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Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park

Central African Republic
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Civil unrest
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Insecurity and porosity of borders
  • Poaching
  • Artisanal mining
  • Transboundary transhumance and illegal grazing
  • Illegal fishing
  • Illegal occupation of the property
  • Lack of protection and management measures
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Illegal grazing
  • Uncontrolled poaching by heavily armed groups subsequent loss of up to 80% of the Park’s wildlife and the deteriorating security situation
  • Halt to tourism
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Not yet identified

Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount provided: USD 1,250,000 from the Government of Norway in 2021-2023

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 4 (from 2001-2012)
Total amount approved : 225,488 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

May 2001, April 2009 and March/April 2019: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 3 April 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/, which reports the following

  • The security situation in the region remains variable. Clashes occurred between different rebel groups, self-defence groups and other non-identified armed groups. Armed groups based in Chad and Sudan still operate in the region;
  • Following the signature of the Khartoum peace agreement in February 2019, a Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) process is being put in place and mixed brigades composed of the national army (Central African armed forces – FACA) and elements of the different armed groups have been established to control the international border and transboundary transhumance FACA and police are again present in the region and the authority of the central government has been restored in certain areas;
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has established good working relations with local and traditional authorities, armed groups operating in the area, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and other non-government organizations, allowing it to operate in spite of the prevailing security situation;
  • Preparatory work to identify a priority zone for conservation in the property based on the presence of residual wildlife is on-going. A revision of the anti-poaching system (LAB) is underway. Biodiversity monitoring was initiated in 2019 and will be continued in 2020;
  • In the framework of the tripartite agreement between Cameroun, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) to curb transborder poaching and better manage transhumance, the creation of a transborder protected area complex between Chad and CAR, comprising the protected areas of north-eastern CAR (including the property) and of southern Chad, is under discussion. Discussions have also started with Chad to manage transhumance by restoring previous cattle corridors;
  • Funding has been provided through the ECOFAC VI programme of the European Commission (EC) and discussions are on-going with UNESCO for further financial support.

The report does not provide any information on the status of the petroleum blocks attributed in the area which may overlap with the property, or on the progress in implementing the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the rehabilitation project of the National Road 8 Ndélé–Birao, which crosses the property. On 21 October 2019, a meeting was held between the World Heritage Centre, the State Party, the company implementing the ESIA (Sylvatrop Consulting), the World Bank, the French Development Bank (AFD) and IUCN.

The World Heritage Centre is implementing an initial two-year project since 15 February 2021 with WCS, which assumed management of the property through a Public-Private Partnership Agreement (PPP) signed in December 2018, to support restarting conservation activities in the property with support from Norwegian government funding. Additional information provided by WCS on 26 August 2020 is considered in the analysis below.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The reported progress on the implementation of corrective measures is noted, including the active engagement between the World Heritage Centre and WCS to implement an emergency security plan and establish a robust bio-monitoring mechanism. These activities should be welcomed and the full implementation of the revised corrective measures be encouraged further.

It is concerning that the security situation in the region deteriorated again in early 2020, however the confirmation by WCS that a new bilateral agreement signed in June 2020 between the Government and the main armed group operating in the area, has allowed greater security stability, the start of the DDRR process and a return of the national army and police to the area after a seven year absence, is encouraging. It is appreciated that WCS was able to maintain its presence in the area during the period of unrest. It is hoped that the new agreement will help to further stabilize the region and allow conservation activities to restart.

While the 2019 mission concluded that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property was very questionable, it is encouraging that new aerial surveys conducted by WCS in early 2020 documented several herds of derby eland, hartebeest, roan, kob and waterbuck as well as isolated groups of hippopotamus, buffalo and giraffe. Furthermore, ground surveys confirmed the presence of elephant, bongo, giant forest hog, lion, wild dog and hyena. This provides hope that populations could re-bound over time if poaching can be brought under control. Regarding the establishment of a priority zone for conservation as per the 2019 monitoring mission, WCS reports that a conservation zone has been mapped in the property based on the survey results and it will be crucial to rapidly start surveillance operations in this area. The World Heritage Centre and WCS signed a partnership agreement in February 2021 to provide initial funding for two years to facilitate this, however it will be crucial that more funding is mobilized.

However, it is noted that the biodiversity surveys also confirmed again the significant presence of pastoralists and cattle, as well as a tendency towards more sedentary breeding of livestock and poaching in some areas of the property. It is noted that WCS is designing a transhumance management strategy which foresees establishing permitted zones and transhumance corridors outside the property. As most of the transhumance originates from Chad and Sudan, a transboundary approach is required. The proposal to increase transboundary cooperation between Chad and CAR through the establishment of a transborder protected area complex in north-eastern CAR and southern Chad is therefore welcomed.

It is regrettable that the State Party did not provide information regarding progress on implementing the ESIA for the rehabilitation of National Road 8 Ndélé–Birao, noting that consultations with the company implementing the ESIA show that several alternative routes are being considered, including a route going south of the property. It is recommended that the Committee recall its request to the State Party to submit the ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, before approving the project, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

