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Comoé National Park

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Civil unrest
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Conflict and political instability
  • Lack of management control and access to the property
  • Poaching
  • Encroachment: human occupation and agricultural pressure
  • Bush fires
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Political and military crisis in Côte d’Ivoire from 2002 to 2010
  • Poaching of wildlife and fires caused by poachers
  • Over-grazing by large cattle herds
  • Absence of effective management


Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1050

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see pages https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1050  and https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4336

 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1050
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

Total amount granted: USD 50,000 from the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and Rapid Response Facility

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 97,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

January 2013: IUCN Reactive monitoring mission; June 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 27 January 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available online at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents. The report provides the following information:

  • The aerial survey of the property took place in April 2014, enabling a comparison with the survey undertaken in 2010. There is evidence of an overall growth in the abundances and populations of bovid, although a decline is observed in the buffalo population. A survey of chimpanzees was ongoing in January 2015. A survey of elephants is required but not yet foreseen;
  • The Ministry of Industry and Mines confirms that there are no mineral exploration or exploitation licenses within the property, and that no Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) have been carried out for mining projects to the north of the property. However, illegal gold mining has significantly increased since end 2014, and steps are being taken to respond to this serious threat to the property;
  • An updated management plan 2015-2024, taking into account the rehabilitation plan, was approved in December 2014. Implementation of the full rehabilitation plan will commence in 2015. In the meantime the rehabilitation of infrastructure, including boundary markers, continues;
  • Significant funding is made available by the State Party and its partners for the sustainable management of the property, including since October 2014 a debt swap with Germany in the amount of 10 million euros;
  • The Park Director and the Mobile Brigade have relocated to Bouna closer to the property which has enabled the strengthening and intensification of surveillance activities. This in turn has resulted in a significant reduction of anthropogenic pressures such as poaching, encroachment and illegal grazing;
  • 23 Villager Associations for Conservation and Development (AVCD) were established in the villages surrounding the property. In 2014, participation of local people in patrols represented 20% of total patrol effort. Engagement with local communities has also included alternative livelihood projects and awareness raising activities;

Progress towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) is also presented in the report.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The confirmation that no mining licenses have been awarded inside the property is welcome. However it should be recalled that the 2013 mission identified two mineral exploration permits immediately to the north of the property. The potential impacts of these permits on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property should be assessed, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.

It is noted with concern that illegal gold mining has significantly increased since end 2014. Given that illegal gold mining affects not only the property but most protected areas in Côte d’Ivoire, political support from the national level is crucial, including the provision of adequate resources to address the threat, and strong legal follow-up to deter transgressions.

The State Party has made significant progress in addressing anthropogenic pressures on the property. The reductions in agricultural encroachment and illegal grazing between 2010 and 2014 (approximately 71% and 98%, respectively) are particularly commendable, as well as the increasing participation of local people in patrols. Poaching has also diminished, but remains a significant threat in particular in view of the steep increase of illegal gold mining, including in areas of high biodiversity within the property.

The updating of the management plan which includes the rehabilitation plan is welcome. The rehabilitation plan should be implemented as a matter of priority in order to enable the efficient implementation of other management activities, including patrols. Adequate human and financial resources should be provided to ensure the efficient implementation of both these plans.

The results of the aerial survey will enable further definition of the indicators of the DSOCR that relate to conservation of bovids. However, in order to further define the biological indicators of the DSOCR in a holistic manner, data should also be available on the populations of chimpanzees and elephants. Although the chimpanzee survey, expected to be completed by end April 2015, is collecting some preliminary results on elephants as well, a specific survey may still be required in order to enable more conclusive results for elephant. It is noted that a study was undertaken in June 2014 to define a methodology for biological monitoring of the property, which should be finalized and implemented to ensure regular monitoring of the recovery of wildlife populations throughout the property, in order to facilitate the review of progress achieved towards the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

It is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.2
Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 227)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the continued progress achieved by the State Party in addressing anthropogenic threats to the property, and commends the State Party in particular for significantly reducing the number of recorded incidences of agricultural encroachment and illegal grazing, and for the increasing participation of local people in patrols;
  4. Also welcomes the State Party’s confirmation that no mining licenses were awarded within the boundaries of the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs) for the two exploration licenses located immediately to the north of the property, which should include an assessment of their potential impact on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  5. Notes with concern the reported rapid increase of illegal gold mining and the associated risk of poaching, and urges the State Party to provide political support at the national level to ensure adequate provision of human and financial resources and strict law enforcement to address this threat;
  6. Requests the State Party to implement the rehabilitation plan as a matter of priority, to ensure the effective implementation of other management activities;
  7. Also notes that the results of the aerial survey will enable further definition of the biological indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and also requests the State Party, in consultation with IUCN and the World Heritage Centre, to define the biological indicators and the timeframe to achieve them as soon as further data are available on chimpanzee and elephant populations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Further requests the State Party to implement a robust and consistent biological monitoring methodology to ensure regular monitoring of the recovery of wildlife populations throughout the property, which should facilitate the future review of progress achieved toward the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission on the property to examine the state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved on the above-mentioned items;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  11. Decides to retain Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.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 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the continued progress achieved by the State Party in addressing anthropogenic threats to the property, and commends the State Party in particular for significantly reducing the number of recorded incidences of agricultural encroachment and illegal grazing, and for the increasing participation of local people in patrols;
  4. Also welcomes the State Party’s confirmation that no mining licenses were awarded within the boundaries of the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs) for the two exploration licenses located immediately to the north of the property, which should include an assessment of their potential impact on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  5. Notes with concern the reported rapid increase of illegal gold mining and the associated risk of poaching, and urges the State Party to provide political support at the national level to ensure adequate provision of human and financial resources and strict law enforcement to address this threat;
  6. Requests the State Party to implement the rehabilitation plan as a matter of priority, to ensure the effective implementation of other management activities;
  7. Also notes that the results of the aerial survey will enable further definition of the biological indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and also requests the State Party, in consultation with IUCN and the World Heritage Centre, to define the biological indicators and the timeframe to achieve them as soon as further data are available on chimpanzee and elephant populations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Further requests the State Party to implement a robust and consistent biological monitoring methodology to ensure regular monitoring of the recovery of wildlife populations throughout the property, which should facilitate the future review of progress achieved toward the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  10. Decides to retain Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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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