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 http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4087
Revised (finalization of indicators) in 2015, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6232  

Corrective measures identified

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

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page http://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 2018

On 31 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report for the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/153/documents/ and provided information on the implementation of Decision 41 COM 7A.16, as follows:

In May 2017, the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee approved a request for International Assistance to update the Management Plan for the property, to be completed in August 2018.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The State Party continues to make efforts to implement the corrective measures. Progress has been achieved in the intensified protection project area implemented by the National Parks Directorate (DPN), PMC and the NGO Panthera, covering the south-eastern part of the property. The introduction of the SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) system to monitor the efforts of the patrols is also warmly welcomed.

The State Party’s report indicates positive tendencies of the species monitored by the bio-monitoring programme. However, as the database only covers two years, more time is required to confirm these tendencies, both as regards the number of flagship species and their rates of encounter. Also, more data must be collected to confirm the downward trend in poaching. It is recommended that the State Party provide SMART data on the coverage of the property by the patrols.

Although the ongoing updating of the Management Plan, thanks to International Assistance, is welcomed, as of April 2018, activities foreseen for this activity have not yet been initiated. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to ensure that this updating be carried out without delay.

The potential impacts of the Mako gold prospection project remain a serious concern. The efforts of the State Party and the PMC to ensure a monitoring of the impacts have been noted; however, no report resulting from this monitoring has been submitted by the State Party, except hydrological data concerning the quantity of water in the River Gambia. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a monitoring report, including an analysis of the data on the quantity and quality of the surface and underground water above and below the Mako gold prospection project. It is also appropriate to recall that the Committee had expressed its serious concern as regards the potential impacts of the project on the chimpanzee populations within the concession. It is therefore recommended that the Committee also request the State Party to provide specific and detailed data on the monitoring of the chimpanzees (habitat utilization, areas of vital importance, etc.), to enable an assessment of the actual impacts of the project on this species, as well as an evaluation of the efficacy of the conservation areas created outside the property with a view to mitigating these impacts and improving the conservation of the species.

The current studies to determine the inter-connectivity of the River Gambia and the ponds located in the property are an important step towards assessing the impacts of the Sambangalou dam project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. This project remains a potential threat to the property and must be the subject of a detailed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), that includes and evaluation of the impacts on the OUV of the property, in conformity with the IUCN`s World Heritage Advice Note: environmental assessment. It is further recommended that the Committee request the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of the development of this project.

It is regrettable that no information has been provided concerning the closure of the basalt quarry at Mansadala, foreseen for 2018. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to rapidly confirm whether the closure of the quarry has been effected as foreseen, recalling that this date has already been postponed several times.

Despite the progress accomplished, more time and efforts are required to ensure that the positive tendencies are maintained for at least three consecutive years, as stipulated by the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). Consequently, it is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.  

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.55

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.16, adopted during its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Warmly welcomes the continued efforts of the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures, in particular those concerning the anti-poaching mechanism, the ongoing updating of the Management Plan of the property and the implementation of an ecological monitoring system, the combat against invasive species, the development of grazing areas and the reduction of livestock encroachment in the property, as well as the gradual participation of the communities in the management of the property, and requests the State Party to continue its efforts;
  4. Takes note of the positive tendencies of the species monitored by the bio-monitoring programme but considers that the data base must be extended before these tendencies are confirmed, and notes a reduced level of poaching;
  5. Reiterates its concerns concerning the impact of the Mako gold prospection project on the OUV of the property and takes note of the efforts of the State Party and the Pétowal Mining Company (PMC) to ensure a monitoring of these impacts, but regrets that no monitoring report on the quality of the waters has been provided and also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a monitoring report, including an analysis of the data on the quantity and quality of the surface and underground waters above and below the project;
  6. Recalling its deep concern as regards the potential impacts of the Mako gold prospection project on the chimpanzees, further requests the State Party to provide specific and detailed data on the monitoring of this species, to enable an evaluation of the actual impacts of the project, as well as an assessment of the efficacy of the conservation areas created outside the property with a view to mitigating these impacts and improving the conservation of this species;
  7. Also considers that the current studies to determine the inter-connectivity of the waters of the River Gambia and the ponds located in the property are an important step towards providing an assessment of the impacts of the Sambangalou dam project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the project, in conformity with the IUCN`s World Heritage Advice Note: environmental assessment, and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, as requested for many years;
  8. Further requests the State Party to confirm, without delay, whether the closure of the basalt quarry at Mansadala has been effected as foreseen, recalling that the closure date has already been postponed several times;
  9. Finally, requests 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;
  10. Decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) 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: