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Comoé National Park

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • 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 mechanism
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

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 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 97,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

January 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; June 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission; April 2017: Joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 11 November 2016, in response to Decision 40 COM 7A.35, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. From 3 to 12 April 2017, a joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the property. Both reports are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents. The State Party report provides the following information:

  • In 2016, 162 surveillance missions were carried out, equivalent to a total of 14,933 person-days in the field. This surveillance, which involves village auxiliaries, resulted in the abandonment of numerous gold-panning sites in the southern part of the property. Continuous surveillance on the western flank of the property is now provided, in accordance with the 2015-2024 Planning and Management Plan;
  • Two surveillance posts have been rehabilitated at the eastern and northern entrances of the property and are now permanently occupied by park staff. Two office buildings are also rehabilitated or undergoing rehabilitation. The annual maintenance of the trails was carried out with the support of the Village Conservation and Development Associations (AVCD);
  • Information, education and communication (IEC) actions for the neighbouring populations were carried out in five villages around the property;
  • The need to undertake an environmental assessment of the potential impacts of mining projects close to the property on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is recognized;
  • An aerial survey of large and medium-sized mammals was carried out in March 2016. This is the third inventory of the type, the other two having been carried out in 2010 and 2014. The results of these inventories show a stabilization of the animal population and confirm the presence of elephants (estimated at about one hundred individuals) and chimpanzees;
  • An analysis of the satellite images of the property and its periphery shows that its integrity is maintained.

The report of the Reactive Monitoring mission provides the following additional information:

  • All the corrective measures adopted by the Committee were carried out in an integrated approach and a transversal dynamic with strong involvement of local communities;
  • The nine indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) have been implemented:
    • For the three biological indicators, the targets in terms of increase in numbers or kilometric index of abundance (KIA) were met for most species, including the elephant and the chimpanzee;
    • For the three habitat Integrity indicators, the targets were fully met and even exceeded. The work carried out revealed, notably, that less than 1% of the total area of the property is occupied by non-natural formations;
    • As for the three management indicators, the objectives were also fully achieved and a permanent mechanism for financing protection and management activities was put in place;
  • Concerns remain, however, owing in particular to the persistence of gold panning, the increase in the encounter rate of livestock and the planned agro-pastoral developments in the periphery of the property.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

It should be noted that considerable efforts have been made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures and the DSOCR. Considering the results of the DSOCR indicators, it can be noted that the state of conservation of the fauna and its habitat is changing positively. Indeed, emblematic species of the property such as the elephant and chimpanzee that were thought to have disappeared are regenerating. Habitats have a very good conservation status because less than 1% of the total area of the property is occupied by non-natural formations.

The results thus achieved are very appreciable and often exceed the initial objectives. The strong and sustained involvement of local communities has contributed to this. This must be welcomed as a prerequisite for the sustainable conservation of the property. To this end, it is recommended that the Committee commend the State Party for its progress.

These positive results are the fruit of the normalization of the politico-military situation and the return of stability in the country. This situation enabled the State Party to take charge of the management of the property, to benefit from multi-faceted support and to reinforce the dynamics of protection and conservation of the site. The establishment of a sustainable financing mechanism augurs positive prospects.

In the light of all of the above, one can consider that the OUV of the property has been strongly rehabilitated and strengthened. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee remove the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

However, it is important to note the persistence of gold panning especially in the southeastern part of the property. These mining activities pose risks of degradation and pollution of the ecosystems. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to take all appropriate measures to systematically eradicate gold panning within the property and to monitor its development around the property in collaboration with the technical services in charge of the mining sector. It is also recommended that the Committee take note with appreciation of the State Party's commitment to assess the potential impacts of mining projects in the vicinity of the property on its OUV, and to request the State Party to submit the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before hard-to-reverse decisions are made regarding the licensing of these projects, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

With regard to livestock roaming, it is recommended that the Committee, recognizing the efforts made by the State Party in terms of human and logistical resources to address this problem, urge the State Party to exclude livestock from the property by strengthening surveillance, awareness raising and agro-pastoral development activities.

Concerning the planned agro-pastoral developments around the property, these may bring risks of increased transhumance in the area of the property. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to conduct a preliminary study of the potential impacts of these agro-pastoral developments on the OUV of the property.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to implement all other recommendations of the Reactive Monitoring mission.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.5
Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 227)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party for the efforts made in the implementation of the corrective measures and the significant progress made towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) since the normalization of the political situation in the country, including the establishment of a functional management body and a sustainable financing mechanism for the conservation of the property;
  4. Considers that the DSOCR indicators for the integrity and management of the property have been fully achieved and even surpassed, and that the biological indicators have attained a satisfactory level of achievement;
  5. Decides to remove Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  6. Requests the State Party to continue and to consolidate the ecological monitoring activities and the inventorying of large fauna by strengthening the synergy and consistency of methodological approaches in order to confirm the maintenance of positive trends in the populations of key species;
  7. Notes with appreciation the State Party's commitment to assess the potential impacts of the mining projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and also requests the State Party to submit the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before hard-to-reverse decisions are made regarding the licensing of these projects in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Notes with concern that gold panning persists in the property and further requests the State Party to take all appropriate measures to systematically eradicate this activity within the property and monitor its development around the property in collaboration with the technical services in charge of the mining sector;
  9. Recognizing the significant efforts made by the State Party to address roaming of livestock in the property, notes the increase in this phenomenon in 2016, which appears to be linked to a particularly severe pre-harvest period, and urges the State Party to exclude livestock from the property by strengthening surveillance, awareness raising and agro-pastoral development activities, and by conducting a preliminary study of the potential impacts of these agro-pastoral developments on the OUV of the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to implement all other recommendations of the joint UNESCO / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission of 2017;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
41 COM 8C.3
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Removed Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2) and the proposals for inscription of properties on the World Heritage List (WHC/17/41.COM/8B, WHC/17/41.COM/8B.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/8B.Add.2),
  2. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Côte d’Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.5)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.13)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 41 COM 7A.20), which has become Gelati Monastery (Decision 41 COM 8B.31)
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.5

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party for the efforts made in the implementation of the corrective measures and the significant progress made towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) since the normalization of the political situation in the country, including the establishment of a functional management body and a sustainable financing mechanism for the conservation of the property;
  4. Considers that the DSOCR indicators for the integrity and management of the property have been fully achieved and even surpassed, and that the biological indicators have attained a satisfactory level of achievement;
  5. Decides to remove Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  6. Requests the State Party to continue and to consolidate the ecological monitoring activities and the inventorying of large fauna by strengthening the synergy and consistency of methodological approaches in order to confirm the maintenance of positive trends in the populations of key species;
  7. Notes with appreciation the State Party's commitment to assess the potential impacts of the mining projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and also requests the State Party to submit the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before hard-to-reverse decisions are made regarding the licensing of these projects in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Notes with concern that gold panning persists in the property and further requests the State Party to take all appropriate measures to systematically eradicate this activity within the property and monitor its development around the property in collaboration with the technical services in charge of the mining sector;
  9. Recognizing the significant efforts made by the State Party to address the roaming of livestock in the property, notes the increase in this phenomenon in 2016, which appears to be linked to a particularly severe lean period, and urges the State Party to banish livestock from the property by strengthening surveillance, awareness raising and agro-pastoral development activities, and by conducting a preliminary study of the potential impacts of these agro-pastoral developments on the OUV of the property;
  10. Further requests the State Party to implement all other recommendations of the joint UNESCO / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission of 2017;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2017
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 41COM (2017)
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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