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Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park

Sudan
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Financial resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Need to establish a code of conduct including formal rules and regulations for all dive operators

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Financial resources: Need to continue to increase financial resources and commit to maintain ongoing sustainable financing
  • Lack of high quality resolution maps that clearly define the boundaries of the property and the buffer zone (resolved)
  • Management systems/ management plan: Need to update the management plan for Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay to complete the preparation of an integrated management framework for the whole property 
  • Need to establish a code of conduct including formal rules and regulations for all dive operators

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 1 (from 2010-2010)
Total amount approved : 29,500 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 30 November 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/262/documents/ and reports the following:

  • The Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property was completed and adopted by the Wildlife Conservation General Administration (WCGA) at a validation workshop in September 2019. Its implementation was delayed due to financial constraints and COVID-19-related closures;
  • Regarding the provision of further resources for the management of the property, the economic and political situation in Sudan during the Transitional Period has affected the budget and proposed plans. However, the monthly budget for the property has been tripled and funding opportunities are being explored including GEF-UNDP, Global Fund for Coral Reefs, etc.;
  • Close relations have been established with local dive operators and stakeholders. Formal rules, regulations and fees for divers and visitors have been set up and awareness meetings held with local dive operators. Meetings held with the Tourism Department/Red Sea and Ministry of Environment resulted in the agreement of a substantial entry fee (diving fee) to support the management, protection and surveillance of the property. Local dive operators and tourism companies will provide financial support starting from the new January 2021 season. Fines to avoid violations were established;
  • Several workshops were held in 2018 and 2019, including a workshop with experts from marine World Heritage sites in Africa and a management effectiveness training organized by IUCN, the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH), and the World Heritage Centre in collaboration with the Sudanese National Commission for UNESCO, WCGA and the Red Sea University;
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the property was partially closed, there were no visitors and all tourism activities including diving were cancelled. Furthermore, no fishing was undertaken by the local communities, which had a negative economic impact. The majority of staff were forced to leave the property, with few remaining to carry out administrative work. During this period, no monitoring activities were carried out;
  • The declaration of Sha'ab Roumi as Sudan's third Marine Protected Area (MPA) is close to finalisation, with plans to start the process to include it as part of the property.

On 11 June 2018, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party regarding reported permissions given by the Red Sea State for the development of a resort inside the limits of the property, near the pristine marsa of Khor Shinab. No official information has been received to date. 

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

The finalization and adoption of the IMP for the property by the Wildlife Conservation General Administration is positive and to be welcomed. It is regrettable that the implementation of the IMP has been delayed as a result of financial constraints and difficulties caused by the closure of the property due to COVID-19.  It will be important for the State Party to submit the finalized IMP to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, initiate its implementation, and secure adequate funding in this regard. Other identified international funding sources should also be pursued further.

Recalling the previously reported concerns regarding activities of international dive operators who are reported to cause damage to coral reefs, disturbance to wildlife, and negative impacts on visitor experience, it is positive that progress has been made to establish formal rules, regulations and fees for dive operators in consultation with the dive operators and authorities. Noting the reported financial constraints, the establishment of a regular income stream from tourism, through the new fee, has the potential to help facilitate ongoing funding for the management of the property, once tourism is able to resume. It is unclear whether a formal code of conduct has been finalised as part of the new regulations and this should be clarified. Noting that no monitoring was carried out during COVID-19 restrictions, it will also be important that effective compliance measures to avoid violations, such as fines and regular patrolling efforts to monitor vessels operating within the property, are effectively implemented once tourism is able to resume. The State Party is encouraged to continue its progress in this regard.

It is positive that various expert workshops were held in 2018 and 2019 to support the capacity building of staff, raise awareness of World Heritage values, promote best practice principles and translate the Marine World Heritage Best Practice Guide into Arabic. It is recommended that the State Party implement the expertise shared and continue building the management capacity for the property through training and knowledge exchange opportunities.

Regarding the identification of additional areas of potential Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the State Party’s intention to nominate such areas for inclusion within the property, the planned declaration of Sha'ab Roumi as Sudan's third MPA is noted. Any proposed modifications should be carried out in line with the procedures for boundary modification and/or re-nomination as per the Operational Guidelines, seeking prior technical advice from IUCN if required.

