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Comoé National Park

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Conflict and political instability (issue resolved)
  • Lack of management control and of the accesses to the property
  • Poaching
  • Encroachment: human occupation and agricultural pressure
  • Bush fires
  • Illegal gold panning
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Political and military crisis in Côte d’Ivoire from 2002 to 2010
  • Poaching of wildlife and fires caused by poachers
  • Over-grazing by large cattle herds
  • Absence of effective management mechanism
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 2019

Total amount granted: USD 50,000 from the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and Rapid Response Facility

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 97,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

January 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; June 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission; April 2017: Joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 26 November 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents/ in which the following issues were treated:

  • Since 2017, the ecological monitoring activities have been strengthened and results confirm a positive evolution in the elephant population. An inventory of leopards was begun in 2018 and will be continued in 2019-2020 in the framework of the programme funded by the German Reconstruction Bank (KfW). An aerial inventory of large wildlife is foreseen in 2019. Several scientific and technical studies are currently being carried out in close cooperation with research institutions and other partners to improve the management of the property;
  • The managers of the property continue their collaboration with the regional services of the Ministry of Industry and Mines to survey, anticipate and oversee the mining activities in the periphery of the property. The State Party confirms that no mining project is presently being exploited in the immediate periphery of the property and that measures have been taken to ensure that Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of all the mining projects take into account the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. All the ESIA reports on future projects liable to impact on the OUV will systematically be submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
  • Strengthening of the surveillance mechanism, law enforcement, increased awareness-raising sessions, the development of income-generating activities and other measures aimed at involving and encouraging the autonomy of the local communities have all contributed towards the reduction of illegal gold-panning in the property. Other measures are foreseen to strengthen surveillance, including the implementation of an aerial and nautical surveillance mechanism, improvement of the communication system and the construction of new guard posts;
  • In order to eradicate intrusions of livestock into the property, the State Party has initiated negotiations with the local communities. This process has resulted in the signature of local management agreements that rationalize the use of the agro-pastoral resources of the land, notably through the rehabilitation and construction of agro-pastoral barriers. Owing to these measures, a considerable reduction in the number of livestock within the property has been noted;
  • A monitoring system to follow the evolution of the cashew plantations in the periphery of the property was established, and actions to rehabilitate the degraded areas have been undertaken;
  • Owing to the participatory process initiated since 2014, the boundaries of Comoé National Park have been defined by Decree N°2018-497 of 23 May 2018. The National Park area is now 1,148,756 ha.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

Following the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2017, the State Party continued its efforts to implement the recommendations formulated by the 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission. The strengthening of the ecological and surveillance monitoring systems, the support of technical and financial partners, and the close cooperation with research institutions are all warmly welcomed. The efforts undertaken by the State Party to encourage the autonomy of the local communities and to eradicate intrusion of livestock inside the property, including the negotiations initiated with the local communities, are also most satisfactory, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue these efforts and submit to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, as proposed in its report, the terms of reference of the ESIA for the construction of agro-pastoral dams in the grazing areas.

The progress achieved by the State Party with regard to strengthening the technical and operational capacities of the patrol teams, the implementation of an efficient law enforcement system, as well as the additional measures foreseen to reinforce capacities necessary to combat illegal gold-panning are welcomed. Activities to generate income and other favourable measures for the local communities are considered to be particularly important and should be continued. It is, therefore, recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue its efforts to eradicate systematically gold-panning inside the property.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN take note of the confirmation by the State Party that no mining project is currently being exploited in the immediate vicinity of the property, as well as assurances that the ESIA reports of possible mining projects in the proximity of the property will systematically take into account its OUV. It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to submit the ESIA reports of future projects to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN and request it to provide additional information concerning potential and/or foreseen mining activities in the periphery of the property, such as those mining concessions already granted.

The monitoring of the evolution of the cashew plantations in the periphery of the property from satellite images as well as efforts undertaken by the Ivorian Office for Parks and Reserves and its partners to rehabilitate the degraded lands, improve the income of the producers and thus limit the extension of the plantations, are favourably welcomed. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue these efforts.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note with concern that following the procedure to define the property boundaries, the surface of the Park has been reduced from 1,500,000 ha to 1,148,756 ha. It is therefore recommended that the World Heritage Committee request more precise information on this procedure, in particular, maps clearly showing the changes in respect of the boundaries of the inscribed property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7B.32
Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 227)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Warmly welcomes the efforts undertaken by the State Party in the operationalization of the ecological monitoring system with support from the technical and financial partners, notes with satisfaction the strengthening of cooperation between the Ivorian Office for Parks and Reserves and the research institutions and encourages the State Party to continue its efforts;
  4. Welcomes with satisfaction the significant progress by the State Party as regards the improvement of its surveillance mechanism, law enforcement, active involvement of local communities in the management of the property, as well as the necessary additional measures foreseen to reinforce human capacities and techniques to combat gold- panning, and requests the State Party to continue its efforts to eradicate systematically gold panning inside the property;
  5. Notes with satisfaction the efforts undertaken by the State Party to eradicate intrusion of livestock inside the property, reduce conflicts between farmers/stock breeders, the rehabilitation of some degraded areas, the improvement of income for producers and thus limit the extension of cashew plantations, and also encourages the State Party to continue its efforts;
  6. Notes the confirmation by the State Party that no mining project is currently being exploited in the immediate periphery of the property, as well as the assurance that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of all future mining projects or other infrastructure development projects will take into account the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the ESIA reports of all the future projects be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide additional information concerning the potential and/or foreseen mining activities in the periphery of the property, such as mining concessions already granted;
  8. Notes with concern that following the procedure to define the boundaries, the surface of the Park has been reduced from 1,150,000 ha to 1,148,756 ha, and further requests the State Party to provide fuller information on the revised boundaries, and in particular maps clearly showing the changes in respect of the boundaries of the inscribed property;
  9. 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.
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7B.32

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Warmly welcomes the efforts undertaken by the State Party in the operationalization of the ecological monitoring system with support from the technical and financial partners, notes with satisfaction the strengthening of cooperation between the Ivorian Office for Parks and Reserves and the research institutions and encourages the State Party to continue its efforts;
  4. Welcomes with satisfaction the significant progress by the State Party as regards the improvement of its surveillance mechanism, law enforcement, active involvement of local communities in the management of the property, as well as the necessary additional measures foreseen to reinforce human capacities and techniques to combat gold- panning, and requests the State Party to continue its efforts to eradicate systematically gold panning inside the property;
  5. Notes with satisfaction the efforts undertaken by the State Party to eradicate intrusion of livestock inside the property, reduce conflicts between farmers/stock breeders, the rehabilitation of some degraded areas, the improvement of income for producers and thus limit the extension of cashew plantations, and also encourages the State Party to continue its efforts;
  6. Notes the confirmation by the State Party that no mining project is currently being exploited in the immediate periphery of the property, as well as the assurance that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of all future mining projects or other infrastructure development projects will take into account the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the ESIA reports of all the future projects be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide additional information concerning the potential and/or foreseen mining activities in the periphery of the property, such as mining concessions already granted;
  8. Notes with concern that following the procedure to define the boundaries, the surface of the Park has been reduced from 1,500,000 ha to 1,148,756 ha, and further requests the State Party to provide fuller information on the revised boundaries, and in particular maps clearly showing the changes in respect of the boundaries of the inscribed property;
  9. 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.
Report year: 2019
Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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