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Rainforests of the Atsinanana

Madagascar
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Governance
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Mining
  • Society's valuing of heritage
  • Subsistence hunting
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Encroachment
  • Fire
  • Hunting and poaching
  • Artisanal mining
  • Illegal logging
  • Governance
  • Engagement of local communities
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
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 2000-2016)
Total amount approved : 155,000 USD
2016 Conservation et gestion des forêts humides de ... (Not approved)   0 USD
2010 Forêts Humides de l’Atsinanana (Approved)   100,000 USD
2005 Elaboration of a a serial nomination for the humid ... (Approved)   25,000 USD
2000 Technical Assistance for Building Capacity for World ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 8 February 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/documents/, presenting its progress achieved in implementing the Committee’s decisions and the 2015 mission recommendations as follows:

  • Decree No 2016-801 to operationalize Act No 2015-056 has been issued to combat illegal trafficking of rosewood and ebony, and in December 2016, the Ministry of Justice issued a circular in order to prosecute offenders;
  • In December 2016, a report on the status of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Action Plan was submitted to the CITES Secretariat, focussing on its plans for the legal exportation of at least one third of the stock, regulation of trade in rosewood, and progress in implementing anti-fraud measures;
  • Resources have been allocated to undertake a stock inventory from January 2017 to estimate the volume of stockpiles and its monetary value. Other internationally funded projects include wood specimen identification to reduce false declarations, Sustainable Landscape Management, and forest governance. However additional funding is still required to fully implement the Action Plan;
  • A factory for the treatment of seized timber is no longer proposed;
  • Monitoring for illegal logging, mining and poaching has been undertaken through intensive patrolling in collaboration with the Local Parks Committees, with particular focus on Marojejy National Park. 175 staff have been trained in Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) software, which is being implemented in all components of the property;
  • Sapphire and ruby miners were evacuated from the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor, approximately 10 km from Zahamena National Park, but this led to the invasion of the Corridor by 200,000 squatters. A five-year Action Plan on illegal mining at Ranomafana National Park is being developed, and efforts to reduce pressures associated with artisanal mining, particularly gold, are undertaken;
  • Satellite and aerial surveillance are being used to detect and predict suspicious vessel movements for transport of timber;
  • A sustainable coastal fisheries project is being implemented to provide food security to local communities.

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:

  • The illegal logging of precious woods increased in 2016 (99) compared to 2015 (36). While the exploitation of rosewood is reported to have ceased, palisander continues to be exploited;
  • Forest clearance increased from 0.004% in 2015 to 0.16% in 2016, notably in Masoala and Andohahela National Parks;
  • In 2016, 123 ha of degraded areas were restored in Andringitra, Masoala and Zahamena National Parks;
  • The number of recorded lemur traps decreased from 112 in 2015 to 65 in 2016.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The State Party’s continued effort to address the threats on the property is appreciated. In particular, the issuance of the Decree to operationalize Act No 2015-056 creating a special tribunal to adjudicate wood traffickers and reinforce penalties, allocation of resources to undertake stock inventory, and the multiple projects to strengthen the monitoring, management and governance towards reducing illegal logging planned through international donor support and collaborations are welcomed.

Although the last report submitted by the State Party to the CITES Secretariat is yet to be discussed, the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP17) in September 2016 led to the decision to further strengthen the protection given to Dalbergia and Diospyros species in Madagascar. Furthermore, the Government of Madagascar adopted a Biodiversity Management Plan at COP17, which presents activities and indicators to strengthen the protection of World Heritage and protected areas, including by enacting a decree to punish offenders relating to rosewood and ebony exploitation, and formation of joint forces (the State Party, police and the military) to ensure regular patrols of the property. It is therefore recommended that the Committee strongly encourage the State Party to continue to implement the CITES Action Plan and the Biodiversity Management Plan.

It is noted that fewer lemur traps were detected in 2016 compared to the preceding year, but data since 2009 indicate annual fluctuations, which remain relatively stable overall. Positive progress however has been made by the State Party in restoring degraded areas across three of the components of the property, including local community consultations on the restoration approaches, and the implementation of SMART software in the monitoring of all six components of the property.

In spite of the State Party’s ongoing efforts, it is regrettable that an increase in demand for precious woods and minerals are leading to further exploitation of the property. Notably, the rise in the number of cases of illegal logging and the staggering increase in the percentage of forest clearance, which has exceeded the DSOCR indicator of 0.01% in the property for the first time since 2013, are of significant concern.

