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Simien National Park

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Other Threats:

    Declining populations of Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf and other large mammal species

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Declining populations of Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf and other large mammal species
  • Increasing human populations and livestock numbers in the park
  • Agricultural encroachment
  • Road construction
  • Grazing pressure

 

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Depletion of the Walia ibex population and of other large mammals
  • Phenomenon of encroachment
  • Impacts of road construction
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/4085 

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1057

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

USD 100,000 in support of community conservation and development of the grazing pressure reduction strategy (Spain and Netherlands) with important co-financing from Global Environment Fund (GEF).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 10 (from 1978-2013)
Total amount approved : 323,171 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 23 February 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/9/documentsProgress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in the report, as follows:

  • The revision of the draft Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy has been initiated by Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), during which the priorities for immediate action were identified, and the urgency of fully implementing the strategy was recognised;
  • The re-demarcation of the extended national park boundaries was accomplished in a participatory process, considerably extending the park area while avoiding the inclusion of new cultivated land. The Council of Ministers approved the re-gazettal process in 2014. A boundary modification dossier to match the boundaries of the World Heritage site with the newly established park boundaries is currently being prepared for submission to the World Heritage Committee;
  • Approximately USD 4 million were allocated by the State Party for the voluntary relocation of 418 households from Gich village and will be paying out compensation to the affected communities;
  • Provision of alternative livelihoods for people living in the vicinity of the property remains an urgent need, which is backed by federal and regional governments, and following the donor conference held in 2012, efforts to access additional funding support are being made;
  • Conservation measures to increase populations of Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf have been undertaken, such as protection of new habitats and habitat conservation, improved relation with local communities and establishment of an active anti-poaching team;
  • Capacity building for park staff, law enforcement activities, benefits to local communities and their involvement in key decision-making processes has enhanced the management capacity and effectiveness.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

It is recommended that the Committee welcomes the State Party’s continued efforts to reduce all factors affecting the property, as identified in previous reports, including those threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1996.

The significant expansion of the protected area, including boundary re-adjustments, new demarcation and field mapping with GPS, as well as initiating the re-gazettal of the property at federal level, can be considered beneficial for wildlife habitat protection, potentially favoring wildlife movement into their previous habitats, as well as for tourism development. Populations of the Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf were noted to have increased considerably between 2001/2002 and 2012/2013, and it is recommended that the Committee requests the State Party to commission an independent scientific assessment to update the latest data presented.

While human settlements have been largely excluded from the property in the boundary readjustment process, there remain large numbers of livestock and domestic animals grazing in the park. It should be noted that the expansion of the boundary resulted in more than doubling the park area and led to the inclusion of additional grazing areas, which equally require the problem of overgrazing to be addressed. Securing financial resources for the provision of alternative livelihoods, which are found to be crucial for the effectiveness of conservation efforts, and to implement the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy once finalized, remain a high priority for the authorities and the international community.

Agricultural encroachment has been largely addressed through the corrective measures taken since 1996. The relocation of Gich village is underway with the support of federal and regional governments, including budgetary allocations, but it is noted that further funding is required to successfully relocate and compensate the Gich village communities, and to rehabilitate the cropland and grazing area, e.g. for reforestation with indigenous trees, removal of remnants of former houses, and prevention of soil erosion on heavily degraded abandoned land.

The State Party does not provide further updates on re-aligning the Debark-Mekane Birhan-Dilyibza road, but it is understood that construction is ongoing outside of the property, as reported to the Committee at its 38th session in 2014. The road through the park, which was built in 1996, continues to be used. This includes traffic due to heavy transport, tourism, public and park staff, and is likely to impact on the park until the new roads are accomplished.

In conclusion, the State Party has made progress in implementing the corrective measures and addressing the threats to the property but achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) will need considerable financial resources, in addition to current budget allocations. Until the road construction outside the property is completed and the corrective measures are fully implemented, it is recommended that the Committee retains the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It is further recommended that the Committee reiterates its call on the international community to provide additional financial support to the State Party of Ethiopia, in particular in order to support the development of alternative livelihoods.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.10
Simien National Park (Ethiopia) (N 9)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.43, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to re-demarcate and re-gazette the boundaries of the park, revise the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy and make further progress in strengthening the management effectiveness of the property and encourages the State Party to seek supplementary international support to help provide alternative livelihoods and implement the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy upon its finalization;
  4. Appreciates the State Party’s continued efforts to complete the negotiated relocation of the Gich settlement from the property and requests the State Party to continue its engagement to ensure consent and appropriate compensation of the affected local communities;
  5. Notes with appreciation the support already provided by different donors to assist the State Party with the implementation of the corrective measures and reiterates its call to the international community to increase the financial support to the property for the implementation of the remaining corrective measures;
  6. Also requests the State Party to provide an update on the development of road realignment outside of the property to reduce the pressure on the existing road through the property;
  7. Further requests the State Party to commission an independent scientific study in order to assess the status, composition and distribution of important wildlife species such as Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf;
  8. 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, including an evaluation of the implementation of the corrective measures and information on progress made towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the Simien National Park (Ethiopia) 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.10

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.43, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to re-demarcate and re-gazette the boundaries of the park, revise the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy and make further progress in strengthening the management effectiveness of the property and encourages the State Party to seek supplementary international support to help provide alternative livelihoods and implement the Grazing Pressure Reduction Strategy upon its finalization;
  4. Appreciates the State Party’s continued efforts to complete the negotiated relocation of the Gich settlement from the property and requests the State Party to continue its engagement to ensure consent and appropriate compensation of the affected local communities;
  5. Notes with appreciation the support already provided by different donors to assist the State Party with the implementation of the corrective measures and reiterates its call to the international community to increase the financial support to the property for the implementation of the remaining corrective measures;
  6. Also requests the State Party to provide an update on the development of road realignment outside of the property to reduce the pressure on the existing road through the property;
  7. Further requests the State Party to commission an independent scientific study in order to assess the status, composition and distribution of important wildlife species such as Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf;
  8. 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, including an evaluation of the implementation of the corrective measures and information on progress made towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the Simien National Park (Ethiopia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1996-2017
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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