Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Chitwan National Park

Nepal
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Plans to construct a road and railway through the property
  • Proposed infrastructures projects
  • Proposed irrigation project to divert the Rapti River (issue resolved)
  • Increase in the natural rate of mortality of the rhinoceros (issue resolved)
  • Pollution of the Narayani River (issue resolved)
  • 33kV transmission line project (issue resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 2 (from 1988-1989)
Total amount approved : 80,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

December 2002: IUCN monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 14 September 2014, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation sent a letter to UNESCO Kathmandu Office, stating that permission had been granted to the Department of Railways to conduct a feasibility study for the proposed East-West Electric Railway, on the basis that alternative options to the original proposal that crosses the property are considered. However, the letter reported that the Department of Railways appeared not to be assessing alternative options.

On 18 December 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/284/documents/. The State Party reports as follows:

  • The Government of India has agreed to provide financial and technical support for the construction of the Terai Hulaki Highway and bridges;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the East-West Electric Railway is ongoing, however, permission to conduct an EIA for the section crossing the property has not yet been granted;
  • The construction of the East-West Electric Railway and the Terai Hulaki Highway would result in the fragmentation of the property in four places, all of which provide important habitat for key species, such as elephant, rhino, tiger, and gaur. On the other hand, construction of this infrastructure in these areas is not considered by the State Party to provide significant benefits to human populations.

The State Party also reports that a scoping study and Terms of Reference for an EIA of a proposed optical fibre project along the electric line inside the property are being prepared.

On 31 March 2015, the State Party also submitted the Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Final Report of proposed Suspension Bridge (Balmikiashram-Trivenidham) construction at the property, which reports the following key points:.

  • One side of the proposed bridge will be located within the property;
  • In one area adjacent to the property, 15 individual trees including sal (Shorea robusta) will be felled;
  • Significant adverse impact on the property has not been identified but mitigation measures have been recommended, which also incorporate those requested by the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation of Nepal;
  • No alternative location was identified to be suitable for the project.

In response to the State Party’s invitation for an IUCN Advisory mission to the property, the UNESCO Kathmandu and IUCN Nepal offices agreed to undertake a fact finding mission. However, due to the tragic earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April 2015, the mission has been postponed.

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

The State Party report provided limited information on the progress in the conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its 38th session. It is noted that an EIA for the railway is underway, and that an EIA will be conducted for the optical fibre project crossing the property. For the proposed suspension bridge, it is noted that its IEE concludes the construction process will have minimal environmental impact on the property. However, considering that the property contains the largest and least disturbed example of sal forest, and is the home to the second largest population of greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in the world and the endangered Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), it is noted with concern that the bridge may facilitate access to the property for illegal logging and poaching. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to undertake an EIA for the suspension bridge that considers all criteria for which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and reiterate its request to the State Party to assess the cumulative impact of these developments and the highway development, including a specific assessment of impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.  It is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit the EIAs to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, and to ensure that no construction of infrastructure takes place if it would negatively impact the OUV of the property.

It should be recalled that the successful anti-poaching operations in the property have recently resulted in two years of zero poaching of rhino (2011 and 2013). It is noted with concern that the proposed infrastructure developments could negatively impact on rhino and other key species through the fragmentation of habitat and the increased risk of poaching. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide an update on poaching of rhino and other wildlife in the property, in order to demonstrate that these successes are being maintained.

Considering that the proposed developments of the East-West Electric Railway, the Terai-Hulaki Highway and bridges, and the optical fibre project continue to be considered, despite opposition from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of Nepal, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, in order to review potential impacts from these developments on its OUV, and to provide advice on alternative options for infrastructure development that would not have a negative impact on OUV.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7B.15
Chitwan National Park (Nepal) (N 284)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.69, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes with significant concern that the proposed East-West Electric Railway and Terai-Hulaki Highway, if constructed, would result in the fragmentation of the property in four locations, all of which contain important habitat for key species, including elephant, rhino, tiger and gaur, and increase the risk of poaching;
  4. Requests the State Party to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed Suspension Bridge (Balmikiashram-Trivenidham), and submit the EIAs for the East-West Electric Railway, the Tarai Hulaki Highway and the optical fibre project crossing the property to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, ensuring that the EIAs include a specific assessment of the impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, as well as an assessment of cumulative impacts and alternative alignments that do not cross the property, as recognised under all its inscription criteria in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit these EIAs and further details on the proposed projects to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and to ensure that no construction of infrastructure will be permitted if it could negatively impact on the OUV of the property;
  6. Recalling the two recent years of zero rhino poaching in the property (2011 and 2013), further requests the State Party to provide an update on the status of poaching of rhino and other wildlife inside the property, in order to demonstrate the continued success of anti-poaching operations;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite an IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, in order to review potential impacts from the abovementioned developments on its OUV, and to provide advice on alternative options for infrastructure development that would not have a negative impact on OUV;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 41st session in 2017.
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7B.15

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.69, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes with significant concern that the proposed East-West Electric Railway and Terai-Hulaki Highway, if constructed, would result in the fragmentation of the property in four locations, all of which contain important habitat for key species, including elephant, rhino, tiger and gaur, and increase the risk of poaching;
  4. Requests the State Party to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed Suspension Bridge (Balmikiashram-Trivenidham), and submit the EIAs for the East-West Electric Railway, the Tarai Hulaki Highway and the optical fibre project crossing the property to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, ensuring that the EIAs include a specific assessment of the impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, as well as an assessment of cumulative impacts and alternative alignments that do not cross the property, as recognised under all its inscription criteria in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  5. Also requests the State Party to submit these EIAs and further details on the proposed projects to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and to ensure that no construction of infrastructure will be permitted if it could negatively impact on the OUV of the property;
  6. Recalling the two recent years of zero rhino poaching in the property (2011 and 2013), further requests the State Party to provide an update on the status of poaching of rhino and other wildlife inside the property, in order to demonstrate the continued success of anti-poaching operations;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite an IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, in order to review potential impacts from the abovementioned developments on its OUV, and to provide advice on alternative options for infrastructure development that would not have a negative impact on OUV;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 41st session in 2017.
Report year: 2015
Nepal
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .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.


top