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Niokolo-Koba National Park

Senegal
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Mining
  • Translocated species
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Poaching, capture and relocation of wildlife;

b) Illegal logging;

c) Livestock grazing;

d) Road construction;

e) Potential dam construction;

f) Potential mining activities. 

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Poaching;
  • Livestock grazing.
Corrective Measures for the property

The following corrective measures were identified during the 2007 World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission and adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007):

a) Implement urgent steps to halt poaching, using the Department of National Park’s aircraft for surveillance, with ground support provided by a mobile ‘strike force’;

b) Provide urgent training to the newly-recruited staff in the park, focussing on park security procedures and general ‘orientation’ to integrated management approaches;

c) Survey and demarcate the park boundary;

d) Explore the possibility of creating boreholes outside the Park to minimize illegal movements of livestock and local population inside the Park in search of water;

e) Introduce a long-term moratorium on the hunting of giant eland, and also a hunting quota system in buffer areas surrounding the park based on reliable animal census statistics;

f) Modify the park ecological monitoring programme to focus on a limited number of indicators and benchmarks which can be measured in a cost effective manner;

g) Prioritise conservation of the property in national policy, planning and budgets and take proactive measures to solicit donor support for the management of the property;

h) Develop Species Survival Plans for Giant Eland, Elephant, Hartebeest, Chimpanzee and other threatened species;

i) Enhance trans-boundary cooperation and measures to protect buffer zones and ecological corridors outside the park;

j) Revise the 2000 management plan and start its implementation.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
A 12 month time frame was set to implement measures a) to f) and a 3 year time frame for the other measures. If all measures could be implemented within the adopted timeframe, the mission considered that a positive trend towards the rehabilitation of the property would be notable after 5 years.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 7 (from 1982-2004)
Total amount approved : 147,125 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

Niokolo Koba National Park was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2007, following a dramatic decline of wildlife populations, severe management problems and the potential impacts of a proposed construction of a new dam on the Gambia River a few kilometers upstream of the park. The 2007 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission proposed a number or urgent corrective measures to be taken. At the time of the mission, a public private partnership was under discussion with African Parks Foundation to support the management of the property and its rehabilitation.

On 23 February 2009, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party, together with a copy of the 2007-2010 priority action plan developed in 2007.

The following progress in the implementation of the corrective measures is noted in the report:

a) Implement urgent steps to halt poaching

The State Party notes that 170 additional Park agents were recruited in December 2007 and currently, there are 17 functioning guard posts and an additional patrol vehicle was bought. Regular patrols are organised by the mobile anti-poaching brigades. The mobile poaching brigades carry out patrols for about ten consecutive days. During the dry season at least one mobile brigade is engaged in patrols at any time within the property.

In 2008, ground patrols were supported by three over-flights during a total of eight days. Patrols intercepted 19 poachers: five for wildlife and the remainder for illegal fishing, illegal wood harvesting and illegal grazing. The patrols were able to confiscate arms also. Those intercepted were either fined or imprisoned for up to five months. No additional information was provided on seizures and target species.

The State Party also mentions that an agreement was signed in January 2009 with the commander of the military zone in Tambacounda to organize large scale patrols over two to three days at least once every three months. A first joint patrol between the army and rangers was planned for March 2009.

The State Party reports that the increased patrols have resulted in more wildlife sightings in 50% of the property. However, no monitoring information was provided to illustrate these changes.

b) Provide urgent training to the newly-recruited staff

Since December 2007 one training exercise was carried out in October 2008 which focused on anti-poaching methods. No information was provided to indicate if all rangers have been trained in anti-poaching and monitoring.

c) Survey and demarcate the park boundary

A workshop was held in April 2008 on the finalization of the demarcation of the boundary of the Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme. The State Party plans to use ground markers around the core zone of the biosphere reserve to indicate its boundary, and will implement this in 2009. The report also notes that 150 ha of agricultural encroachment has been observed.

d) Explore the possibility of creating boreholes outside the Park to minimize illegal movements of livestock and local population inside the Park in search of water

