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Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Niger
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Civil unrest
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Political instability and civil strife
  • Poverty
  • Management constraints
  • Ostrich poaching
  • Soil erosion
  • Demographic pressure
  • Livestock pressure
  • Pressure on forestry resources
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The region having recently suffered from military conflict and civil disturbance, the Government of Niger requested the Director-General of UNESCO to launch an appeal for the protection of the site

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/325  

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 7 (from 1999-2013)
Total amount approved : 172,322 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 9 February, 2016 the State Party submitted a report on the conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/documents/, and provided the following information concerning the progress accomplished in the implementation of the updated corrective measures:

  • Since October 2015, the Management Unit of the property was strengthened by the appointment of a conservator for the sole management of the property and its seven forestry agents based at Iférouane, enabling the implementation of a minimal emergency programme, surveillance, including notably anti-poaching combat;
  • The Communal Forestry Commissions (COFOCOM) clarify the rights of land-use and access to resources of the local populations;
  • An evaluation of management efficiency of the property using the Enhancing our Heritage (EoH) toolkit was used by IUCN in January 2016 with funding from the World Heritage Centre;
  • The Departmental Directorate of Environment, Urban Safety and Sustainable Development (DDESU/DD) and its Communal Services (SCESU/DD) control and collect data on the volume and types of timber on all the road axes in the region of Agadez;
  • An ecological monitoring mission in December 2015 confirmed the presence of dorcas gazelle, dama gazelle and Barbary sheep around Mount Takoulkouzat. Concerning the addax antelopes, reports provided by the local populations indicating the possibilities of their existence around Mount Tamyakces remain unconfirmed;
  • Reintroduction efforts for the red-neck ostrich continue with the first releases into the nature of a few individuals originating from the ex situ reconstitution programme foreseen in the near future;
  • Artisanal gold panning in the region of Agadez close to the property as well as the illegal circulation of weapons of war in the zone increases the threats.
The State Party notes that the “Niger Fauna Corridors Project” (NFCR) is now in its last year of implementation, and that the imminent start of the third phase of the project for Co-Management of Natural Resources in Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (COGERAT) is expected in 2016, its funding already secured through Global Environmental Fund (GEF).
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The efforts undertaken by the State Party in the implementation of the updated corrective measures, adopted by the Committee during its 39th session (Bonn, 2015), should be warmly acknowledged.

However, the EoH evaluation of January 2016 noted that the property does not have a management plan or a budget to cover effectively the principal activities, in particular surveillance and ecological monitoring. Important efforts are still required to establish functional management bodies with technical and financial means and adequate staff.

Moreover, the redynamization of the local surveillance bodies in the valleys would be an excellent strategy to counter the staff deficiency. In fact, during the politico-military crisis, these structures have played an important role in the protection of the property against all forms of pressure, explaining the presence recently noted of Sahelo-Saharan antelopes within the property, with the exception of addax, as indicated in the wildlife inventory reports of 2015 and 2016.

Nevertheless, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to accelerate the recruitment of forestry agents and ensure appropriate funding for the Management Unit to enable a better control of the exploitation of natural resources in the property and to ensure an efficient implementation of the emergency surveillance programme.

The EoH evaluation also confirmed that “motor poaching” and the exploitation of timber still remain the major pressures within the property. It is regrettable that the State Party has not provided any information on the level of poaching, or on the results of the anti-poaching combat carried out in 2015.  Also, the lack of information on the volume and the type of timber removed from the property and exploited for commercial use does not permit an analysis of the degree of the threat. In this context, the continuing gold-panning activity in the region of Agadez, close to the property, as well as the illegal circulation of weapons of war are noted with concern. Indeed, the 2015 mission noted that a large part of the timber originating from the property is directed to the gold-panning sites. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide detailed information and data on these threats and the actions carried out to mitigate them.

The encouraging results obtained during the ecological monitoring mission of December 2015 were confirmed by the two inventories of February and March 2016 in the framework of the Africa Nature II programme, showing the presence of dorcas gazelles, dama gazelles and the Barbary sheep with the Kilometer Abundance Index of 0.008, 0.001 and 0.001 respectively.

However, despite these efforts, the volume of data is still insufficient to evaluate the status of these species throughout the property. Thus, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to implement the recommendation of the 2015 mission concerning the establishment and implementation of a five-year monitoring programme on the state of conservation of the dorcas gazelle, the dama gazelle and their habitats throughout the property with support from the partners. Furthermore, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to implement all of the other recommendations of the 2015 mission. 

Finally, 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.45
Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.12 adopted during its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Warmly welcomes the confirmation of GEF funding enabling the implementation of the third phase of the project for Co-Management for the Natural Resources of the Air and Ténéré (COGERAT), expected to start in 2016;
  4. Also warmly welcomes the efforts undertaken by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures, but considers that important efforts are still necessary to implement them all;
  5. Reiterates its concern with regard to the lack of human and logistical means to ensure the sovereign function of the Management, Surveillance and Ecological Monitoring Unit of the property and requests the State Party to accelerate the recruitment of forestry agents, and ensure adequate funding of the Management Unit to better control the exploitation of the natural resources within the property;
  6. Notes with concern the continuing problem of gold panning in the region of Agadez, close to the property, as well as the illegal circulation of weapons of war leading to an increase in poaching threats and timber harvesting;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide detailed information and data on poaching and timber harvesting in the perimeter of the property, as well as the actions carried out to combat these threats;
  8. Notes with satisfaction the encouraging results obtained during the ecological monitoring mission of December 2015, but also considers that the efforts undertaken are not sufficient to obtain a satisfactory level of information to evaluate the status of these species throughout the property and reiterates its request to the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the 2015 IUCN reactive monitoring mission, in particular those concerning the preparation and implementation of a five-year programme to monitor the state of conservation of the dorcas gazelle, the dama gazelle and their habitats, as well as an action plan on the corrective measures defined in consultation with the State Party during the mission;
  9. Again urgently requests the State Party to carry out the necessary studies with a view to preparing a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  10. Further 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 points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) 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.45

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.12 adopted during its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Warmly welcomes the confirmation of GEF funding enabling the implementation of the third phase of the project for Co-Management for the Natural Resources of the Air and Ténéré (COGERAT), expected to start in 2016;
  4. Also warmly welcomes the efforts undertaken by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures, but considers that important efforts are still necessary to implement them all;
  5. Reiterates its concern with regard to the lack of human and logistical means to ensure the sovereign function of the Management, Surveillance and Ecological Monitoring Unit of the property and requests the State Party to accelerate the recruitment of forestry agents, and ensure adequate funding of the Management Unit to better control the exploitation of the natural resources within the property;
  6. Notes with concern the continuing problem of gold panning in the region of Agadez, close to the property, as well as the illegal circulation of weapons of war leading to an increase in poaching threats and timber harvesting;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide detailed information and data on poaching and timber harvesting in the perimeter of the property, as well as the actions carried out to combat these threats;
  8. Notes with satisfaction the encouraging results obtained during the ecological monitoring mission of December 2015, but also considers that the efforts undertaken are not sufficient to obtain a satisfactory level of information to evaluate the status of these species throughout the property and reiterates its request to the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the 2015 IUCN reactive monitoring mission, in particular those concerning the preparation and implementation of a five-year programme to monitor the state of conservation of the dorcas gazelle, the dama gazelle and their habitats, as well as an action plan on the corrective measures defined in consultation with the State Party during the mission;
  9. Again urgently requests the State Party to carry out the necessary studies with a view to preparing a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  10. Further 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 points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Niger
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-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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