1.         Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1997-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/1761

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1761

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1761

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2012)
Total amount approved: USD 225,488
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

May 2001 and April 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 20 March 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/. The State Party has not yet invited the reactive monitoring mission requested by the Committee in its Decision 38 COM 7A.34. It has not yet been possible to organize the workshop to assess the feasibility of the restoration of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the preparation of an emergency action plan due to the political instability and fragility of the security situation in the country.

In its report, the State Party reiterates its willingness and strong political commitment to the conservation of the property. It informs of the signature of a peace agreement between the Séléka rebels and the Anti-balaka and the planning, in the near future, of a forum at Bangui regarding the restoration of peace. It notes the presence of international armed forces and the French army in the region of the property. The report also refers to the general state of insecurity in the region of the property.

However, the report provides no information on the implementation of the corrective measures or the present situation in the property. Most of the information concerns activities implemented during the 2009-2011 period.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

Although there is a slight improvement as compared to the previous year, the security situation in and around the property remains problematic. Unfortunately, the State Party report only contains obsolete information and does not permit an effective evaluation of the state of conservation of the property, or the implementation of the corrective measures.

IUCN has obtained through other sources information on the North-east Wildlife Ecosystems of the Central African Republic (CAR) (Ecofaune), implemented by the State Party with support from the European Union, aimed at the conservation of the National Parks of Manovo-Gounda St Floris  and Bamingui-Bangoran and the surrounding hunting zones. Despite the difficult security situation, the State Party has continued the implementation of the project and attempted to recommence the surveillance operations in the southern part of the Bamingui Park and in the cynegetic zones between the two Parks, where the hunting syndicates have indicated their intention to recommence their activities. Nevertheless, the report clarified that there was no possibility of surveillance activities in almost the entire zone of the project, and notably within the property.

It should be noted that at the 35th session of the Committee (UNESCO, 2011), the World Heritage Centre and IUCN considered “that 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 of 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”. At its 38th session (Doha, 2014), the Committee expressed its grave concern that the property may have lost its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). With continued insecurity and lack of any surveillance of the property in the face of extremely important pressure since the last session of the Committee, the perspectives for the restoration of the OUV appear more and more questionable.

In the absence of information to permit an analysis of the present situation, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its concerns and that it request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission, as soon as the situation allows, to assess the state conservation of the property and to respond to the question of whether there remain perspectives of regeneration of the characteristics of the property that justify its OUV, or whether a withdrawal from the World Heritage List should be envisaged, taking into account the procedure foreseen in Chapter IV.C of the Operational Guidelines.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.34, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Regrets that the report of the State Party does not allow an assessment of the state of conservation of the property, or the implementation of the corrective measures;
  4. Notes that, although there is a slight improvement in comparison with the previous year, the security situation in and around the property remains problematic and does not allow for any surveillance activity within the property;
  5. Reiterates its grave concern regarding the probable loss of most of the flagship species of the large mammals of the property, due to poaching and impacts from transhumant cattle;
  6. Also reiterates its continued concern that the property could lose its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), which could lead to its withdrawal from the World Heritage List, in accordance with Paragraph 176 d) of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to organize a workshop to evaluate the feasibility of the restoration of the OUV of the property under the present security conditions and based on these conclusions to prepare an emergency action plan taking into account the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009);
  8. Requests the State Party to elaborate through the participatory available means, an emergency action plan taking into account the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009), in order to address the current biodiversity loss situation and attempt to restore the OUV of the property;
  9. Also requests to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission as soon as the security situation permits, to assess the state of conservation of the property and to evaluate the perspectives for the regeneration of the characteristics of the property to justify its OUV, or whether a removal of the property from the World Heritage List should be envisaged, in accordance with the procedure foreseen in Chapter IV.C of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Further 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 continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to this property;
  12. Also decides to retain the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) 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: