1.         Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 227)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

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/1050

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4981 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4981

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 97,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 50,000 from the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and Rapid Response Facility

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/

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:

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

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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.

Decision Adopted: 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 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.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 8C.3

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: