1.         Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2007

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2010-present

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 identified

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

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2016)
Total amount approved: USD 155,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

Previous monitoring missions

May 2011, September 2015: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/

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:

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:

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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. 

Decision Adopted: 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.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 8C.2

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: