1.         Sundarbans National Park (India) (N 452)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (ix)(x)

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/452/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/452/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/452/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The Director of the Sundarbans 'Biosphere Reserve' of India, presented a report at the Meeting of the South Asian World Natural Heritage Site Managers held in New Delhi and Keoladeo National Park, during 16-19 January 1997. The Sunderbans National Park and World Heritage Area, comprising 1,330 sq.km., is the core area of the larger Sundarbans Project Tiger Reserve (2,585 sq.km) and the even larger 'Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve'; the 'Biosphere Reserve' extends over more than 9,000 sq.km of the inter-tidal area of the Sundarbans delta. Although India has not yet formally nominated the 'Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve' for inclusion in UNESCO's international network of biosphere reserves, the case clearly illustrated an interesting application of the World Heritage and the Biosphere Reserve concepts of UNESCO within the same ecosystem. Several eco-development activities undertaken in the larger Biosphere Reserve, e.g. fishing, collection of honey, timber harvest etc., have enabled the management to establish a working relationship with the local people and solicit their cooperation for the protection of the biosphere reserve's core area, i.e. Sundarbans National Park and World Heritage Area. The working relationship established with the management and the local people have particularly been useful in minimizing the poaching threat to the world's largest population of the Bengal tiger in this World Heritage Site.

Action Required

The Bureau notes with interest the harmonious application of UNESCO's World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve concepts in Sundarbans and urges the Centre and IUCN to identify similar cases and bring it to the attention of States Parties to the Convention.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

N/A

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 21 BUR IV.B.23

The Bureau was informed that the Sundarbans National Park and World Heritage Area, comprising 1,330 sq.km., forms the core area of the larger Sundarbans Project Tiger Reserve (2,585 sq.km) and the even larger "Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve" which extends over more than 9,000 sq.km of the inter-tidal area of the Sundarbans delta. Although India has not yet formally nominated the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve for inclusion in UNESCO's international network of biosphere reserves, the case illustrated an interesting application of the World Heritage and the Biosphere Reserve concepts of UNESCO within the same ecosystem. Several eco-development activities undertaken in the larger Biosphere Reserve, e.g. fishing, collection of honey, timber harvest etc., have enabled the management to establish a working relationship with the local people and solicit their cooperation for the protection of the "Biosphere Reserve's" core area, i.e. Sundarbans National Park and World Heritage Area. This working relationship between the management and the local people has been particularly useful in minimizing the poaching threat to the world's largest population of the Bengal tiger inhabiting this World Heritage Site. The Bureau noted with interest the harmonious application of UNESCO's World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve concepts in Sundarbans and urged the Secretariat and IUCN to identify similar cases and bring them to the attention of States Parties to the Convention.