Taï National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 195)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1982
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 159,560
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
2006: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Artisanal gold mining
- Agricultural encroachment (issue resolved)
- Impacts of the post-electoral crisis (issue resolved)
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019
On 7 November 2018, the State Party submitted a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/195/documents/, which mentions the following:
- Satellite images of the property show that its forest cover has increased from 97.7% in 2015 to 98.4% in 2018;
- Poaching continues to be a threat in 2018, but annual ecological censuses show a relative demographic stability of important wildlife species, particularly the elephant (181) and the chimpanzee (762). For duikers and diurnal monkeys which are the most poached species, their numbers are estimated at 39,847 and 81,325 individuals, respectively;
- The increase in the number of patrols within the property (covering respectively 94.36% and 96.57% in 2016 and 2017), combined with the use of drones and awareness-raising actions of the Regional Advisory Committee and the Village Associations for Conservation and Development (AVCD), led to a significant reduction in illegal gold mining, with the closure of 14 sites in the Nawa region. Analysis of surveillance data confirms that more than 63% of gold mining sites remain abandoned;
- An operational strategy is implemented to improve the efficiency of the management and monitoring of illegal activities, through the application of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT), Enhancing our Heritage (EoH), the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET), satellite imagery, an information network, annual collection of ecological monitoring data, and attention focused on the key areas;
- The revision of the boundaries of the property was completed in 2018 with the issue of Decree No. 2018-496 of 23 May 2018 amending the boundaries of the Taï National Park. The Park has been expanded to include the peripheral protection zone (96,000 ha) and 2/3 of the N'ZO Wildlife Reserve. The park area increased from 330,000 ha to 508,186 ha, an extension of 53.99%.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
The progress made by the State Party in controlling and eliminating gold mining through the use of drones, supporting the Regional Advisory Committee and AVCDs, as well as the closure of identified sites is welcomed. It is also worth noting the synergy of actions created between the departments in charge of the management of the Park (OIPR), the Rapides Grah classified forest (SODEFOR), the Mines (Departmental Directorate of the Ministry in charge of Mines), the Gendarmerie and the Republican Forces of Côte d'Ivoire for the monitoring of gold mining activities on the outskirts of the TNP and the organization of awareness-raising sessions on the fight against gold mining within the property. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue its efforts to completely eliminate gold mining within the property.
The continued efforts of surveillance patrols to monitor illegal activities within the property, including poaching and gold mining, and the implementation of an operational strategy based on multiple tools and methods are welcomed. Nevertheless, these illegal activities still constitute major threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. However, it is important to note the stabilization of the main wild species, duikers and diurnal monkeys, which are the most poached species, as well as an improvement in the forest cover rate.
The lifting of the ban on bushmeat consumption in the aftermath of Ebola has led to persistent poaching since 2015. While maintaining patrol efforts and enforcing the law, the State Party must take measures against local subsistence and commercial illegal trade in bushmeat, at the hunter, trader and consumer levels. An action plan is needed to identify alternative economic incentives and to continue raising awareness.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note with satisfaction the issue of Decree No. 2018-496 of 23 May 2018 amending the boundaries of the Taï National Park. This extension will strengthen the management of the property. However, a request to modify the boundaries of the property has not yet been submitted to the World Heritage Centre. It is important that such a request be developed as soon as possible, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN regarding the appropriate format for such a modification, in order to align the boundaries of the property with those of the national park.
Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7B.31
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.20, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
- Commends the State Party for the publication of Decree No. 2018-496 of 23 May 2018 formalizing the extension of the Taï National Park and the submission of the referenced data to the World Heritage Centre, and requests it to elaborate as soon as possible a boundary modification proposal to align the boundaries of the property with those of the national park, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN regarding the appropriate format for such a modification;
- Welcomes the State Party's efforts to reduce illegal activities, including poaching and artisanal gold mining, in close collaboration with the appropriate services and communities, reiterates its position that mining exploration and exploitation are inconsistent with World Heritage status in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and reiterates its request to the State Party to continue its efforts to eliminate this threat within the property;
- Takes note of the ongoing patrol efforts and the establishment of operational ecological monitoring and surveillance systems to improve the management of the property, including the use of a drone and satellite imagery, but notes with concern persistent poaching subsequent to the lifting of the ban on bushmeat consumption following the Ebola epidemic, and also requests the State Party to continue these efforts and take additional measures to develop alternatives to livelihoods rendering unsustainable the exploitation of wild animal meat;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, 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 45th session in 2021.