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Niokolo-Koba National Park

Senegal
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Drought
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Mining
  • Translocated species
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Poaching, capture and relocation of wildlife
  • Drying up of ponds and invasive species
  • Illegal logging
  • Livestock grazing
  • Road construction project
  • Potential dam construction
  • Potential mining exploration and exploitation
  • Loss of chimpanzee habitat
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Poaching
  • Livestock grazing
  • Dam construction project at Sambangalou
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 for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount granted: USD 250 000 from the government of Norway (2021-2022)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 9 (from 1982-2017)
Total amount approved : 206,799 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 31 January 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.org/en/list/153/documents/, containing the following information:

  • The ecological monitoring carried out from 2016 to 2019 has improved the knowledge of temporal dynamics and spatial distribution of the following species: hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus major), Derby eland (Tragelaphus derbianus derbianus) and Lycaon (Lycaon pictus);
  • The studies undertaken by the Petowal Mining Company (PMC) indicate the presence of a group of roughly 15 chimpanzees in the concession. Actions have been adopted to mitigate the impact of threats that affect the conservation of the species;
  • The monthly control of the groundwater quality downstream of the Mako mine has enabled the evaluation of the level of pollution. Globally, the quality of the groundwater is in conformity with the standards in vigour in 2019, with the exception of Manganese where the increase is not linked to the project. Also, high levels of nitrate, sulphate and iron have been recorded in some samples, and studies are ongoing to identify the origin of these excesses;
  • Monitoring of the Gambia River waters reveals that with the exception of aluminium, all the chemical parameters respond to the criteria of the local water quality standards;
  • In the absence of funding, the construction work for the Sambangalou Dam has not yet begun even though the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and the Environmental Management Plan have already been prepared;
  • Following the installation of speed bumps, information and signalling panels on the section of the National Road N° 7 that crosses the property, no animal fatality due to vehicles has been recorded since June 2019;
  • In cooperation with the administrative authorities of the Kédougou region, operations to combat illicit mining exploitation have permitted the arrest of about twenty people and the closure of several clandestine sites located near or inside the property;
  • The Barrick Gold Company is currently carrying out exploratory activities. The ESIA of the Massawa auriferous project has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN;
  • The closure of the Mansadala quarry has been postponed until mid-2021 to finalise rehabilitation work on the National Roads Nos. 1 and 7;
  • The non-natural boundaries of the property have been approved based on Decree 2002-271 of 7 March 2002;
  • An information meeting between the representatives of the State Party, UNESCO, IUCN and the PMC was held in March 2020 to discuss the operational activities of the Gold Mine at Mako.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

Continued monitoring of the evolution of certain animal populations (hartebeest, Derby eland and Lycaon), their habitat as well as the main threats that affect the property is warmly welcomed. However, the report provides no indication on the current state of conservation or the tendencies of these species. Further, the present situation of several characteristic species of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), notably the elephant, chimpanzee, lion and leopard is not indicated. It is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to strengthen its ecological monitoring mechanism so as to provide reliable data on the evolution of the populations of all the characteristic species of the OUV. To this end, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, with funding from the Government of Norway, will contribute to the State Party's efforts to improve the state of conservation of the property.

The estimation of 15 individuals as the number of chimpanzees in the impact zone of the PMC is noted, but the threats that menace this endangered species and its habitat remain very worrying. It is recommended that the Committee request that the measures undertaken to mitigate the impact of the major threats affecting the conservation of the species be reinforced.

The semi-mechanised mining exploitations have contributed towards damage to the aquatic habitat and to a significant increase in the level of suspended sediments in the Gambia River. It is important that the State Party continue efforts, with support from the prefectural authorities, to eliminate illicit extractive activities inside and in the vicinity of the property immediately and undertake urgent measures to restore the damaged habitats and control pollution.

The high concentrations of nitrate, sulphate and iron in the underground waters and aluminium in the waters of the Gambia River remain a cause for concern. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue monitoring the groundwater and surface water quality to detect the causes of these anomalies, carry out microbiological analyses of the waterways likely to be affected by the project and to undertake urgent measures to limit the impact of this pollution.

It is regrettable that the report has not provided information concerning the combat against invasive species and it is recommended that the Committee request the pursuance of the efforts to eliminate this threat.

The absence of animal mortality following the introduction of speed controls of vehicles on the RN7 is positive and the Committee could request assurance that these traffic and safety standards are respected, whilst continuing to raise awareness of the motorists.

The materialization of the entire non-naturel boundaries of the property is warmly welcomed. However, the negative impact of the Mansadala quarry on the OUV of the property is of great concern. Taking account of the confirmation by the State Party regarding the non-closure of the quarry before mid-2021, contrary to the decision of the Committee concerning its closure, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request in this respect.

The suspension of construction work for the Sambangalou Dam due to lack of funding is noted, however, it is important that an ESIA be undertaken, in conformity with the Advice Note of IUCN, and that it be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, before the commencement of the work.

The submission to the World Heritage Centre of the ESIA carried out by the Barrick Gold Company to ensure that the implementation of the mining project does not impact on the OUV is noted. It is recommended that the State Party does not deliver a certificate of environmental conformity to this Company before the ESIA is examined by IUCN.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.   