The entry of artisanal miners into the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor and the subsequent squatting is also of much concern, especially considering that the Committee recommended the State Party to review potential future addition of protected areas forming corridors of natural forest between existing reserves within the property, at the time of inscription (Decision 31 COM 8B.9). The reported prioritization by the State Party to resolve this issue is appreciated in this regard.

Regarding the Conservation and Management Assistance Project (USD 100,000 from the International Assistance, Decision 34 COM 15.2), the second phase was implemented by the Foundation for Protected Areas and Biodiversity of Madagascar, producing encouraging results. The relay structures of Masoala and Marojejy National Parks have been strengthened in their logistical and operational capacities in the fight against illegal trafficking of precious wood. Local communities have been made aware of the conservation and sustainable management of the property through the organization of an information campaign and the development of information media.

Whilst acknowledging the State Party’s progress, further efforts are still needed to meet the DSOCR indicators, especially in light of the reported increases in illegal logging and forest clearance, and it is therefore recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.14
Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.44, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Welcomes the issuance of a decree to operationalize Act No 2015-056 creating a special tribunal to adjudicate traffickers and reinforce penalties, which should contribute towards halting the illicit trafficking of precious wood;
  4. Appreciates the international donor support provided in strengthening the monitoring, management and governance of the property towards reducing illegal logging;
  5. Notes with appreciation the progress achieved in restoring degraded sites and requests the State Party to report on the remaining sites to be rehabilitated and ensure continued engagement with the local workforce;
  6. Notes with significant concern that illegal logging and forest clearance have increased in 2016, particularly in Masoala and Andohahela National Parks, exceeding for the first time since 2013 the indicator for forest clearance of maximum 0.01%, as defined in the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and also requests the State Party to further enhance its monitoring activities in these two components of the property;
  7. Strongly encourages the State Party to continue to fully implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Action Plan and the Biodiversity Management Plan;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018;
  9. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
41 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained 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),
  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 41 COM 7A.54)
    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 41 COM 7A.55)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 41 COM 7A.2)
    • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 41 COM 7A.23)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.4)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 41 COM 7A.24)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.8)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.9)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.10)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.11)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 41 COM 7A.32)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.3)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.18)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 41 COM 7A.33)
    • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.34)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 41 COM 7A.35)
    • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 41 COM 7A.36)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 41 COM 7A.37)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 41 COM 7A.38)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 41 COM 7A.39)
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 41 COM 7A.40)
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 41 COM 7A.41)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 41 COM 7A.14)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 41 COM 7A.28)
    • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 41 COM 7A.29)
    • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 41 COM 7A.30)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 41 COM 7A.56)
    • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 41 COM 7A.15)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 41 COM 7A.42)
    • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 41 COM 7A.43)
    • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 41 COM 7A.25)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 41 COM 7A.26)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.16)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 41 COM 7A.21)
    • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 41 COM 7A.19)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 41 COM 7A.44)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 41 COM 7A.45)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 41 COM 7A.46)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 41 COM 7A.47)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 41 COM 7A.48)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 41 COM 7A.49)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 41 COM 7A.31)
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 41 COM 7A.22)
    • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.17)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.1)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 41 COM 7A.57)
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 41 COM 7A.27)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 41 COM 7A.51)
    • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 41 COM 7A.52)
    • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 41 COM 7A.53)
      Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.14

      The World Heritage Committee,

      1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2,
      2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.44, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
      3. Welcomes the issuance of a decree to operationalize Act No 2015-056 creating a special tribunal to adjudicate traffickers and reinforce penalties, which should contribute towards halting the illicit trafficking of precious wood;
      4. Appreciates the international donor support provided in strengthening the monitoring, management and governance of the property towards reducing illegal logging;
      5. Notes with appreciation the progress achieved in restoring degraded sites and requests the State Party to report on the remaining sites to be rehabilitated and ensure continued engagement with the local workforce;
      6. Notes with significant concern that illegal logging and forest clearance have increased in 2016, particularly in Masoala and Andohahela National Parks, exceeding for the first time since 2013 the indicator for forest clearance of maximum 0.01%, as defined in the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and also requests the State Party to further enhance its monitoring activities in these two components of the property;
      7. Strongly encourages the State Party to continue to fully implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Action Plan and the Biodiversity Management Plan;
      8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018;
      9. Decides to retain Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
      Report year: 2017
      Madagascar
      Date of Inscription: 2007
      Category: Natural
      Criteria: (ix)(x)
      Danger List (dates): 2010-present
      Documents examined by the Committee
      SOC Report by the State Party
      Report (2017) .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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