley;
  • India: Manas Wildlife Sanctuary;
  • Kenya: Lake Turkana National Parks; Lamu Old Town;
  • Malawi: Chongoni Rock-Art Area;
  • Mali: Old Towns of Djenné;
  • Pakistan: Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore;
  • Peru: Chan Chan Archaeological Zone;
  • Philippines: Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras;
  • Senegal: Island of Saint-Louis;
  • South Africa: iSimangaliso Wetland Park; Robben Island; Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape; Cape Floral Region Protected Areas; Vredefort Dome;
  • Togo: Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba;
  • Turkey: Historic Areas of Istanbul;
  • Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Rwenzori Mountains National Park;
  • United Republic of Tanzania: Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara;
  • Yemen: Old Walled City of Shibam; Old City of Sana'a;
  • Zimbabwe: Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas;

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

  • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
  • World Heritage properties in Africa;
  • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
  • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America.
Draft Decision: 35 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7A.1, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Notes with concern the insufficient progress in implementing the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009);

4. Notes with alarm that transhumant cattle have invaded a large part of the Park, and that petroleum prospecting and mining are occurring within the property, and considers that these activities strongly threaten the integrity of the property;

5. Expresses its deep concern that the aerial surveys of the 2010 programme for the Conservation and Rational Use of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (ECOFAC) / MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) revealed that criteria (ix) and (x) are affected due to the disappearance of almost all key species of large mammals in the property, due to poaching and impacts of transhumant livestock;

6. Also considers therefore that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is seriously degraded, but that there is still potential for regeneration of wildlife populations from Village Hunting Zones (VHZ) nearby;

7. Urges the State Party to organize a workshop to develop the emergency action plan to regenerate the outstanding universal value of the property, and strongly encourages the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre an application for international assistance in this regard;

8. Reiterates its request that the States Parties of the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan develop a common strategy to contribute to the regeneration of the outstanding universal value of the property in a priority area of limited size;

9. Appeals to the International Community to provide financial and technical assistance for implementing the emergency plan;

10. Further considers that the lack of implementation of the emergency plan will result in a very short time in conditions for removal of the property from the World Heritage List, under paragraph 192 of the Operational Guidelines;

11. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a detailed report on the elaboration, financing and implementation of an emergency plan to save the outstanding universal value the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012;

12. Decides to continue to apply the reinforced monitoring mechanism to the property;

13. Also decides to maintain the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2011
Central African Republic
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1997-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 35COM (2011)
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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