1.         Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (N 227)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2003-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

The following corrective measures were identified during the 2006 World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission and adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006):

a) Establish, as a matter of urgency, an effective system of control and patrolling for the whole property, in close collaboration with the armed forces, and giving priority to the development and rehabilitation of necessary infrastructures;

b) Develop and initiate the implementation of a management plan for the property based on the management plan framework developed for the national system of protected areas. The management plan should give special attention to:

(i) Establishing a revised zoning system for the property to guide management activities that fully consider the status of the property as a World Heritage property and Biosphere Reserve;

(ii) Establishing participatory management arrangements with local communities to reduce pressures and impacts associated to the management of areas in particular on the periphery of the property;

c) Enlarge the activities of the management structure to encompass the entire property 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Five year timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures:

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 97,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 20,000 in 2006 through the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme for law enforcement and awareness activities.

Previous monitoring missions

June 2006: joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/227/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

The State Party did not submit a state of conservation report, which was requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009). Therefore, progress on the implementation of corrective measures is difficult to assess.

However, IUCN has received reports from its network of experts and members on a number of conservation issues pertaining to the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006). According to these reports, due to ongoing security concerns in Ivory Coast and the occupation of a large area of the property by the ‘Forces Nouvelles’ militia, the presence of the national park authorities in the property remains limited and there is little effective control and patrolling of the property (corrective measure a). This seems in contradiction to last year’s State Party report, which mentioned that the State Party had regained control over the entire extent of the property. IUCN has also received reports that the State Party has been unable to rapidly deploy the planned mixed ranger patrols, including members of the Ivorian army and of the ‘Forces Nouvelles’ militia.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the World Bank’s Protected Area Project for Ivory Coast (USD 2.54 million, 2009-2013) includes actions to improve the management of ComoéNational Park, such as development of a management plan, support to park communities through public awareness campaigns, environmental education, land management contracts, and the development of alternative livelihoods. A study on the state of conservation of ComoéNational Park has already been commissioned through this project, which should take place in 2010. IUCN also notes that a draft management plan for the property has been developed and is in the process of being finalized (corrective measure b).

They also note that the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF), in collaboration with the management authority OIPR (Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves) and the Max Planck Institute Apes Database project, conducted a survey in June 2009 of chimpanzees and elephants, as well as other large mammals and reptiles, within the south-west area of the property and the “GEPRENAF” zone adjacent to the property (West African pilot community-based natural resources and management programme). While the dataset was not large enough to allow population estimates, the results clearly indicate that significant populations of large mammals are still present in the south-west of the property and the GEPRENAF zone, including chimpanzees and elephants. The survey found that the density of chimpanzee nests in this area was 10.6 per km2, indicating a relatively intact population. During the survey period, elephants were only directly observed in the GEPRENAF zone at a density of 1.9/ km. The results of the survey of chimpanzee and elephant populations are encouraging and indicate potential for their recovery across wider areas of the property. However, the survey also found a high incidence of poaching, deforestation and agricultural encroachment across the entire area, and IUCN has received additional information that a large influx of cattle into the property during the dry season is causing overgrazing and depleting waterholes important for the property’s wildlife, which increase the need to rapidly deploy the planned mixed ranger patrols, including members of the Ivorian army and of the ‘Forces Nouvelles’ militia.

IUCN also received reports that the German Cooperation (GTZ) has recently commissioned wildlife surveys within the property, as well as studies on the park’s infrastructure and socio-economic conditions. The objective of these surveys and studies is to develop a conservation strategy for the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN encourage the park authorities, conservation organisations to work closely together in order to coordinate their conservation efforts. The results of any detailed wildlife surveys undertaken through the above projects could be used to monitor the recovery of wildlife populations and develop the desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the funding secured through the World Bank’s Protected Area Project for Ivory Coast to improve the management of ComoéNational Park. They encourage the State Party to focus on implementing the corrective measures and rapidly deploy mixed ranger patrols, finalise the management plan, and develop an urgent rehabilitation plan for the property. They recall that the 2008 State Party report had indicated that three mining exploration licenses had been granted covering part of the property, and that the World Heritage Committee in its Decision 33 COM 7A.2 had urged the State Party to withdraw these licenses, in line with the World Heritage Committee’s clear position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status, and the international policy statement of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the property should remain on the List of World Heritage in Danger until an effective management structure is in place and the recovery of the property’s key wildlife populations is demonstrated.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.2, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a state of conservation report, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009);

4. Considers that without a report by the State Party, on the implementation of the corrective measures and on the status of wildlife populations, it is impossible to evaluate the progress made towards a removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

5. Notes with concern reports received by IUCN that due to ongoing security concerns, the presence of the national park authorities in the property, and its effective control and patrolling remains limited, in spite of earlier reports of the State Party that it had regained control over the entire property;

6. Welcomes the reported support of various donors for activities to improve the management of Comoé National Park, and encourages the State Party and conservation organizations working within the property to closely coordinate their conservation efforts;

7. Urges the State Party to implement the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006) and in particular to rapidly deploy mixed ranger patrols, finalize the management plan, and develop an urgent rehabilitation plan for the property;

8. Reiterates its utmost concern about the granting of mining exploration licenses covering the property, urges the State Party to take the necessary steps to ensure the withdrawal of the these licenses, and calls upon the holders of any concessions to respect international standards, in line with the international policy statement of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties;

9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, a proposal for the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the corrective measures, including a copy of the draft management plan, an overview of current and projected budgets for the management of the property, the status of anti-poaching activities, and any data on wildlife populations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

11. Decides to retain Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-10/34.COM/7A, WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add.2),

2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8E, WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add.2 for the following World Heritage properties: 

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely: