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Rainforests of the Atsinanana

Madagascar
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Governance
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Mining
  • Subsistence hunting
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Encroachment
  • Fire
  • Hunting and poaching
  • Artisanal mining
  • Illegal logging
  • Governance
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Illegal logging of precious wood species (ebony and rosewood) and its secondary impacts; poaching of endangered lemurs were identified as threats for the site’s integrity.

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

Total amount granted: USD 1,890,000 from the United Nations Foundation and the Nordic World Heritage Foundation; USD 1,039,000 from the Government of Norway.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 3 (from 2000-2010)
Total amount approved : 155,000 USD
2010 Forêts Humides de l’Atsinanana (Approved)   100,000 USD
2005 Elaboration of a a serial nomination for the humid ... (Approved)   25,000 USD
2000 Technical Assistance for Building Capacity for World ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 29 January 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/documents/. The mission to the property, requested by the Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014), is postponed until after the 39th session, at the request of the State Party and in agreement with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to provide more time for addressing the stockpile issue in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) recommendations. The report notes the following progress:

  • The President of Madagascar confirmed the zero tolerance policy against illegal trafficking of natural resources and in particular rosewood, stressing the need for international cooperation to secure the protected areas where rosewood can be found, including the property;
  • On-going efforts to implement the corrective measures, in particular to address illegal rosewood trafficking, with the objective to achieve the announced policy of zero stocks and to eliminate the continued illegal logging of rosewood. In conformity with the CITES Action Plan, the State Party submitted in December 2014 a “Utilization Plan for precious timber stockpiles” to CITES (annexed to the report), and a “Stock audit plan” (not annexed). The utilization plan recognizes that the large majority of “declared stocks” should be considered illegal and foresees that all existing stockpiles should be confiscated and stored in secure locations, after which their legality will be verified. The entire stock would then be liquidated, mostly through international auctions. The revenue would be used to support local development activities, with some resources reserved for conservation activities or to support law enforcement. The State Party also requested CITES to extend the ban on all rosewood exports until August 2015 to enable the Standing Committee to evaluate it. An Inter-ministerial Committee was also put in place to coordinate the actions;
  • Surveillance activities were strengthened, including the implementation of an experimental maritime surveillance system to better control vessels and detect illegal exports. Patrols and patrol staff were increased and Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) was introduced, resulting in a 90% surveillance coverage of the property;
  • Deforestation diminished to 0,005% (0,031% in 2013). Overall, threat levels diminished but remain high in the Masoala and Andohahela components of the property;
  • Several projects involving the local communities are being implemented to improve the surveillance of the property, support sustainable development activities and provide information on World Heritage;
  • Management effectiveness analyses are being carried out with “Protected Areas Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool” (PAMETT) and “Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit” for assessing management effectiveness of the property.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The State Party’s re-affirmation, which was also restated by the President of Madagascar at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress, of its high political commitment to address the illegal logging and trafficking of rosewood and other precious timbers should be welcomed. 

Progress has been made in implementing the CITES Action Plan and several preparatory studies were carried out, which should enable liquidation of all remaining rosewood stockpiles and develop a forestry sector which is transparent and respectful of the law and regulations. The liquidation of all stockpiles is of utmost importance to terminate illegal export and avoid the replenishment of stockpiles by further cuts. The Committee is recommended to request the State Party to fully implement the CITES Action Plan and recommendations. In particular, it is crucial that all stockpiles should be confiscated as soon as possible and their legality established, and that holders of illegal stockpiles should be prosecuted. The Utilization Plan confirms the conclusion of the 2011 monitoring mission that most of the declared stockpiles held by private businesses are to be considered as illegal. The recommendations, which propose to sell most of the stockpiles through international auctions, should be noted and the State Party urged to strictly adhere to the recommendations which will be issued by the CITES Standing Committee after its review of the Utilization Plan, and to guarantee the transparency and international oversight over the process. It will also be important to ensure that the sale will not trigger new illegal logging campaigns and that a substantial part of any revenue generated from possible sales is made available for the conservation of the property.

The on-going efforts described by the State Party to stop illegal logging and trafficking of rosewood are well noted. While the data in the report indicate that illegal rosewood logging in the property has diminished slightly in 2014 compared to 2013, it is clear that the situation remains problematic, in particular in the Masoala National Park component of the property. The report acknowledges that rosewood logs continue to be moved to the coast and shipped out illegally. The Utilization Plan also mentions the confiscation of 640 tonnes of rosewood in Kenya in May 2014 and 3372 tonnes in Singapore in March 2014, which confirms that the problem of illegal trafficking continues. Significant efforts are thus needed to immediately crack down on the remaining centres of illegal logging and trafficking, which are well known.

