1.         Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 227bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger



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 identified

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

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 97,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/

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:

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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.

Decision Adopted: 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 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.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

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: