1.         Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania) (C/N 39bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1979

Criteria  (iv)(vii)(viii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1984-1989

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1979-2014)
Total amount approved: USD 300,099
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

USD 50,000 from Switzerland, USD 35,000 from the Netherlands, USD 20,000 from the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) and USD 8,000 self-benefitting funds from the United Republic of Tanzania in 2013-2014; USD 50,000 from the Flanders Funds-in-Trust in 2014-2015.

Previous monitoring missions

April 1986: IUCN mission; April-May 2007 and December 2008: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 6 January 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/. Progress in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in the report as follows:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies

The creation of the Culture Heritage Department is positively acknowledged; however, assurance is still needed from the State Party that adequate resources shall be secured for its long-term operation as well as the development of general management plans for the cultural assets within the property.

The relocation of the lodge development projects from the crater rim to ecologically non-sensitive areas, identified in collaboration with communities and subject to EIAs that shall be submitted to the NCA Authority Board and the World Heritage Centre, is noted. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to further clarify the new locations that have been identified for these developments, and to ensure the EIAs will include a specific assessment of the impacts of the proposed development on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property to consider all criteria for which it was inscribed on the World Heritage List, including ecological values and the aesthetic values of the property that justify its inscription under criterion (vii). The development of draft building codes is also acknowledged.

The progress in developing a road strategy and conducting a feasibility study, including an EIA for the road is noted. Although the lack of funding for these activities is acknowledged, it is recommended that the State Party be reminded that no development should be conducted before a full EIA, including a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), is completed, and the report has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and reviewed by IUCN.

In addition, the State Party’s report on continued efforts to improve cattle profitability, identify alternative land for agriculture outside the property and sensitize pastoralists on voluntary relocations is noted. The creation of the local traditional leaders committee is welcomed.

The collaboration with UNESCO for the “People and Wildlife” project as well as for the Sustainable Tourism Strategy is welcomed. In view of developing an overall strategy for multiple land-use, as per Decision 38 COM 7B.61, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to continue its efforts to use the dialogue process as an opportunity to review wide-ranging governance issues, including management and conservation approaches, stakeholder involvement and benefit sharing, and to continue efforts to identify adequate options for sustainable livelihoods that do not negatively impact on the OUV of the property, in close cooperation with stakeholders and in particular the resident communities. It is also recommended that activities for sustainable livelihoods and sustainable tourism are carefully aligned with the work to update the General Management Plan.

The creation of the international Advisory Committee for the Laetoli Hominid Footprints Conservation Project is welcomed as well as the decision to undertake a feasibility study on the proposed site museum. The State Party report cites that the outcomes of the meeting are attached as an annex to their report, but no annex was received by the World Heritage Centre. A request was sent to the State Party to submit the outcomes as soon as possible. The Committee may wish to urge the State Party to submit the study to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, before any decisions are made regarding the museum and the conservation of the footprints. A detailed report on the new set of footprints discovered at the site in October 2014 should also be submitted, and the State Party may wish to invite an Advisory mission to the property to address any problems with the state of conservation following partial excavation of the hominid footprints and to advise on the immediate conservation needs of both sets of footprints, while waiting for a decision to be made about the site museum.

There is concern that geothermal energy development could impact negatively on the OUV of the property, including on its outstanding natural beauty as recognized under criterion (vii). It is therefore recommended that the Committee request that the State Party ensure that geothermal development inside the property will not be permitted, and identify alternative locations well outside of the property for any geothermal energy development,.

No updated information has been provided on progress achieved in addressing the threat of poaching, especially of elephants, as well as other conclusions or recommendations of the 2012 Reactive Monitoring mission. The State Party should be encouraged to continue its efforts to fight poaching, and to provide information on their efforts to implement the recommendations of the 2012 reactive monitoring mission. Moreover, in accordance with Decision 38 COM 7B.61, it is recommended that a clear invasive species control strategy be put in place and the occurrence of invasive plant species, in particular Parthenium hysterophorus be closely monitored.

The General Management Plan, which is to be reviewed in 2016, should include all the elements relevant to sustainable management of the property, such as governance issues, land-use management, stakeholders involvement and benefit sharing, building codes, the monitoring plan, the road strategy, management of the cultural assets and a sustainable tourism strategy. The updated General Management Plan should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies along with copies of relevant technical and regulatory documents.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7B.34

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 34 COM 8B.13, 36 COM 7B.35 and 38 COM 7B.61, adopted at its 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the establishment of the Cultural Heritage Department within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and encourages the State Party to continue allocating adequate resources for its long-term operation;
  4. Notes the decision to relocate the lodge development projects from the crater rim to other areas that the State Party considers less ecologically sensitive, and requests the State Party to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the projects including a specific assessment of the impacts of the proposed development on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, as recognized under all its inscription criteria, in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and ICOMOS Guidance on Heritage Impact Assessments for Cultural World Heritage properties (HIAs), and inform the World Heritage Centre of any further changes or developments that may negatively impact the OUV of the property, in line with the Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Urges the State Party to mobilize necessary funds to complete the initiated work on the EIA, including an HIA, for the proposed road surfacing options, including a specific assessment of impacts on OUV in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Also welcomes the continued efforts to maintain an open dialogue process with all stakeholders through the “People and Wildlife” project with UNESCO and other efforts to address sustainable livelihood and wildlife protection with stakeholders and to reduce the impacts of livestock grazing and increased population pressure on the OUV of the property, and also requests a holistic sustainable strategy for the property be developed to address all property issues in close cooperation with the different stakeholders and in particular the resident communities;
  7. Further welcomes the creation of the international Advisory Committee for the Laetoli Hominid Footprints Conservation Project, as well as the feasibility study commissioned on the Laetoli Museum project, and further requests that a copy of the Feasibility Study, the project implementation document and cultural heritage impact assessment be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also encourages the State Party to seek International Assistance for the preparation of a detailed report on the new set of footprints discovered at the site in October 2014, and further encourages the State Party to consider inviting an ICOMOS Advisory mission to address the conservation needs of both sets of footprints;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit updated information on any further progress achieved in addressing the threat of poaching, particularly affecting elephant populations as well as progress made in implementing the outstanding recommendations of the 2012 Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, including development of an invasive species control strategy, with particular reference to Parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus);
  10. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, the updated 10-year general management plan, which should also include the following elements:
    1. the forthcoming sustainable tourism development strategy for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area,
    2. the road strategy,
    3. general management plans for the cultural assets within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area;
  11. Finally requests 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.