Progress in implementing the corrective measures, including strengthening collaboration with the local communities, reduction of deforestation and poaching of Lemur species and the ecological restoration of degraded areas, which is crucial to achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR),is well noted. In order to enable removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, the announced policy by the Government of zero stocks, zero tolerance toward illegal trafficking and the elimination of illegal logging of rosewood needs to be effective. It is therefore recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee is also recommended to reiterate its request for a joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to be invited to the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.11
Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.44, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the restated political commitment of the State Party, which was also reiterated by the President of Madagascar at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress to address the illegal trafficking of natural resources, in particular rosewood and other precious timber species;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made in implementing the CITES Action plan, in particular the preparatory studies, which were carried out in order to achieve the liquidation of all remaining rosewood stockpiles in the country and develop a forestry sector which is transparent and respectful of the law and regulations;
  5. Requests the State Party to fully implement the CITES Action Plan and recommendations and to ensure that all stockpiles be confiscated as soon as possible as a conservatory measure, their legality established, and that holders of illegal stockpiles be prosecuted;
  6. Takes note of the recommendations of the “Utilization Plan for precious timber stockpiles”, which was submitted to CITES in December 2014 and which proposes to sell most of the stockpiles through international auctions, and urges the State Party to strictly adhere to the recommendations which will be issued by the CITES Standing Committee after its review, to guarantee the transparency and international oversight over any possible sale and to ensure that a substantial part of any revenue generated from possible sales is made available for the conservation of the property;
  7. Expresses its concern that, while illegal rosewood logging in the property has diminished slightly in 2014 compared to 2013, it is continuing to affect the property and in particular Masoala National Park, and also urges the State Party to intensify efforts to immediately crack down on the remaining centers of illegal logging and trafficking;
  8. Further takes note of the progress towards achieving the Desired State of Conservation for the Removal of the Property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but considers the announced policy by the Government of zero stocks, a zero tolerance toward illegal trafficking and the elimination of illegal logging of rosewood needs to be effectively implemented to guarantee the integrity of the property and achieve the DSOCR;
  9. Notes that the Reactive Monitoring mission requested at the 38th session in 2014 was postponed at the request of the State Party and in agreement with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to provide more time for addressing the stockpile issue in accordance with the CITES recommendations, and reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess progress achieved in the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and to update, if necessary, the corrective measures and the timetable for their implementation;
  10. Also 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, including an evaluation of the implementation of the corrective measures, and information on progress made towards achieving the DSOCR, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  11. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) 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.11

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.44, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the restated political commitment of the State Party, which was also reiterated by the President of Madagascar at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress to address the illegal trafficking of natural resources, in particular rosewood and other precious timber species;
  4. Acknowledges the progress made in implementing the CITES Action plan, in particular the preparatory studies, which were carried out in order to achieve the liquidation of all remaining rosewood stockpiles in the country and develop a forestry sector which is transparent and respectful of the law and regulations;
  5. Requests the State Party to fully implement the CITES Action Plan and recommendations and to ensure that all stockpiles be confiscated as soon as possible as a conservatory measure, their legality established, and that holders of illegal stockpiles be prosecuted;
  6. Takes note of the recommendations of the “Utilization Plan for precious timber stockpiles”, which was submitted to CITES in December 2014 and which proposes to sell most of the stockpiles through international auctions, and urges the State Party to strictly adhere to the recommendations which will be issued by the CITES Standing Committee after its review, to guarantee the transparency and international oversight over any possible sale and to ensure that a substantial part of any revenue generated from possible sales is made available for the conservation of the property;
  7. Expresses its concern that, while illegal rosewood logging in the property has diminished slightly in 2014 compared to 2013, it is continuing to affect the property and in particular Masoala National Park, and also urges the State Party to intensify efforts to immediately crack down on the remaining centers of illegal logging and trafficking;
  8. Further takes note of the progress towards achieving the Desired State of Conservation for the Removal of the Property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but considers the announced policy by the Government of zero stocks, a zero tolerance toward illegal trafficking and the elimination of illegal logging of rosewood needs to be effectively implemented to guarantee the integrity of the property and achieve the DSOCR;
  9. Notes that the Reactive Monitoring mission requested at the 38th session in 2014 was postponed at the request of the State Party and in agreement with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to provide more time for addressing the stockpile issue in accordance with the CITES recommendations, and reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess progress achieved in the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and to update, if necessary, the corrective measures and the timetable for their implementation;
  10. Also 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, including an evaluation of the implementation of the corrective measures, and information on progress made towards achieving the DSOCR, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  11. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Madagascar
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2010-present
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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