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.50
Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) (N 153)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 42 COM 7A.55 and 43 COM 7A.15, adopted respectively at its 42nd (Manama, 2018) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions,
  3. Takes note of the efforts undertaken by the State Party to implement some of the corrective measures, especially those concerning the monitoring of certain populations of threatened and key species for the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), improvement in the marking of the boundaries of the property and the speed limit of traffic on the section of National Road N°7 within the property;
  4. Also takes note of the results of the ecological monitoring, but regrets the absence of data on some characteristic species of the OUV and requests the State Party to strengthen its ecological monitoring mechanism to provide reliable data on the state of conservation and the current population trends of all the characteristic species of the OUV;
  5. Thanks the donors who continue to support the conservation of the property, notably the Government of Norway through its contribution to the World Heritage Fund;
  6. Expresses its grave concern regarding the continued menace that weighs on the threatened population of 15 chimpanzees present in the impact zone of the Petowal Mining Company (PMC) and also requests the State Party to continue implementation of the actions aimed at mitigating the impact of the major threats hindering the conservation of the species;
  7. Warmly welcomes the progress made by the State Party in the control and elimination of illicit mining exploitation, but expresses its grave concern as regards damage to the aquatic habitat and the significant increase in the level of suspended sediments in the Gambia River following illegal mining exploitation, and further requests the State Party to continue its efforts in eliminating this threat in the property, while undertaking urgent measures to restore the damaged habitats and control pollution;
  8. Reiterates its grave concern regarding high concentrations of nitrate, sulphate and iron in the groundwater, and aluminium in the waters of the Gambia River, and requests furthermore the State Party to continue monitoring the quality of the groundwater and surface waters to detect the causes of these anomalies, carry out microbiological analyses of the waterways likely to be affected by the project and to take urgent measures to limit the impact of this pollution;
  9. Also regrets that the State Party has not provided any information concerning the combat against invasive species and requests moreover that it continues its efforts to eliminate this threat;
  10. Further regrets the postponement until mid-2021 of the closure of the Mansadala quarry, reiterates its request to the State Party to proceed immediately to the closure of the quarry given its negative impact on the OUV of the property, and urges the State Party to undertake urgent measures to mitigate the impacts of this activity;
  11. Further takes note of the suspension of the construction work for the Sambangalou Dam due to lack of funding and requests in addition the State Party not to undertake work before an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been realized in conformity with the IUCN Advice Note and submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
  12. Takes note furthermore of the submission to the World Heritage Centre of the ESIA of the Barrick Gold Company mining project, and requests the State Party not to deliver a certificate of environmental conformity to the Company before the examination of the ESIA by IUCN;
  13. Finally requests 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;
  14. Decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) 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.50

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 42 COM 7A.55 and 43 COM 7A.15, adopted respectively at its 42nd (Manama, 2018) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions,
  3. Takes note of the efforts undertaken by the State Party to implement some of the corrective measures, especially those concerning the monitoring of certain populations of threatened and key species for the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), improvement in the marking of the boundaries of the property and the speed limit of traffic on the section of National Road N°7 within the property;
  4. Also takes note of the results of the ecological monitoring, but regrets the absence of data on some characteristic species of the OUV and requests the State Party to strengthen its ecological monitoring mechanism to provide reliable data on the state of conservation and the current population trends of all the characteristic species of the OUV;
  5. Thanks the donors who continue to support the conservation of the property, notably the Government of Norway through its contribution to the World Heritage Fund;
  6. Expresses its grave concern regarding the continued menace that weighs on the threatened population of 15 chimpanzees present in the impact zone of the Petowal Mining Company (PMC) and also requests the State Party to continue implementation of the actions aimed at mitigating the impact of the major threats hindering the conservation of the species;
  7. Warmly welcomes the progress made by the State Party in the control and elimination of illicit mining exploitation, but expresses its grave concern as regards damage to the aquatic habitat and the significant increase in the level of suspended sediments in the Gambia River following illegal mining exploitation, and further requests the State Party to continue its efforts in eliminating this threat in the property, while undertaking urgent measures to restore the damaged habitats and control pollution;
  8. Reiterates its grave concern regarding high concentrations of nitrate, sulphate and iron in the groundwater, and aluminium in the waters of the Gambia River, and requests furthermore the State Party to continue monitoring the quality of the groundwater and surface waters to detect the causes of these anomalies, carry out microbiological analyses of the waterways likely to be affected by the project and to take urgent measures to limit the impact of this pollution;
  9. Also regrets that the State Party has not provided any information concerning the combat against invasive species and requests moreover that it continues its efforts to eliminate this threat;
  10. Further regrets the postponement until mid-2021 of the closure of the Mansadala quarry, reiterates its request to the State Party to proceed immediately to the closure of the quarry given its negative impact on the OUV of the property, and urges the State Party to undertake urgent measures to mitigate the impacts of this activity;
  11. Further takes note of the suspension of the construction work for the Sambangalou Dam due to lack of funding and requests in addition the State Party not to undertake work before an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been realized in conformity with the IUCN Advice Note and submitted to the World Heritage Centre;
  12. Takes note furthermore of the submission to the World Heritage Centre of the ESIA of the Barrick Gold Company mining project, and requests the State Party not to deliver a certificate of environmental conformity to the Company before the examination of the ESIA by IUCN;
  13. Finally requests 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;
  14. Decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
Senegal
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Natural
Criteria: (x)
Danger List (dates): 2007-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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