The State Party has met with pastoralists living around the property to discuss the problems of illegal grazing in the property. As a result, it had been agreed to allow limited access to the buffer zone for grazing and watering during the dry season, reducing the problems. However the State Party reports that limited progress was made in controlling transhumance through the property. A planned forum on transhumance was not implemented during 2008 due to lack of funding.  The option of creating boreholes as suggested by the 2007 mission has been rejected as a result of concerns surrounding concentrating cattle at the boundary of the property.

e) Introduce a long-term moratorium on the hunting of Giant eland, and also a hunting quota system in buffer areas surrounding the Park based on reliable animal census statistics

The report confirms that as the Giant eland is a totally protected specie, there is a de facto moratorium in place. In addition, no hunting is allowed within the National Park.

Modify the Park ecological monitoring programme to focus on a limited number of indicators and benchmarks which can be measured in a cost effective manner

Wildlife monitoring currently focuses on elephants, Giant eland and chimpanzees. The State Party reports that there have been no sightings of elephants since an elephant research team was established in August 2007. Traces found through surveys suggest that a small group of elephants is still living in the property.  Attempts at radio-tracking of Giant eland since 2007 have not been successful. However, efforts are continuing to collar four individuals to allow tracking of their location and improved protection.  Planning for a sub-regional chimpanzee research programme began in November 2008 through project Wula Nafa with funding from the US Government. No activities have been described or begun yet.

f) Prioritise conservation of the property in national policy, planning and budgets and take proactive measures to solicit donor support for the management of the property

The report notes that the Minister of State secured a substantive increase in the budget for the protection of the property from CFA 58 million in 2008 to CFA 122 million in 2009. An additional budget of CFA 10 million payment for infrastructure improvements has also been made.

g) Develop Species Survival Plans for Giant eland, Elephant, Hartebeest, Chimpanzee and other threatened species

The State Party report does not provide information on this issue. However, the IUCN Species Survival Commission Antelope Task Force notes that the total numbers of the Western Giant eland probably do not exceed ca. 200 individuals, with most of the surviving animals in the property.

h) Enhance transboundary cooperation and measures to protect buffer zones and ecological corridors outside the Park

The State Party did not report any new initiatives to enhance transboundary cooperation on ecological corridors with Guinea since December 2007. Discussions are underway with UNDP on a programme to restore and manage corridors for migratory wildlife. In February 2009, a meeting was held in Mali to discuss opportunities for collaboration that would include the property.

i) Revise the 2000 management plan and start its implementation.

The State Party reports that it is seeking support from the IUCN office in Dakar to evaluate the 2000-2005 management plan and update it. It is hoped that this activity can be completed in 2009. IUCN notes that its West and Central Africa office is not aware of this request.

 

The State Party further notes that the support of local communities is necessary for the conservation of the property and therefore actions are needed to support local development. The State Party has organised community meetings to promote the collaboration and identify potential income-generating activities with local communities. However, no information was provided on any initiatives underway.

The State Party reports that the Integrated Ecosystem Management Project (PGIES) has supported a variety of monitoring, research, infrastructure and awareness-raising programmes.

As requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), the State Party submitted a copy of the 3 year priority action plan it developed following the 2007 monitoring mission. The action plan foresees activities to rehabilitate surveillance infrastructure and purchase equipment, rehabilitate some of the habitats, valorise the park for the benefit of the local communities and implement research activities, with a total projected budget of 21,5 Million Euro over 3 years, of which 90 % is foreseen for infrastructure and equipment. No information is provided on the implementation status of the plan.

The State Party did not report on progress in addressing threats from illegal cutting of Borassus palms, uncontrolled use of fire, spread of invasive species and associated drying of marshes, planned construction of a dam on the Gambia river, or the planned trans-national Tambacounda highway. The report also provides no information on progress in developing a public private partnership agreement with the African Parks Foundation (APF). The World Heritage Centre and IUCN have been informed that the discussions with APF were unsuccessful but that discussions are underway with a Dubai based group. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN received reports about public demonstrations against privatisation of the property that took place in January and February 2009 and that were reported in local media. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the State Party provide an update on institutional management planned for the property and if any changes are proposed to include a privatization of the management of the property.

