Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Crop production
  • Governance
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Challenging situation of community livelihoods; Condition and conservation of the Laetoli hominid footprints

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Geothermal energy development project (issue resolved)
  • Buildings and Development (potential impact of lodge development project on the crater rim, proposed museum building at Laetoli)
  • Transportation infrastructure (impact of project for upgrading Lodoare Gate to Golini Main Road, construction of the southern bypass road and access road to Olduvai museum)
  • Biological resource use/modification (poaching, grazing pressure)
  • Social/cultural uses of heritage (relevance of Maasai traditional knowledge to management of the area, increased human population, tourism pressure, challenges facing community livelihoods)
  • Invasive/alien species (spread of invasive species)
  • Management System/Management Plan (including governance of the property and community involvement/collaboration, condition and conservation of the Laetoli hominid footprints
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Totam amount provided to the property: USD 50,000 from Switzerland, USD 35,000 from the Netherlands, USD 20,000 from the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) and USD 8,000 self-benefitting funds from the United Republic of Tanzania in 2013-2014; USD 50,000 from the Flanders Funds-in-Trust in 2014-2015

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 16 (from 1979-2014)
Total amount approved : 290,386 USD
2014 Building the capacity of local communities and ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
2009 Implementing Management Effectiveness Evaluations into ... (Approved)   14,960 USD
2004 The World Heritage site Ngorongoro Conservation Area ... (Approved)   19,294 USD
2001 Scientific Study in Ngorongoro crater (NOT IMPLEMENTED) (Approved)   10,000 USD
1999 Project Planning Workshop for Strengthening ... (Approved)   7,500 USD
1994 International Conference on Ngorongoro, in Bellagio, ... (Not approved)   0 USD
1990 Purchase of a Land Rover and radio equipment for the ... (Approved)   49,782 USD
1988 Purchase of 2 vehicles (one tipper truck and one 4x4 ... (Approved)   50,000 USD
1988 Contribution to the purchase of associated spare parts ... (Approved)   10,000 USD
1987 Purchase of a Land Rover for anti-poaching activities ... (Approved)   17,500 USD
1987 Participation of a specialist from Ngorongoro ... (Approved)   4,000 USD
1987 Additional costs of equipment for Ngorongoro ... (Approved)   2,000 USD
1986 Equipment to strengthen the protection of Ngorongoro ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
1980 Additional financial assistance for the preparation of ... (Approved)   7,000 USD
1979 Financial grant for establishment of a management plan ... (Approved)   24,950 USD
1979 12-month fellowship in law/administration for ... (Approved)   18,000 USD
1979 Drawing up by an architect-museologist of a project for ... (Approved)   5,400 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

April 1986: IUCN mission; April-May 2007 and December 2008: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring missions; February 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; August 2017: ICOMOS/IUCN Advisory mission; March 2019: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 8 February 2021, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/39/documents/. The report includes a work plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the 2017 ICOMOS/IUCN Advisory mission, the 2019 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission and the World Heritage Committee Decision 43 COM 7B.39, amongst other updates, summarised as follows:

  • No poaching incidents were recorded at the property. The budget for community awareness on conservation saw a small increase in 2019, with awareness-raising workshops held in 2020 and community-based beekeeping and agricultural activities (outside the property) supported;
  • The State Party restates the selection of the Mbulu route as identified through the feasibility study of the southern bypass road;
  • Works on the upgrading of the Lodoare Gate to Golini main road through the property have been suspended because of financial constraint linked to the drop in tourism numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Detailed pre-construction surveys and studies, included in the supervision and construction contracts, will be undertaken before site works begin and will be submitted when the project resumes;
  • A framework for enhanced stakeholder engagement, integrated policies and guidance on tourism carrying capacity and monitoring and enforcement measures are to be included in a multiple land use model (MLUM), which will also review voluntary resettlement schemes;
  • Mechanisms for traffic monitoring, including regulation of speed and driving behaviour will be developed when the Lodoare Gate to Golini route road project resumes;
  • A digital database of cultural sites, archaeological sites and attributes in the property is operational;
  • The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) has established a monitoring and evaluation unit to monitor compliance with the impact assessment studies and assist in maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  • All projects undertaken or planned within the property are subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA). A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will be undertaken when the financial situation improves;
  • The draft General Management Plan (GMP) will be finalized in consultation with stakeholders by July 2021.

An expert meeting on the conservation of the Laetoli footprints and the museum project was held at UNESCO, Paris, in March 2019, with representatives of the State Party, the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM. The State Party reports that an update on implementation of recommendations concerning the Laetoli Footprints will be provided to the World Heritage Centre in December 2021.

On 24 January 2020, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party regarding a four-zone Management and Resettlement Plan developed as a response to the 2019 mission, and which, according to the third-party information, would marginalize the land rights of the local communities. No response has been received at the time of writing this report.

On 12 May 2021, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN were sent copies of a letter from Indigenous Peoples Rights International (IPRI) to the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, regarding what were stated to be the impending eviction of 73,000 indigenous pastoralists from the property. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies met with both the State Party and IPRI. The State Party stated that the eviction of 73,000 pastoralists is not planned but confirmed the increasing challenges of ensuring the conservation values of the property in the light of increased resident populations since the creation of the conservation area. The State Party further reiterated its commitment to identify adequate solutions to this issue.

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

Welcome progress has been reported by the State Party including continued engagement with local communities and the establishment of a digital database and a monitoring and evaluation unit within NCAA. The development of an EIA/HIA compliance monitoring tool for this unit as recommended by the 2019 mission is positive, and it will be important that it is utilised by all relevant stakeholders.  

The submission of a work plan for the implementation of the 2017 and 2019 mission recommendations and previous Committee Decisions is acknowledged. The workplan indicates that there are significant delays in the implementation of some of the mission recommendations and certain recommendations  are either not addressed in detail  or require further work and clarification, including a Cultural Heritage Conservation Strategy, reconsideration of the current compartmentalized approach to governance and an Interpretation Strategy.

The reported absence of poaching since the previous report is welcome. However, it is unclear to which species this statement applies. Also, no information is provided on the efforts to control the spread of invasive alien plants.

In relation to the two road projects, there is an urgent need for the feasibility study for the southern bypass route to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as urged by the Committee in Decision 43 COM 7B.39, including maps of the considered route options. The suspension of the works on the Lodoare – Golini road through the property is noted and it is important to reiterate the need to implement all the 2017 Advisory mission recommendations, including the development of an action plan to manage road use, and the submission of the results of archaeological investigations and baseline ecological and environmental data before starting any construction. 

The February 2021 ICOMOS/ICCROM technical review of the EIA and Cultural HIA for the Laetoli Hominin Footprints Museum concluded that there will be considerable impact on the OUV of the property from any construction near the footprints and from the proposed science/education centre site some 6km away, and recommended that a clearer conservation approach needs to be defined for the footprint site and for the overall archaeological landscape before any decisions are made. The review reiterated the recommendation of the March 2019 expert meeting that the State Party focus on exploring different conservation approaches before consideration of a detailed museum project.

It is important that the finalisation of the GMP ensures consultations with local communities, including opportunities to fully understand its proposals and provide meaningful input to its content, and free, prior, informed consent as appropriate of local stakeholders and rightsholders. No clarity on progress is given for developing integrated policies and guidelines on interpretation strategy, tourism carrying capacity and monitoring framework, recommended by the 2019 mission. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit the draft GMP to the World Heritage Centre for review before final approval, together with the complementary material requested in Committee Decision 43 COM 7B.39. The State Party should also be requested to report on the current status of agricultural development in the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the confirmation by the State Party that no large-scale evictions of residents are being planned but reiterate their concern on the continued conflicts with the communities living in the property as well as the increasing pressure on the OUV as a result of the steep increase in the number of people residing in the property since its inscription. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies reiterate the need for a consultative process to identify long-term sustainable solutions to address these issues, with participation of all rightsholders and stakeholders, consistent with international norms and the policies of the Convention.

The State Party should be requested to submit the review of MLUM to the World Heritage Centre for comments by the Advisory Bodies. In the context of the complex history of this property in relation to challenging and fragile harmony between conservation and communities, relating to increasing numbers of people living in the property, there is an urgent need to review the effectiveness of the MLUM, the proposed voluntary resettlement scheme, and the zonation of the property in relation to competing requirements, and identify long-term interdisciplinary solutions based on international best practice through dialogue and in consultation with relevant rightsholders and other stakeholders. It is recommended that the State Party invite an Advisory mission by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies as an opportunity for dialogue with all relevant rightsholders and stakeholders including the local indigenous communities and the International Indigenous Peoples Forum for World Heritage (IIPFWH) to review the above, to consider whether the current approaches are sufficient to address these crucial issues, and to provide advice on.

While recognising the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unfortunate that the requested SEA has been deferred. Taking note of the concerns raised by the 2019 mission of the cumulative and gradual intensification of threats to the OUV, the SEA will serve as a valuable tool to evaluate the current and future impacts of developments across all sectors in the region, including the property and the Serengeti ecosystem, so that the findings can inform management.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.171
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (United Republic of Tanzania) (C/N 39bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.39, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the efforts of the State Party to combat wildlife poaching, the establishment and maintenance of a digital database for cultural and archaeological sites and attributes, continued engagement with local communities and support for alternative livelihoods, and the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation unit in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) to focus on ensuring compliance of impact assessment processes;
  4. Also welcomes the development of the work plan for the implementation of the 2017 and 2019 mission recommendations and previous Committee Decisions, but regrets that activities are only partially represented and that they lack detail on their implementation status, therefore requests the State Party to revise the work plan to include all recommendations of previous missions and keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress with implementation;
  5. Also requests the State Party to provide information on the spread of invasive species, the status of agricultural activities in the property and on its efforts to address these threats to the property, including through stakeholder awareness-raising;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the feasibility study for the southern bypass route including maps of the considered route options,
  7. Notes the current suspension of the upgrading of the Lodoare Gate to Golini main road through the property and also reiterates its request to the State Party to fully implement the 2017 mission recommendations concerning the road and submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, the action plan to manage road use, and the results of archaeological investigations and baseline ecological and environmental data before starting the upgrading works;
  8. Notes with concern the results of the ICOMOS/ICCROM technical review concluding that the Laetoli Hominin Footprints Museum and proposed new science/education centre would impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), further requests the State Party to define clearer conservation approaches for the footprint site and for the overall archaeological landscape before any decisions are made on presentation of the footprints or a museum building, and requests furthermore that an update be provided on progress made;
  9. Requests moreover the State Party to ensure the General Management Plan (GMP) for the property is finalized in consultation with, and with the free prior and informed consent as appropriate of local stakeholders and rightsholders, and also reiterates its requests to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the draft GMP for review by the Advisory Bodies, including:
    1. A Cultural Heritage Conservation Strategy, in particular for the palaeo-anthropological sites, including providing human and financial resources for this process,
    2. Reconsideration of the current compartmentalized approach to the governance of the property to ensure that the natural and cultural attributes of the property will be managed, protected and presented in an integrated approach, with a framework for stakeholder engagement,
    3. An Interpretation Strategy for the property with a clear vision to ensure the protection of the OUV, integrity and authenticity of the property and that contributes to conservation activity,
    4. Integrated policies and guidelines on tourism carrying capacity,
    5. Specific monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the conclusions and mitigation measures of validated impact assessment studies,
    6. Mechanisms for traffic monitoring, including regulation of speed and driving behaviour,
    7. The proposed Multiple Land Use Model (MLUM) Review;
  10. Reiterates its concern over the continued conflicts with the communities living in the property, including the challenges resulting from the significant increase in the number of people residing in the property since its inscription, and considers that there is the need for an equitably governed consultative process to identify long term sustainable interdisciplinary solutions to address these issues, with participation of all rightsholders and stakeholders, consistent with international norms and the policies of the Convention;
  11. Recommends that the State Party invite an Advisory mission by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to the property to consider, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders and rightsholders, the proposed review of the MLUM, as well as the voluntary resettlement scheme, and the zonation of the property, and consider whether the current approaches are sufficient to address these crucial issues and to provide advice on the way forward;
  12. Also recalling that the 2019 mission noted concerns for the cumulative and gradual intensification of threats to the OUV of the property, further reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to evaluate the current and future impacts of developments across all sectors in the region, including the property and the Serengeti ecosystem so that the findings can inform management, and submit the SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  13. Finally 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.171

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.39, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the efforts of the State Party to combat wildlife poaching, the establishment and maintenance of a digital database for cultural and archaeological sites and attributes, continued engagement with local communities and support for alternative livelihoods, and the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation unit in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) to focus on ensuring compliance of impact assessment processes;
  4. Also welcomes the development of the work plan for the implementation of the 2017 and 2019 mission recommendations and previous Committee Decisions, but regrets that activities are only partially represented and that they lack detail on their implementation status, therefore requests the State Party to revise the work plan to include all recommendations of previous missions and keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress with implementation;
  5. Also requests the State Party to provide information on the spread of invasive species, the status of agricultural activities in the property and on its efforts to address these threats to the property, including through stakeholder awareness-raising;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the feasibility study for the southern bypass route including maps of the considered route options,
  7. Notes the current suspension of the upgrading of the Lodoare Gate to Golini main road through the property and also reiterates its request to the State Party to fully implement the 2017 mission recommendations concerning the road and submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, the action plan to manage road use, and the results of archaeological investigations and baseline ecological and environmental data before starting the upgrading works;
  8. Notes with concern the results of the ICOMOS/ICCROM technical review concluding that the Laetoli Hominin Footprints Museum and proposed new science/education centre would impact adversely on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), further requests the State Party to define clearer conservation approaches for the footprint site and for the overall archaeological landscape before any decisions are made on presentation of the footprints or a museum building, and requests furthermore that an update be provided on progress made;
  9. Requests moreover the State Party to ensure the General Management Plan (GMP) for the property is finalized in consultation with, and with the free prior and informed consent as appropriate of local stakeholders and rightsholders, and also reiterates its requests to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the draft GMP for review by the Advisory Bodies, including:
    1. A Cultural Heritage Conservation Strategy, in particular for the palaeo-anthropological sites, including providing human and financial resources for this process,
    2. Reconsideration of the current compartmentalized approach to the governance of the property to ensure that the natural and cultural attributes of the property will be managed, protected and presented in an integrated approach, with a framework for stakeholder engagement,
    3. An Interpretation Strategy for the property with a clear vision to ensure the protection of the OUV, integrity and authenticity of the property and that contributes to conservation activity,
    4. Integrated policies and guidelines on tourism carrying capacity,
    5. Specific monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the conclusions and mitigation measures of validated impact assessment studies,
    6. Mechanisms for traffic monitoring, including regulation of speed and driving behaviour,
    7. The proposed Multiple Land Use Model (MLUM) Review;
  10. Reiterates its concern over the continued conflicts with the communities living in the property, including the challenges resulting from the significant increase in the number of people residing in the property since its inscription, and considers that there is the need for an equitably governed consultative process to identify long term sustainable interdisciplinary solutions to address these issues, with participation of all rightsholders and stakeholders, consistent with international norms and the policies of the Convention;
  11. Recommends that the State Party invite an Advisory mission by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to the property to consider, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders and rightsholders, the proposed review of the MLUM, as well as the voluntary resettlement scheme, and the zonation of the property, and consider whether the current approaches are sufficient to address these crucial issues and to provide advice on the way forward;
  12. Also recalling that the 2019 mission noted concerns for the cumulative and gradual intensification of threats to the OUV of the property, further reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to evaluate the current and future impacts of developments across all sectors in the region, including the property and the Serengeti ecosystem so that the findings can inform management, and submit the SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  13. Finally 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
United Republic of Tanzania
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (iv)(vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1984-1989
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2021) .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.


top