1.         Keoladeo National Park (India) (N 340)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 80,000 (Enhancing Our Heritage project on management effectiveness assessment). The property has benefited from the United Nations Foundation funded World Heritage India programme from 2008 (enhance management effectiveness and build staff capacity; increase the involvement of local communities in the management of the property and promote their sustainable development; and raise awareness through communications and advocacy)

Previous monitoring missions

March 2005: World Heritage Centre site visit; March 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 8 December 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report. A summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/340/documents/ and reports the following:

No progress on the development of the revised management plan is provided.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

It is recommended that the Committee welcome the issuance of a draft notification declaring a 500 metre strip of eco-sensitive zone around the property boundary in order to regulate developments in its immediate vicinity. This plan is understood to include restrictions on land use, infrastructure, tourism, and to regulate pollution, whilst providing for restoration of land areas and conservation of water bodies. Noting that the Zonal Master Plan needs to be prepared within a period of two years from the date of publication of the final notification in the Official Gazette, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to ensure that a full consultation process with all relevant stakeholders be undertaken prior to finalizing the notification, and during the development of the Zonal Master Plan.

It is noted with utmost concern that provision of water to the property remains at a level insufficient to ensure adequate water quantities, recalling the minimum of 550 million cubic feet (mcft) recommended by the 2008 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission in order to sustain the property’s wetland value. The Govardhan Drain, which was initially anticipated to provide 350 mcft of water, appears to have only provided 290 mcft of water in 2015. It is crucial that water flow is increased, taking into consideration the quality of water, in order to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. Noting with significant concern that there have been no water flows from Panchana Dam over the past two years, and recalling the Committee Decision 35 COM 7B.14, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure annual releases of water from Panchana Dam in order to augment the water supply to the property.

The data on water bird counts is appreciated but the raw data provided lacks detailed analysis to assess potential causes in fluctuations for the different species. The methodologies used are also not clarified as requested by the Committee in Decision 38 COM 7B.66. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to provide clear and accurate data and analyses of bird counts, including detailed information on methodologies used, in order to demonstrate the sustained recovery of bird populations.

The operation undertaken to remove invasive African sharptooth catfish from selected areas of the property is appreciated, but no update is provided on the status and eradication of other invasive species previously identified, namely Water Hyacinth and Prosopis juliflora. It is considered that an ongoing monitoring process for all invasive species is required, and it is reiterated that an adaptive invasive species control and eradication strategy should be encouraged as part of the updated management plan. A copy of the revised management plan, which ends in 2016, has not yet been submitted and it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to submit it to the World Heritage Centre and IUCN for review.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.87

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.66, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the issuance of a draft notification declaring a 500 metre strip of eco-senstivie zone around the property boundary in order to regulate developments in the immediate vicinity of the property, and requests the State Party to ensure that a full stakeholder consultation process is held prior to finalizing the notification, and during the development of the Zonal Master Plan that is expected to follow the publication in the Official Gazette of the final notification;
  4. Notes with utmost concern that the provision of water to the property remains insufficient to guarantee adequate water flows, recalling that at least 550 million cubic feet (mcft) was recommended by the 2008 mission to sustain the property’s wetland values, and strongly urges the State Party to increase the water flow through the Govardhan Drain and to ensure annual releases of water from Panchana Dam in order to augment the water supply to the property;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide clear and accurate data and analyses of bird counts, including detailed information on methodologies used, in order to demonstrate the sustained recovery of bird populations;
  6. Appreciates the operation undertaken to remove invasive African sharptooth catfish from selected areas of the property, and also requests the State Party to develop an adaptive invasive species control and eradication strategy, including for Water Hyacinth and Prosopis juliflora to be integrated into the revised management plan;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to submit an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018.