1.         Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Madagascar) (N 1257)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2007

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2010-present

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

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4344

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4344  

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4344

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2018)
Total amount approved: USD 155,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

Previous monitoring missions

May 2011, September 2015: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 13 February 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1257/documents/. On 10 April 2018, the State Party submitted additional information on the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) recommendations, including a stock audit and business plan, and on 23 April 2018, a summary of its activities in implementing the corrective measures. The State Party reports the following:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The continued efforts by the State Party to implement the corrective measures are appreciated. The surveillance, ecological monitoring and restoration of degraded areas within the property have been continued, and the new FERI and GEF projects are welcome additions to enhance these efforts and increase community involvement. In addition to the priority areas for restoration, the State Party should also report on the total area remaining to be restored. The cases of illegal logging and lemur poaching are reported to have decreased since 2016, but no major changes can be detected to the overall fluctuating trend since 2009. Limited information is available on the results of ecological monitoring to assess the status of the species impacted by illegal logging and poaching. It is unclear whether the shift from rosewoods to palissandres is linked to a reduction in illegal rosewood logging or rather a reflection of the fact that rosewood has become extremely rare within the property.

While the reported decrease in forest clearance in the property, notably in Andohahela National Park is noted, the State Party does not provide clear data to support this finding. Recalling that in its previous report, the State Party noted an increase in forest clearance in 2016 in Masoala and Andohahela National Parks, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide further information on the deforestation rates for each component of the property since 2009, including an analysis of satellite imagery.

The continued implementation of the CITES Action Plan and the Biodiversity Management Plan is noted. The publication of an identification guide for Dalbergia and Diospyros species is a welcome development that should support capacity building of customs officers and other authorities to identify illegal exports of these species. The partnership agreement between the Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests and the CRFIM is likewise a welcome development. During its 69th meeting in November 2017, the CITES Standing Committee decided to maintain the embargo on the trade and exports of the CITES-listed species. The finalization by the State Party of a stock audit plan of Dalbergia and Diospyros species is positive progress, and its implementation remains critical to prevent any illegal exports and trade. It needs to be stipulated that the CITES Standing Committee also noted that Madagascar did not provide an audited inventory of at least a third of the stockpiles of logs, sawn wood and veneer sheets of the species of Dalbergia and Diospyros in Madagascar, as was requested in CITES Decision 17.204. The numbers of court cases and logs seized and the volume of stockpiles audited since November 2017 demonstrate that the illegal trade of precious wood species from Madagascar remains a persistent threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and will likely remain as long as the issue of illegal stockpiles is not addressed. At the same time the operational efficiency of the regulatory framework to act against illegal logging and export has been limited, as reported by the 2017 CITES mission. It is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to strengthen its control and enforcement measures, and strongly encourage it to implement the CITES Decision 17.204 and all recommendations of the CITES Standing Committee.

The increasing threat from illegal gold mining at Ranomafana National Park is of significant concern. Recalling that the State Party in its previous report to the Committee noted that a five-year Action Plan on illegal mining at Ranomafana National park was being developed, it is recommended that the Committee request an update on the status of the Action Plan and its implementation.

Considering that further efforts are still required to meet the indicators for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.53

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.14 adopted at its 41st session (Kraków, 2017),
  3. Appreciates the State Party’s continued efforts to implement the corrective measures, including for surveillance, ecological monitoring and restoration of degraded areas, welcomes the new Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects on forest restoration and strengthening local community involvement, and requests the State Party to continue implementing the corrective measures, and to report on the results of ecological monitoring and remaining sites to be rehabilitated;
  4. Noting the reported decrease in the 2017 deforestation rate, notably in Andohahela National Park, and also recalling the increase in the 2016 deforestation rates of Andohahela and Masoala National Parks, also requests the State Party to provide further information on deforestation rates for each component of the property since 2009, including an analysis of satellite imagery;
  5. Also noting the State Party’s efforts to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Action Plan and Biodiversity Management Plan, considers that the numbers of court cases and logs seized and the volume of stocks audited since November 2017 demonstrate that the illegal trade of precious wood species from Madagascar remains a persistent threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), urges the State Party to strengthen its control and enforcement measures against illegal logging and export, and strongly encourages it to implement the CITES Decision 17.204 and all recommendations of the CITES Standing Committee;
  6. Notes with significant concern that gold mining is becoming an increasingly severe threat to Ranomafana National Park, and further requests the State Party to provide an update on the status of the five-year Action Plan on illegal mining and its implementation;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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;
  8. Decides to retain Rainforest of the Atsinanana (Magadascar) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 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/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: