1.         Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1997-present

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

Corrective measures identified

No corrective measures were adopted by the World Heritage Committee. However, the 2001 World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission did propose an emergency rehabilitation plan. Main components of this plan were:

a) Zoning of the park, materialization of its limits;

b) Development of a management plan;

c) Inventory of wildlife in the park together with a cartography of major habitats;

d) Management actions to conserve biodiversity and protect fragile ecosystems;

e) Development of a cooperation mechanism with all stakeholders, in particular local communities, government services, projects and hunting concessionaires;

f) Strengthening law enforcement in the property. 

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2007)
Total amount approved: USD 200,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

2001: World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Insecurity;

b) Poaching;

c) Mining;

d) Transhumance and illegal grazing;

e) Illegal fishing;

f) Lack of resources.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

The State Party submitted a report, dated 20 June 2007, on the state of conservation of the property. In addition, the World Heritage Centre received a letter dated 27 February 2008, in which the State Party notes that the activities under phase IV of the European Union (EU) - funded Ecosystèmes Forestiers d’Afrique Centrale programme (ECOFAC) have now started, but which does not provide additional information on the situation in the property.

The continued insecurity again did not allow for the organisation of the World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission, which has been requested by the World Heritage Committee since its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004). Missions planned for 2006, 2007 and 2008 were postponed due to insecurity.

The data provided by the State Party report clearly indicate the seriousness of the situation. Already the 2005 wildlife inventory documented the rapidly dwindling wildlife resources in the property and the rest of northern Central African Republic (CAR). The further degradation of the security situation since, resulting in further increasing poaching pressures makes it highly likely that the values of the property may have been further eroded.

In its report of June 2007, the State Party emphasized the difficulty it experienced in controlling poaching between phase III (2005) and IV of the ECOFAC programme, as a result of lack of funding. The State Party notes that in this period, it has tried to continue to ensure basic patrolling activities, mobilising important funding from the Government Forest Fund and the World Heritage Fund. However, activities have been seriously hampered by the continued instability and insecurity.

The continued tensions in the region are a result of the close proximity of the property to two major conflict zones: south-eastern Chad, and the Darfur region of Sudan. These conflicts and the associated displaced peoples cross the international borders with the CAR have introduced arms into the region, facilitating and encouraging poaching. The situation worsened further with the outbreak in 2006 of a rebellion in the north east of CAR, which led to the pillage of Gordil patrol base at the northern border of the property and progressively affected the entire property. The instability led to the suspension of anti-poaching patrols and other enforcement activities.

While the State Party has been able to conduct limited patrols in the south-eastern sector of the park to control the movement of cattle from southern Chad and reduce illegal fishing, poaching of other wildlife is widespread in particular in the northern section of the property. In addition, the hunting reserves to the south of the park which were not affected by the rebellion are reported to have been invaded by around 200 poachers coming from Sudan. An important concentration of elephants displaced by the conflict in the northern section of the property was found in these hunting zones but according to the professional hunters operating in the area, heavily armed poachers from Sudan killed at least 200 elephants. The 2005 survey estimated the remaining elephant population in northern CAR at merely 500 animals. No additional information on the status of wildlife and other values for which the property was inscribed were provided.

The recent start of the IV phase of the ECOFAC programme provides some hope that the situation might improve in the near future. However, without an improvement in the security situation, it seems doubtful that poaching in and around the property can be brought under control. The World Heritage Centre was informed by the State Party that ECOFAC is for the moment re-starting its activities in the hunting areas to the south of the property, but that the north of the property remains inaccessible due to the insecurity. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that until a mission can take place it is unclear if the loss of integrity of the property has caused a permanent loss of its outstanding universal value and also whether rehabilitation is still possible if poaching can be stopped.

With no clear perspectives on an improvement in the security situation any time soon, it seems unlikely that the requested monitoring mission can be organised in the near future.

In the meantime it is proposed that a mission be conducted to meet the State Party, staff of the ECOFAC programme and other stakeholders outside the property in a more secure location, such as Bangui, to discuss the situation in the property and to identify preliminary corrective measures necessary to avoid the loss of the outstanding universal value of the property. Potential donors should also be invited to this meeting. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7A.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7A,

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

3. Expresses its utmost concern about the security situation in northern Central African Republic and its impact on the property, in particular the continued large scale poaching of wildlife, which could soon lead to the loss of the Outstanding Universal Value for which the property was inscribed on the World Heritage List;

4. Requests the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee to contact the authorities of the Central African Republic to discuss conservation issues facing the property and necessary management measures;

5. Regrets that the planned joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission had to be postponed again due to the insecurity;

6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, as soon as the security situation allows, to assess the impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and the potential for its rehabilitation and to develop an emergency action plan for the property, including the corrective measures, with all concerned stakeholders;

7. Encourages the State Party, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, IUCN, the ECOFAC programme and other relevant stakeholders, to hold a workshop to discuss a strategy to improve the protection of the values of the property prior to the mission, with funding from the World Heritage Fund;

8. Urges the State Party to take all measures possible to halt poaching in the property and, in collaboration with the States Parties of Chad and Sudan, to consider developing transboundary cooperation to address this issue;

9. Also calls upon the international community to further support urgent conservation measures to prevent the property from losing its Outstanding Universal Value;

10. Also reiterates its request to the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop 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 33rd session in 2009;

11. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by             1 February 2009, a report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

12. Decides to retain Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.