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Comoé National Park

Côte d'Ivoire
Factors affecting the property in 2008*
  • Civil unrest
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Conflict and political instability;

b) Lack of management control and access;

c) Poaching;

d) Encroachment: human occupation and agricultural pressure;

e) Bush fires.

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Potential impacts of civil unrest;
  • Decrease of large mammal populations due to increased and uncontrolled poaching;
  • Lack of effective management mechanisms.
Corrective Measures for the property

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:

  • 2007: Preparatory work and developing contacts for technical and financial support, as well as implementation of emergency measures linked in particular to surveillance of the property;
  • 2008-2009: Preparation of a management plan and implementation of priority activities;
  • 2009-2011: Implementation and monitoring of activities under the management plan. 
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2008

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2008
Requests approved: 3 (from 1988-1999)
Total amount approved : 97,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2008**

2006: joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

A report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted the State Party on 12 March 2008. The report notes that since the peace agreement of Ouagadougou, the political situation in the country has improved substantially: the division of the country in several zones of influence has been terminated, local authorities have been put back in place and all military forces have been reunited in a mixed army brigade. The security situation in the park has also improved.

The report further mentions progress on surveillance activities, development of partnerships to help restore management control of the entire property and fund-raising, development of the management plan, and the decommissioning of the military base at Nassian. Despite this progress, poaching remains a severe threat together with the lack of an effective management system. The identified corrective measures have yet to be fully implemented. No ecological data on the status of the values of the property were provided.

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

a) Establish an effective system of control and patrolling for the whole property

Fifteen park agents are currently deployed in the two sectors now accessible in the south and east of the property. The aim is to increase this number to 45 agents by June 2008 once a new director is in place and when access to at least three of the five park sectors is secured.

b) Develop and initiate the implementation of a management plan

A management plan for the property is reported to be under development but no time frame is provided for its completion. The zoning, management units and management functions will be defined during a workshop with all stakeholders.

To help address issues of encroachment and poaching, community outreach activities are underway in the region neighbouring the property, including pilot projects in animal husbandry, agriculture and agro-forestry, in cooperation with the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme. The local radio station is being used to promote these activities and raise awareness. IUCN and the World Heritage Centre note that it is crucial to involve the local communities in management of the property to enhance its governance.

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

The State Party has established a partnership agreement through the MAB Programme, with the national protected area authority (OIPR), the national programme for disarmament, and the Centre for Ecological Research (CRE), with the objective to restore control of the entire property during 2008. The partnership also aims to secure funding from the World Bank towards establishing effective management over the next four years and is seeking appropriate cofinancing.

The State Party further notes that poaching continues to represent the primary threat to the integrity of the property. However, surveillance and control of poaching are improving, with 120 days of patrolling conducted within the property leading to the identification of a commercial poaching network, several poaching tracks and seizure of poached game from traders. However, patrolling is hampered  due to lack of resources for staffing and transport. Awareness-raising with local communities through the local radio has resulted in the abandonment of poaching tracks in the southern and eastern sectors of the property. A strategy to combat poaching and wild meat trafficking has been produced, but it has not been provided for review to the World Heritage Centre.

The 2006 reactive monitoring mission noted that due to local community population growth and their pressure for additional food production, some land within the property had been given to villagers in the Gorowi area for low-intensity agricultural use. However, the State Party report states that there is no human presence in the property.

The State Party is also working with two local NGOs and about twenty villages to help with fire management activities within the property and the wider biosphere reserve that surrounds it. However, no details on fire outbreaks and impacts were provided.

No progress was reported in a range of areas including research on resource use and conflict, re-establishing the research station, ecological research, and on establishing an ecological corridor with Burkina Faso and Ghana.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that, although some progress has been made towards implementing the corrective measures, much work is still required. With the improvement of security conditions, it seems crucial to increase funding to the property to fully resume management activities and expedite the implementation of the corrective measures and other recommendations of the 2006 mission. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2008
32 COM 7A.2
Comoé National Park (Côte d’Ivoire) (N 227)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

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

3. Welcomes the improvement of the security situation in the property which could allow the management authority to regain control over the entire property in the near future;

4. Notes that some progress was made in the implementation of the corrective measures, in particular with regard to community outreach activities and reinforcing anti-poaching patrols;

5. Regrets that no ecological data were provided to assess the conservation status of the property and help define the boundaries of the management zones;

6. Urges the State Party to increase its efforts to fully implement all the corrective measures and recommendations of the 2006 Reactive Monitoring mission within the timeframe set at the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee (Vilnius, 2006), in particular regarding the completion and implementation of the management plan;

7. Calls upon the international community to financially support the management and rehabilitation of the property;

8. Request sthe 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;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a detailed report by 1 February 2009 on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the corrective measures and other recommendations of the 2006 monitoring mission, including a copy of the draft management plan, an overview of current and projected budgets for the management of the property and information on available ecological data, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

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

Draft Decision: 32 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

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

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

3. Welcomes the improvement of the security situation in the property which could allow the management authority to regain control over the entire property in the near future;

4. Notes that some progress was made in the implementation of the corrective measures, in particular with regard to community outreach activities and reinforcing anti-poaching patrols;

5. Regrets that no ecological data were provided to assess the conservation status of the property and help define the boundaries of the management zones ;

6. Urges the State Party to increase its efforts to fully implement all the corrective measures and recommendations of the 2006 reactive monitoring mission within the timeframe set at the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee (Vilnius, 2006), in particular regarding the completion and implementation of the management plan;

7. Calls upon the international community to financially support the management and rehabilitation of the property;

8. Requests 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;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a detailed report by 1 February 2009 on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the corrective measures and other recommendations of the 2006 monitoring mission, including a copy of the draft management plan, an overview of current and projected budgets for the management of the property and information on available ecological data, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

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

 

Report year: 2008
Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Inscription: 1983
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2017
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 32COM (2008)
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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