While the State Party report indicates that there is progress in addressing the main threat of poaching and in the implementation of the corrective measures, IUCN has received contradictory reports. According to these reports poaching is actually increasing in the property and

- There are very few patrols and these are only on the main trails within the property. Many ranger camps are said to be closed and there are very few sightings of wildlife. Staff training remains inadequate and the action plan is not being implemented.

- The levels of threat to the property seem not to have diminished and there seems to be no evidence of a recovery in large mammal populations.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are extremely concerned by these reports which seem to indicate continued erosion of the Outstanding Universal Value of Niokolo Koba National Park. Hence, they recommend that the Reinforced monitoring mechanism could appropriately be applied to the property to help to ensure that the utmost is done to support the actions that are now essential to it retaining long-term conservation value. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also recommend that the State Party invites a mission to the property in 2010 to determine the extent to which the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is affected.  

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7A.11
Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) (N 153)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.11, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Expresses its serious concern about reports that poaching pressure is increasing in the property and is further eroding its Outstanding Universal Value;

4. Regrets that it has not been possible for the State Party to implement some of the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) within the agreed timeframe;

5. Also regrets that the State Party did not provide information on progress in addressing threats from illegal logging, spread of invasive species and associated drying of marshes, planned construction of a dam on the Gambia river, the planned transnational Tambacounda highway as well as its efforts to establish a public private partnership for the implementation of the corrected measures, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008);

6. Urges the State Party to increase efforts to urgently implement the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session as well as the other recommendations of the 2007 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to avoid the potential imminent loss of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Calls upon the State Party as well as the international donor community to increase their support for the management of the property and in particular the implementation of the corrective measures;

8. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value and a proposal for the desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

9. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to review the state of conservation of the property and to review the implementation of the corrective measures and timeframe;

10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the corrective measures and all other recommendations of the World Heritage Committee above mentioned in Paragraphs 5 and 6, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

11. Decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

33 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger

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-09/33.COM/7A, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add and WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Corr),

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

  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 33 COM 7A.20)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, (Decision 33 COM 7A.21)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 33 COM 7A.28)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 33 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 33 COM 7A.8)
  • Ecuador, Galápagos Islands (Decision 33 COM 7A.13)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 33 COM 7A.15)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.9)
  • India, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (Decision 33 COM 7A.12)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 33 COM 7A.16)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 33 COM 7A.17)
  • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 33 COM 7A.22)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 33 COM 7A.18)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 33 COM 7A.10)
  • Pakistan, Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Decision 33 COM 7A.23)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 33 COM 7A.29)
  • Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Decision 33 COM 7A.24)
  • Senegal, Niokolo Koba National Park (Decision 33 COM 7A.11)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 33 COM 7A.27)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 33 COM 7A.14)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 33 COM 7A.30)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 33 COM 7A.19 )
Draft Decision: 33 COM 7A.11

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.1, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Expresses its serious concern about reports that poaching pressure is increasing in the property and is further eroding its Outstanding Universal Value;

4. Regrets that it has not been possible for the State Party to implement the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007) within the agreed timeframe;

5. Also regrets that the State Party did not provide information on progress in addressing threats from illegal logging, spread of invasive species and associated drying of marshes, planned construction of a dam on the Gambia river, the planned transnational Tambacounda highway as well as its efforts to establish a public private partnership for its implementation, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008);

6. Urges the State Party to increase efforts to urgently implement the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session as well as the other recommendations of the 2007 joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to avoid the potential imminent loss of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Calls upon the State Party as well as the international donor community to increase their support for the management of the property and in particular the implementation of the corrective measures;

8. Reiterates its request the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and 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 34th session in 2010;

9. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to review the state of conservation of the property and to review the corrective measures and timeframe;

10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the corrective measures and all other recommendations of the World Heritage Committee above mentioned in Paragraphs 5 and 6, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

11. Decides to apply the Reinforced monitoring mechanism to the property;

12. Also decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Report year: 2009
Senegal
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Natural
Criteria: (x)
Danger List (dates): 2007-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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