Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania) (C/N 39bis)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1979
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/
Requests approved: 0
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
- Increased human population
- Spread of invasive species
- Tourism pressure
- Grazing pressure
- Governance of the property and community involvement
- Challenging situation of community livelihoods
- Potential impact of lodge development project on the crater rim
- Impact of different road-surfacing options
- Proposed museum building at Laetoli
- Condition and conservation of the Laetoli hominid footprints
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:
- The Cultural Heritage Department was established and became operational in July 2014, and preparations for a road map on capacity building for the new department were initiated. In addition, the State Party plans to commission a consultancy for the development of General Management Plans and Conservation Plans for the cultural assets within the property, as soon as funds become available;
- Draft building codes have been finalised and preparations of a study on road strategy and a feasibility study, which will include an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to evaluate the impact of proposed road-surfacing options have been initiated, but are dependent upon funding availability;
- Lodge development projects have been relocated from the crater rim to ecologically non-sensitive areas, which have been identified in consultation with stakeholders. These projects are subject to EIAs;
- To address the negative impacts from increased livestock grazing and population pressure, the cattle improvement project has continued at the experimental farm block at Ngairish sub-village of Kakesio. Alternative land for agriculture is being sought outside of the conservation area and sensitization of pastoralists on voluntary relocation to the Jema village within Ngorongoro District continues. In addition, a local traditional leaders committee has been established;
- Following the successful launch of the UNESCO project “People and Wildlife: Past, Present and Future” in August 2013, a government stakeholders workshop was held in July 2014 to improve dialogue and the exchange of information among stakeholders, in order to develop a renewed approach to balancing sustainable livelihoods of local communities with the goals of wildlife protection, ecosystem conservation and management as well as sustainable tourism;
- On 10 September 2014, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority sent a letter to UNESCO with the information that geothermal energy assessment and potential development activities may take place within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). UNESCO replied that this proposed activity needs to be carefully evaluated before drafting specific documents and before making any irreversible decisions, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines;
- On 31 October 2014, the State Party orally informed the World Heritage Centre that during an EIA, a second set of footprints was discovered at the Laetoli site close to the original set discovered. On 12 November 2014, the World Heritage Centre met with the State Party to discuss this new discovery, the hotel development activities at the site, as well as the State Party’s plans to establish an international Advisory Committee for the Laetoli Hominid Footprints Conservation Project. On behalf of the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, ICCROM then participated in the first meeting of the Advisory Committee, from 21 to 29 November 2014. In addition, the State Party reports that no proposals have been finalized for the long term conservation of the Laetoli footprints to address reported damage to their integrity, following partial re-excavation in 2011 nor for a site museum. Moreover, a feasibility study has been commissioned on the Laetoli museum project;
- Through an extra-budgetary project financed by the Flanders Funds-in-Trust to UNESCO, the site management and local stakeholders are participating in a series of workshops beginning in March 2015 to develop a tourism strategy based on the new online learning module developed by the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme. Moreover, the State Party reports that a consultancy has been advertised for the preparation of a tourism destination strategy, which will examine tourism trends, map the future of tourism and develop proposals for tourism within the NCA.;
- The General Management Plan will be reviewed by 2016, incorporating the sustainable tourism strategy and management of the cultural assets therein. The State Party reports that a monitoring plan for safeguarding the state of conservation of the property is also being maintained, and that copies of relevant technical and regulatory documents shall be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies.
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,
- Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
- 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,
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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);
- 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:
- the forthcoming sustainable tourism development strategy for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area,
- the road strategy,
- general management plans for the cultural assets within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area;
- 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.