It is regrettable that the State Party did not provide information on petroleum exploration activities in the vicinity of the property. It is recommended the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to provide clarification, including a precise map, regarding the attributed petroleum block, and any other exploration in the vicinity of the property, and to ensure that no license overlaps with the boundaries of the property, in conformity with national legislation and the Committee’s policy that extractives are not compatible with World Heritage status.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.39
Manovo Gounda St. Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.5, adopted at its 43nd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes with concern that the security situation in the region deteriorated again in early 2020 but expresses its hope that the bilateral agreement signed in June 2020 between the Government and the main armed group operating in the area will help to further stabilize the region and facilitate re-starting conservation activities in the property;
  4. Recalling its deepest concern regarding the conclusions of the 2019 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission according to which the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is highly questionable, indicating an almost total disappearance of large mammals, and that the integrity of the property is also questionable due to combined heavy pressure from poaching, regional transhumance, illegal fishing and artisanal mining exploitation, as well as a total lack of surveillance and management since 2012;
  5. Welcomes the preliminary results of the 2020 biodiversity surveys which documented herds of derby eland, hartebeest, roan, kob and waterbuck as well as isolated groups of hippopotamus, buffalo and giraffe and confirmed the presence of elephant, bongo, giant forest hog, lion, wild dog and hyena in the property, and requests the State Party to report on the final survey results when available and to ensure that conditions are implemented to enable the recovery of these wildlife populations over time including to bring poaching under control;
  6. Notes with concern the significant presence of pastoralists and cattle, as well as a tendency towards more sedentary breeding of livestock and poaching in some areas of the property and also requests the State Party to fully implement without delay the transhumance management strategy which foresees to establish permitted zones and transhumance corridors outside the property and to continue its efforts to increase the transboundary cooperation with the State Party of Chad to address transhumance including through the establishment of a transborder protected area complex;
  7. Takes note of the proposed priority zone for conservation, and urges the State Party to initiate without delay surveillance operations in this area;
  8. Also welcomes the significant funding provided by the Government of Norway, which allows the World Heritage Centre to support the implementation of the corrective measures and the continued support of the European Commission for the conservation of the natural resources in the North-Eastern Protected Areas Complex and calls again on the States Parties to the Convention and the public and private donors to support the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) agreement signed by the State Party with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) for the management of the property and the implementation of the emergency plan;
  9. Reiterates its concern regarding the petroleum exploration activities in the petroleum block A and reiterates it requests to the State Party to:
    1. Clarify the situation of the petroleum block A and the exploration blocks I, II and III and ensure that no license overlaps the property, in conformity with national legislation and the property’s World Heritage status,
    2. Analyze the direct and indirect impacts on its OUV of all envisaged petroleum projects in the vicinity of the property, with an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in line with international standards and to submit this ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before granting any exploitation license, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Reiterates its established position regarding mining and petroleum exploration and exploitation being incompatible with World Heritage status, a policy supported by the commitments undertaken by the leaders of the industry, such as Shell and Total, not to engage in such activities in World Heritage properties;
  11. Further requests the State Party to finalize the ESIA for the rehabilitation project of the National Road 8 Ndélé-Birao to assess the direct and indirect impacts on the property, prioritizing the less prejudicial option for its integrity, with appropriate accompanying measures, and to submit the ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, before taking a final decision on the project, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  12. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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;
  13. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  14. Also decides to retain Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.39 

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.5, adopted at its 43nd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes with concern that the security situation in the region deteriorated again in early 2020 but expresses its hope that the bilateral agreement signed in June 2020 between the Government and the main armed group operating in the area will help to further stabilize the region and facilitate re-starting conservation activities in the property;
  4. Recalling its deepest concern regarding the conclusions of the 2019 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission according to which the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is highly questionable, indicating an almost total disappearance of large mammals, and that the integrity of the property is also questionable due to combined heavy pressure from poaching, regional transhumance, illegal fishing and artisanal mining exploitation, as well as a total lack of surveillance and management since 2012;
  5. Welcomes the preliminary results of the 2020 biodiversity surveys which documented herds of derby eland, hartebeest, roan, kob and waterbuck as well as isolated groups of hippopotamus, buffalo and giraffe and confirmed the presence of elephant, bongo, giant forest hog, lion, wild dog and hyena in the property, and requests the State Party to report on the final survey results when available and to ensure that conditions are implemented to enable the recovery of these wildlife populations over time including to bring poaching under control;
  6. Notes with concern the significant presence of pastoralists and cattle, as well as a tendency towards more sedentary breeding of livestock and poaching in some areas of the property and also requests the State Party to fully implement without delay the transhumance management strategy which foresees to establish permitted zones and transhumance corridors outside the property and to continue its efforts to increase the transboundary cooperation with the State Party of Chad to address transhumance including through the establishment of a transborder protected area complex;
  7. Takes note of the proposed priority zone for conservation, and urges the State Party to initiate without delay surveillance operations in this area;
  8. Also welcomes the significant funding provided by the Government of Norway, which allows the World Heritage Centre to support the implementation of the corrective measures and the continued support of the European Commission for the conservation of the natural resources in the North-Eastern Protected Areas Complex and calls again on the States Parties to the Convention and the public and private donors to support the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) agreement signed by the State Party with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) for the management of the property and the implementation of the emergency plan;
  9. Reiterates its concern regarding the petroleum exploration activities in the petroleum block A and reiterates it requests to the State Party to:
    1. Clarify the situation of the petroleum block A and the exploration blocks I, II and III and ensure that no license overlaps the property, in conformity with national legislation and the property’s World Heritage status,
    2. Analyze the direct and indirect impacts on its OUV of all envisaged petroleum projects in the vicinity of the property, with an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in line with international standards and to submit this ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before granting any exploitation license, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Reiterates its established position regarding mining and petroleum exploration and exploitation being incompatible with World Heritage status, a policy supported by the commitments undertaken by the leaders of the industry, such as Shell and Total, not to engage in such activities in World Heritage properties;
  11. Further requests the State Party to finalize the ESIA for the rehabilitation project of the National Road 8 Ndélé-Birao to assess the direct and indirect impacts on the property, prioritizing the less prejudicial option for its integrity, with appropriate accompanying measures, and to submit the ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, before taking a final decision on the project, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  12. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 2022;
  13. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  14. Also decides to retain Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
Central African Republic
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1997-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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