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Rainforests of the Atsinanana

Madagascar
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Governance
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Mining
  • Society's valuing of heritage
  • Subsistence hunting
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Encroachment
  • Fire
  • Hunting and poaching
  • Artisanal mining
  • Illegal logging
  • Governance
  • Engagement of local communities
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Illegal logging of precious wood species (ebony and rosewood) and its secondary impacts; poaching of endangered lemurs were identified as threats for the site’s integrity.

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/4344

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4344  

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4344
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted: USD 1,890,000 from the United Nations Foundation and the Nordic World Heritage Foundation; USD 1,039,000 from the Government of Norway

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 3 (from 2000-2016)
Total amount approved : 155,000 USD
2016 Conservation et gestion des forêts humides de ... (Not approved)   0 USD
2010 Forêts Humides de l’Atsinanana (Approved)   100,000 USD
2005 Elaboration of a a serial nomination for the humid ... (Approved)   25,000 USD
2000 Technical Assistance for Building Capacity for World ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 28 January 2016, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/documents/. This report presents the progress achieved on a certain number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions, as follows:

  • In January 2016, the Permanent Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) approved the results of an audit on the stocks and the plan of usage to determine the elements of the stocks of rosewood and ebony for legal exportation;
  • The capacities of the authorities and the civil society to identify precious wood have been strengthened;
  • Act N°2015-056 of 17 December 2015 concerning the repression of offences linked to rosewood and ebony provides for the creation of a special tribunal to adjudicate the traffickers as well as reinforcing the penalties;
  • The area covered by the surveillance was 90% in each component of the property in 2015. Surveillance efforts have been reinforced by mixed brigades (gendarmerie, military, local authorities responsible for water and forests, mining police) as well as by the Local Committees of the Park (LCP) comprising neighbouring communities that have patrolled 47% of the property in 2015 (against 52% in 2014). The use of the SMART tool (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), enabled a better control of all the human pressure;
  • Several awareness-raising activities for the neighbouring communities were carried out.

Progress towards the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) is reported as follows:

  • The illicit logging of precious wood has diminished in the property, but is still present at a level representing 10% of the level registered in 2009;
  • Since 2014, the variable clearing rate has been registered below the level of 0.01% defined in the DSOCR;
  • The number of lemur traps was on the increase in 2015 (112 against 68 in 2014). Currently, 24 of the 28 species of lemur present within the property are subject to ecological monitoring;
  • In 2015, 42.28 ha of the Masoala National Park have been restored.

From 28 September to 2 October 2015, a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission took place, including a site visit to the Masoala National Park, one of the components of the property.

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

The evident political willingness of the State Party to halt the illicit trafficing of precious wood with the adoption of the Act N°2015-056 reinforcing the penalties against the traffickers, and the progress accomplished by the State Party towards the indicators of the DSOCR should be welcomed. The efforts made to involve the local communities in the conservation activities of the property should also be welcomed. In reading the report of the State Party, it is evident that progress has been accomplished towards achieving the indicators of the DSOCR, notably with regard to the reduction of illicit logging of precious wood and the control of agricultural clearing. However, as noted by the 2015 mission, the necessary resources to pursue the improvements of the precious wood industry appear to be no longer available by the end of 2015.  It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to prepare and implement a plan to acquire sufficient resources to initiate a strategy for the seizure of the stocks of illegal precious wood.

 The mission noted that the exploitation of rosewood continues in the property, even though the volume appears diminished. It also noted that despite the efforts made by the State Party and its partners, the quantity of the illegally exploited rosewood in the protected areas in general, and in the components of the property still remains to be clarified. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to fully implement the CITES action plan. Indeed, the situation of the illegally exploited precious wood as presented to the mission is alarming. Nearly 300,000 logs were declared, whereas only 27,791 were seized. Efforts to find the remainder of the hidden stocks are costly but must be continued. Furthermore, the mission emphasized that the option taken by the Interministerial Committee to establish a local treatment factory for the seized wood should ensure that it does not provide an opportunity for the illegal traffickers to “launder” their stocks of hidden wood. In this respect, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to clarify the nature and destination of the products delivered by the proposed treatment factory to evaluate the impact on the future demand for precious wood and in consequence, the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.

The mission has also noted that the artisanal and illegal mining exploitation is also an important threat for the ecological integrity of the property, particularly in the Zahamena and Ranomafana Parks. Moreover, the lemur traps also constitute a serious problem in several components of the property, including Majojely, Zahamena and Andringitra Parks.

Finally, the mission considers that the efforts made by the State Party, while certainly commendable, do not respond fully to the DSOCR indicators. Thus, 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.44
Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.11, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party for the evident political will to halt the illicit trafficing of precious wood with the Act N°2015-056 creating a special tribunal to injudicate the traffickers and reinforce the penalties;
  4. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party towards attaining the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but considers that all the indicators have not yet been achieved;
  5. Also welcomes the efforts made by the State Party to ensure the involvement of the local communities in the conservation activities of the property, as demonstrated by the surveillance of the property by the Local Park Committees;
  6. Notes with concern that even although the volume appears to be diminished, the exploitation of rosewood in the property continues and that the quantity of illegally exploited rosewood still remains to be clarified, and urges the State Party to fully implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) action plan;
  7. Requests the State Party to prepare and implement a plan to acquire sufficient resources to ensure the long-term implementation of the strategy to seize the illegal stocks of precious wood;
  8. Also requests the State Party to clarify the nature and destination of the products to be delivered by the proposed treatment factory to evaluate the impact on the future demand of precious wood and consequently the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  9. Also notes with concern the artisanal and illegal mining, notably in the Zahamena and Ranomafana National Parks, as well as poaching of lemurs in several components of the property, including the Marojejy, Zahamena and Andringitra National Parks, also constituting serious threats to the OUV and the integrity of the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to implement all the other recommendations of the 2015 mission;
  11. Requests furthermore 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 on the implementation of the corrective measures, as well as the above points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  12. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) 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.44

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.11, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the State Party for the evident political will to halt the illicit trafficing of precious wood with the Act N°2015-056 creating a special tribunal to injudicate the traffickers and reinforce the penalties;
  4. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party towards attaining the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but considers that all the indicators have not yet been achieved;
  5. Also welcomes the efforts made by the State Party to ensure the involvement of the local communities in the conservation activities of the property, as demonstrated by the surveillance of the property by the Local Park Committees;
  6. Notes with concern that even although the volume appears to be diminished, the exploitation of rosewood in the property continues and that the quantity of illegally exploited rosewood still remains to be clarified, and urges the State Party to fully implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) action plan;
  7. Requests the State Party to prepare and implement a plan to acquire sufficient resources to ensure the long-term implementation of the strategy to seize the illegal stocks of precious wood;
  8. Also requests the State Party to clarify the nature and destination of the products to be delivered by the proposed treatment factory to evaluate the impact on the future demand of precious wood and consequently the potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  9. Also notes with concern the artisanal and illegal mining, notably in the Zahamena and Ranomafana National Parks, as well as poaching of lemurs in several components of the property, including the Marojejy, Zahamena and Andringitra National Parks, also constituting serious threats to the OUV and the integrity of the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to implement all the other recommendations of the 2015 mission;
  11. Requests furthermore 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 on the implementation of the corrective measures, as well as the above points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  12. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Madagascar
Date of Inscription: 2007
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2010-present
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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