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Comoé National Park

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Civil unrest
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Conflict and political instability
  • Lack of management control and of the accesses to the property
  • Poaching
  • Encroachment: human occupation and agricultural pressure
  • Bush fires
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Political and military crisis in Côte d’Ivoire from 2002 to 2010
  • Poaching of wildlife and fires caused by poachers
  • Over-grazing by large cattle herds
  • Absence of effective management mechansim
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/1050

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see pages https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4981 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted: USD 50,000 from the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and Rapid Response Facility

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 97,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

January 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; June 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 9 February 2016 the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available on line at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents/. The progress accomplished regarding a number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions are dealt with below:

  • No Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) has yet been undertaken for the two mining exploration projects located outside the property. If these projects progress beyond the prospection stage, the EIE procedure will be initiated, in conformity with the legislation in force;
  • Important measures have been taken to combat illegal artisanal gold mining and associated poaching with regular surveillance patrols, prosecution of arrested individuals and awareness raising among the local communities. The abandonment of all illegal gold mining exploitation in and around the property is ongoing with 16 sites closed down in 2015. There was no evidence of gold mining installations inside the property in 2015, even although individuals searching for gold were arrested;
  • The Directorate of the Park has 300 million FCFA available annually until 2018 for the management of the property. In the framework of the debt conversion project between Côte d’Ivoire and Germany, 5 million Euros have potentially been identified to implement other investments in the Park;
  • The rehabilitation of infrastructure for an optimum surveillance of the property began in 2015, with support from village conservation associations;
  • New data has been gathered on the state of conservation of large mammals. The results of elephant monitoring have enabled confirmation of the seasonal migration of elephants but also notes that a part of the population always remains in the Park. As regards the chimpanzees, a new group has been regularly localized east of the Comoé River. In 2015, an ecological monitoring strategy for the Park was prepared with support from the GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation) and implementation has begun.

Moreover, an evaluation of the management effectiveness of the property using the Enhancing our Heritage (EoH) evaluation toolkit was carried out by IUCN in February and April 2016, with World Heritage Centre funding.

The reactive monitoring mission requested by the Committee at its 39th session was postponed, following consultation between the State Party, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to enable the State Party to gather additional data on the tendencies of wildlife populations in the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The continued efforts made by the State Party since the end of the political crisis in the effective establishment of services responsible for ecological monitoring, surveillance and associated measures are salutary. The existence of a management plan for the period 2015-2024 and an ecological monitoring strategy in the process of being implemented should also be noted. Furthermore, funding for the majority of the management functions for the coming five years at least, appears to be assured thanks, among others, to German cooperation through GIZ and the KfW. Thus, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to consolidate the progressive establishment of a functional management body and provide the necessary resources to guarantee the implementation of the rehabilitation plan, begun in 2015.

However, it must be noted that the property suffers from important human occupation, in particular poaching and gold prospecting, mentioned in the State Party report. Furthermore, the efficient management of the property using the EoH evaluation toolkit carried out in February and April 2016 by IUCN in cooperation with the Directorate of Comoé National Park has also identified other pressures, notably uncontrolled bush fires, transhumance, fishing, agricultural encroachment, exploitation of non-timber forest products, gold mining and demographic pressure. In the light of these threats, the State Party has undertaken surveillance actions but they have not yet been able to control the threats affecting the integrity of the property and large and medium wildlife. In this respect, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to strengthen the logistical and human resources to control human pressure weighing on the integrity of the property and its mammalian population.

Moreover, an ecological monitoring system is available at the property and should be able to efficiently evaluate the level of human pressure. The inventories carried out by the State Party have also enabled the gathering of data concerning large mammals, notably the elephant, lion, buffalo and the chimpanzee. However, the State Party has not provided information concerning the statistical analysis of this data. Thus, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to send to the World Heritage Centre all data analysis reports resulting from these inventories for examination by IUCN before the reactive monitoring mission requested by the Committee at its 39th session takes place. It is also recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to define, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the biological indicators for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

Concerning the two mining projects outside the Park, it is recommended that the Committee warmly welcome the willingness of the State Party to prepare the EIEs for the two projects should they progress beyond the prospection stage, and that it requests the State Party to ensure that these EIEs include an evaluation of the potential impact of these projects on the outstanding universal value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with the IUCN Advisory Note on World Heritage: environmental evaluation.

In conclusion, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7A.35
Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 227)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.2, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Warmly welcomes the continued progress achieved by the State Party, in particular the surveillance measures and awareness raising activities among the local communities, to counteract human pressure affecting the property;
  4. Notes with concern continued gold prospecting and associated poaching, as well as other threats resulting from human pressure and requests the State Party to pursue its efforts to counteract these threats, to implement the corrective measures and continue the execution of the rehabilitation plan begun in 2015;
  5. Also warmly welcomes the willingness of the State Party to prepare Environmental Impact Evaluations (EIEs) for the two mining projects outside the Park should they progress beyond the prospection stage, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that these EIEs include an evaluation of the potential impacts of these projects on the outstanding universal value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with the IUCN Advisory Note on World Heritage: environmental evaluation;
  6. Notes with satisfaction the preparation and the implementation of an ecological monitoring strategy prepared with support from GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) as well as the inventories of large mammals that have been carried out, also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by IUCN, all reports concerning the analysis of data gathered during these inventories to enable confirmation of the re-establishment of large wildlife populations within the Park, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to define, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the biological indicators for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property as soon as the above-mentioned reports are available, to examine the state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the corrective measures and the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  9. Decides to retain Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
40 COM 8C.2
Update of the list of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 40 COM 7A.26)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 40 COM 7A.27)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 40 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 40 COM 7A.1)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 40 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 40 COM 7A.9)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 40 COM 7A.28)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.48)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 40 COM 7A.10)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.11)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 40 COM 7A.12)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 40 COM 7A.13)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 40 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 40 COM 7A.6)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 40 COM 7A.7)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 40 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 40 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 40 COM 7A.15)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 40 COM 7A.3)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 40 COM 7A.4)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 40 COM 7A. 30)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 40 COM 7A.49)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 40 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 40 COM 7A.17)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 40 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 40 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 40 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 40 COM 7A.21)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 40 COM 7A.8)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 40 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.47)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.50)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 40 COM 7A.5)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 40 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 40 COM 7A.24)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 40 COM 7A.25).
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7A.35

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.2, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Warmly welcomes the continued progress achieved by the State Party, in particular the surveillance measures and awareness raising activities among the local communities, to counteract human pressure affecting the property;
  4. Notes with concern continued gold prospecting and associated poaching, as well as other threats resulting from human pressure and requests the State Party to pursue its efforts to counteract these threats, to implement the corrective measures and continue the execution of the rehabilitation plan begun in 2015;
  5. Also warmly welcomes the willingness of the State Party to prepare Environmental Impact Evaluations (EIEs) for the two mining projects outside the Park should they progress beyond the prospection stage, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that these EIEs include an evaluation of the potential impacts of these projects on the outstanding universal value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with the IUCN Advisory Note on World Heritage: environmental evaluation;
  6. Notes with satisfaction the preparation and the implementation of an ecological monitoring strategy prepared with support from GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) as well as the inventories of large mammals that have been carried out, also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by IUCN, all reports concerning the analysis of data gathered during these inventories to enable confirmation of the re-establishment of large wildlife populations within the Park, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to define, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the biological indicators for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property as soon as the above-mentioned reports are available, to examine the state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures;
  8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the corrective measures and the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  9. Decides to retain Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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