It is regrettable that the State Party has not provided information on the reported permissions given by the Red Sea State for the development of a resort inside the limits of the property, as it could directly affect the OUV of the property. It is therefore recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to provide further information on this issue recalling Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.179
Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (Sudan) (N 262rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.99, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the finalization and adoption of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property by the Wildlife Conservation General Administration, however regrets that its implementation has been delayed due to financial constraints and COVID-19-related closure of the property, and requests the State Party to submit the finalized IMP to the World Heritage Centre, and ensure its implementation, including to secure adequate funding, as soon as possible;
  4. Also recalling the reported activities of international dive operators causing damage to coral reefs, disturbance to wildlife, and negative impacts on visitor experience, also welcomes the progress made to establish formal rules and regulations for dive operators, fines, and awareness raising activities in consultation with local dive operators and stakeholders, and also requests the State Party to continue its efforts, including by:
    1. Establishing a clear code of conduct for diving operations in the property,
    2. Establishing effective communication with dive operators, both national and international, to raise awareness about the established rules and regulations and encourage best practice in line with international standards,
    3. Establishing appropriate mechanisms, such a licensing system, to avoid violations,
    4. Ensuring regular patrolling to monitor any vessels operating within either component of the property;
  5. Notes with appreciation the various expert workshops held in 2018 and 2019, and encourages the State Party to implement the expertise shared and to continue building the management capacity for the property through training and knowledge exchange opportunities;
  6. Also notes with appreciation the planned declaration of Sha'ab Roumi as Sudan's third Marine Protected Area (MPA) and the intention to propose this for inclusion as part of the property, and reiterates that any proposed extensions should follow the appropriate procedures for boundary modification and/or re-nomination as per the Operational Guidelines, and also encourages the State Party to seek technical advice from IUCN if required;
  7. Also regrets that the State Party has not provided further information on the reported permissions given by the Red Sea State for the development of a resort inside the limits of the property, and urges the State Party to provide information on this issue, and to inform the World Heritage Centre of any intention to undertake or authorize new constructions which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, before making any decision that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.179

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.99, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the finalization and adoption of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property by the Wildlife Conservation General Administration, however regrets that its implementation has been delayed due to financial constraints and COVID-19-related closure of the property, and requests the State Party to submit the finalized IMP to the World Heritage Centre, and ensure its implementation, including to secure adequate funding, as soon as possible;
  4. Also recalling the reported activities of international dive operators causing damage to coral reefs, disturbance to wildlife, and negative impacts on visitor experience, also welcomes the progress made to establish formal rules and regulations for dive operators, fines, and awareness raising activities in consultation with local dive operators and stakeholders, and also requests the State Party to continue its efforts, including by:
    1. Establishing a clear code of conduct for diving operations in the property,
    2. Establishing effective communication with dive operators, both national and international, to raise awareness about the established rules and regulations and encourage best practice in line with international standards,
    3. Establishing appropriate mechanisms, such a licensing system, to avoid violations,
    4. Ensuring regular patrolling to monitor any vessels operating within either component of the property;
  5. Notes with appreciation the various expert workshops held in 2018 and 2019, and encourages the State Party to implement the expertise shared and to continue building the management capacity for the property through training and knowledge exchange opportunities;
  6. Also notes with appreciation the planned declaration of Sha'ab Roumi as Sudan's third Marine Protected Area (MPA) and the intention to propose this for inclusion as part of the property, and reiterates that any proposed extensions should follow the appropriate procedures for boundary modification and/or re-nomination as per the Operational Guidelines, and also encourages the State Party to seek technical advice from IUCN if required;
  7. Also regrets that the State Party has not provided further information on the reported permissions given by the Red Sea State for the development of a resort inside the limits of the property, and urges the State Party to provide information on this issue, and to inform the World Heritage Centre of any intention to undertake or authorize new constructions which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, before making any decision that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 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 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
Sudan
Date of Inscription: 2016
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
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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