1.         Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) (N 153)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2007-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/4087
Revised (finalization of indicators) in 2015, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6232  

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6232 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6232

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1982-2017)
Total amount approved: USD 206,799
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

2001, 2007 and 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions. 2015: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 31 January 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/documents/, and provided information on the implementation of the corrective measures, as follows:

In addition, the State Party indicated the following:

On 11 May 2017, a meeting was held with the State Party, the World Heritage Centre, IUCN and the company Toro Gold, during which the company explained the current state of implementation of the Mako gold prospection project.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

It is recommended that the Committee welcome the State Party's efforts to implement the corrective measures. Progress has been made, particularly with regard to strengthening the anti-poaching mechanism and the capacities of the property's staff. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue these efforts. It is also recommended that the Committee take note with satisfaction of the State Party's confirmation that the basalt quarry at Mansadala will be permanently closed in 2018.

The updating and implementation of the ecological monitoring programme, as well as the intention to integrate it into the management plan of the property, is noted. The updating of the management plan, which remains a priority for the property, was the subject of a request for international assistance submitted by the State Party in 2016, for which the recommendations of the evaluation panel are positive.

The State Party has not provided information on the status of other corrective measures or progress made to achieve the Desired state of conservation with a view to the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in particular the improvement of the property’s boundary marking and the improvement of the development of grazing and land watering points in the village territories around the property to minimize the encroachment of livestock inside the property. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide information on the implementation of all corrective measures and to provide more information on progress towards the achievement of the state of conservation indicators with a view to the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) in its next report to the Committee.

There is no mention of any new elements concerning the current state of development of the Sambangalou dam project. An evaluation of the impacts of the project on the OUV of the property has not yet been made, despite repeated requests from the Committee. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate this request and express once again its deep concern about the potential impacts of the project on the OUV of the property, in particular the foreseeable impacts on the reduction of the area of the forest galleries and the Ronier Palm stands, the river fording by the great fauna and on the insufficient water supply of the flood basins and the ponds in the property. In addition, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide more details on the current status of the project. If the project is implemented, there is a risk that the continued drying up of the ponds, which is already a problem, is likely to accelerate, which in turn would further facilitate the proliferation of the Mimosa pigra invasive species.

It is also worth recalling the concerns expressed by the Committee at its 40th session in 2016 about the potential impacts of the gold prospection project at Mako, in particular that they could exacerbate existing problems such as poaching, illegal gold panning and habitat fragmentation. The intensified protection project proposed by the NGO Panthera, which will cover the southeastern area of the park adjacent to the gold prospection project, is therefore a very pertinent initiative, which is welcomed. However, it is highly regrettable that a mining concession has been granted without the Committee's requests being implemented, notably that the project's ESIA be revised to take account of the Committee's concerns and to identify an alternative design and location of the project that would not adversely affect the OUV of the property. In addition, no mitigation measures have yet been identified for the permanent loss of chimpanzee habitat outside the property, and works have started before an adaptive management was introduced to mitigate the impacts (direct and indirect, expected and unforeseen) as implementation of the project proceeds, as confirmed by the company Toro Gold at the meeting of 11 May 2017. It is therefore recommended that the Committee strongly regret the allocation of a mining concession and request that the State Party take all necessary precautions to avoid any impact of the project on the OUV of the property. The granting of a mining concession at Mako would make it unrealistic, as long as the project is operational, to implement the corrective measure requiring a "prohibition of any extractive (traditional or industrial) activity within the property, as well as outside the property insofar as such activity could have a negative impact on the OUV including the conditions of integrity".

For all the above reasons, it is recommended that the property be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7A.16

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7A.13 and 40 COM 7A.46, adopted respectively at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions,
  3. Welcomes the State Party's efforts to implement the corrective measures, in particular as regards strengthening the anti-poaching mechanism and the capacities of the property staff, and requests the State Party to continue these efforts;
  4. Also welcomes the intensified protection project prepared, discussed and implemented following a Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the National Parks Directorate (DPN), Petowal Mining Company (PMC) and the NGO Panthera, covering the southeastern part of the property adjacent to the mining concession in Mako;
  5. Also recalling its concern about the potential impacts of the gold prospection project at Mako that could exacerbate existing problems, such as poaching, illegal gold-mining and habitat fragmentation, and its request to the State Party that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the project be monitored and implemented to reflect this concern;
  6. Regrets that a mining concession was granted to the Mako gold prospection project for the period 2016-2027;
  7. Also requests the State Party to take all necessary precautions to avoid any impact of the project on the OUV of the property, including the permanent loss of chimpanzee habitat outside the property, considered as having a direct impact on its OUV;
  8. Considering that the exploitation of the mine is underway, requests the State Party to take all necessary measures to ensure that this exploitation has no negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property to enable the implementation of all corrective measures adopted by the Committee in its Decision 39 COM 7A.13;
  9. Also regrets that an evaluation of the impacts of the Sambangalou dam project on the OUV of the property has still not been carried out, despite repeated requests from the Committee and, once again expressing deep concern about the potential impacts of the project on the OUV of the property, in particular on the reduction of the areas of gallery forests and Ronier Palm stands, on the river fording by the great fauna and on the insufficient water supply of the flood basins and the ponds in the property, reiterates its request to the State Party to submit a specific study on the impacts of the Sambangalou dam project on the OUV of the property in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: the Environmental Assessment, before any decision on its construction, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and also to provide updated information on the status of this project;
  10. Notes the updating and implementation of the ecological monitoring program and its foreseen integration in the management plan of the property, while recalling that updating and implementing the management plan remains an urgent priority;
  11. Takes note with satisfaction of the State Party's confirmation that the basalt quarry at Mansadala will be permanently closed in 2018;
  12. Further requests the State Party to provide in its next report information on the implementation of all corrective measures and on the progress made towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  13. Requests moreover that the State Party 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;
  14. Decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 8C.2

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: