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Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Niger
Factors affecting the property in 2012*
  • Civil unrest
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Poverty

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Political instability and civil strife;

b) Poverty;

c) Management constraints;

d) Ostrich poaching;

e) Soil erosion;

f) Demographic pressure;

g) Livestock pressure;

h) Pressure on forestry resources.

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

Political instability and civil strife 

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, See page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/325

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2012
Requests approved: 6 (from 1999-2002)
Total amount approved : 142,450 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

On 1 February 2012, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. The report underlined the efforts realized by the State Party in pursuing the actions developed earlier in response to the corrective measures adopted in the previous sessions. As it was in the report received in 2010, this report contained very little new information. Nevertheless, the report indicated a gradual improvement in security in the area and notes that the conservation unit continues to be supported by the Co-management Project for Resources of the Aïr and Ténéré (COGERAT).

a) Re-establish physical presence of the management authority in Iférouane and provide adequate resources to allow better control of natural resources use within the property

The State Party report does not provide any information concerning the re-establishment of a permanent presence at the Reserve base in Iférouane that, due to insecurity problems, has only been partially occupied these past years. However, the report informed that community surveillance brigades are now definitively installed and operational in the field, following the adoption by the ministerial decree of their status and regulations by the State Party. The report mentions the holding of regular meetings by the conservation unit as well as several missions of the regional and departmental forestry brigade. The State Party also emphasized the lack of human resources and material to cover the immensity of the area.

b) Establish Land Commissions (Commissions foncières) in the four Municipalities and clarify respective land-use and resources access rights for local residents

The State Party confirms in the report that the four land commissions of Tabelot, Timia, Iférouane and Gougaram are now all established. With support of the COGERAT project, the communal plans of sustainable management for natural resources and their funding mechanism are now validated. The report also recalls the establishment of an intercommunal structure for the management of natural resources (AIGRN) of the ATNR.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the State Party has carried out important work in setting up participatory structures to improve the management of the natural resources of the property. However, the report does not provide information concerning the impact and effectiveness of these structures, notably in the prevention and management of conflicts linked to the access and use of natural resources.

c) Improve monitoring and surveillance of the property in order to address poaching and illegal natural resource extraction

As indicated in point a) above, the State Party has carried out several surveillance missions during 2011. Seven missions were carried out by the forestry brigades and eleven other missions by the conservation unit of the COGERAT project. The report notes also that the Department of Arlit has been provided with a vehicle and two additional motorbikes for surveillance activities.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the first efforts carried out by the State Party, but note that the report provides no information concerning the concrete results of these surveillance missions reserve area covered and frequency, number of poachers apprehended, number of offenses recorded). Therefore, it is difficult to assess the degree of effectiveness of these actions, notably concerning the anti-poaching combat, one of the main threats to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, as well as the illegal timber harvesting. It is also difficult at this time to fully evaluate the work of the community brigades and the management bodies for natural resources such as the AIGRN due to the lack of detailed information concerning the results obtained by these latter.

d) Immediately halt all collection of timber and thatch from the property

In the report, the State Party mentions that an important awareness-raising effort has been made with regard to the use of mineral coal in urban centres and communities on the periphery of the property (without indicating which ones) with a total of 17.8 tons of coal used in 303 homes. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN warmly welcome this initiative but note that the report of the State Party gives no information enabling an evaluation of the true impact of these activities on the gathering of timber and thatch within the property, as already mentioned in 2010 and 2011.

e) Initiate soil and vegetation stabilization actions to control soil erosion, and measures to reduce destabilization of soils by motorized traffic

The report stipulates in a very brief manner that the actions of protection and sustainable management of the soil have been carried out over 695.5 ha. However, no precision has been given as to the actions taken to achieve this result nor the area within the property of these protected hectares. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN reiterate their observation made in the preceding reports that this area is rather small in comparison to the size of the property (7.7 million ha) and to the 55,000 ha of land to be restored by the COGERAT project, mentioned in previous State Party reports) and the 100,000 additional ha that the structures established by the communes (communal land commissions COFOCOM) are managing. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the action plans for a sustainable management of the natural resources of the property and for the restoration of the degraded soils have not yet been submitted, as requested by the Committee in its Decision 33 COM 7A.10.

f) Poverty alleviation

The State Party informs in its report that 600 tons of foodstuffs were distributed by 47 cereal banks with the aim to alleviate poverty during the lean seasons, between the lack of food reserves available and the use of early harvests. This would notably reduced the pressure of neighbouring populations on the natural resources.

g) Oil and mineral exploitation

In its Decision 35COM 7A.11, the World Heritage Committee had requested the State Party to clarify the status and location of an oil concession that might be within the property. The State Party report contained no information on this subject.

h) Population numbers of the Saharan wildlife

The State Party confirms that the addax is no longer present in the ATNR and that the majority of its population is now found in the Termit massif area, in the Tin Toumma Desert and the Erg de Bilma. Furthermore, the State Party report mentions the return, through awareness efforts, of the Dorcas gazelle and the Barbary sheep in the ATNR, without providing concrete data on the localization of these species or the numbers observed. The report also notes that a reintroduction strategy needs to be developed for the addax, oryx and the cheetah.

The World Heritage Centre notes the worrying state of the wildlife population that justified the inscription of the property under criterion (x), with the disappearance of the oryx, red necked ostrich and the addax from the property. The Dama gazelle, once well represented in the Aïr mountains has today almost disappeared according to information received by IUCN, as well as the cheetah. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN reiterate that it is primordial that the State Party carry out inventories applying the survey methods recommended by the IUCN Species Survival Commission, providing reliable data in order to have information on the status of the large fauna within the property.

During this inventory, it is important that the state of conservation of the habitats as well as the anthropogenic activities likely to have an impact of the fauna and the habitats can be jointly assessed. The State Party flags the need of support to carry out this work. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the State Party has resubmitted a request for International Assistance for this project. This request is currently being revised by the State Party in collaboration with the IUCN Species Survival Commission. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2012

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the Committee recognize the efforts carried out by the State Party through the activities of the COGERAT project for the implementation of the corrective measures. It also notes the insecurity conditions that occurred during the last rebellion of 2006 to 2009 and the present residual insecurity is translated by armed banditism and risks linked to the presence of mines, rendering difficult this implementation and opening the way to important poaching activities that have gradually eroded the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, seriously threatening the integrity of the ATNR and the loss of its Outstanding Universal Value. Welcoming the improvement in the security situation, reported by the State Party, they recommend that the Committee show concern regarding the insecurity situation that could once again worsen following the political instability that reigns in the bordering countries (Libya and Mali) generating an important movement of populations and materials these last months.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the lack of concrete information in the State Party report in response to the Committee decisions, which prevents carrying out a pertinent evaluation of the efforts made vis-à-vis the corrective measures identified by the IUCN monitoring mission in 2005.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN reiterate the importance, as soon as security conditions within the property permit, to carry out an inventory according to a well-established sample plan based on the effectives of fauna, the state of habitats and the anthropogenic activities within the Reserve to enable a pertinent assessment of its Outstanding Universal Value and the state of conservation of the property and the threats that concern it. They recommend finally that the Committee encourage the State Party to submit as soon as possible the request for International Assistance in this respect, after revision and with the support of the IUCN Species Survival Committee; and they recall its earlier decisions according to which a reactive monitoring mission should be organized once the inventory has been completed.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2012
36 COM 7A.11
Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

The World Heritage Committee, 

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.11, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Regrets the absence of  precise information in the reports submitted by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures and their impact, in response to the decisions of the Committee;

4.   Reiterates its deep concern concerning the deterioration of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property based on reports received indicating that several species of antelope and other large mammals have disappeared from the property, or are on the point of disappearing, following important poaching activities within and around the property due to the insecurity situation;

5.   Reiterates its request to the State Party to clarify the information concerning the existence of an oil concession in the property, and recalls that the Committee adopted several years ago a clear position regarding the issue of mining and oil exploitation and exploration within inscribed properties, judging these activities incompatible with the World Heritage status;

6.   Also reiterates its request to the State Party to organize, before the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee (in June-July 2013), and in cooperation with the IUCN Species Survival Commission, an inventory of the remaining large fauna, in order to assess the state of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and prepare rehabilitation programmes and re-establishment of the populations;

7.   Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, as soon as the inventory is available to update the corrective measures and establish a timetable for their implementation and develop the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

8.   Strongly urges the State Party to continue and reinforce its efforts to fully implement all the corrective measures, and in particular the anti-poaching measures, as well as the other recommendations proposed by the 2005 monitoring mission and invites the international community to increase its support to the property;

9.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, and in particular on the implementation of corrective measures and their impact on the restoration of integrity of the property, the inventory of fauna, an update on security in the property, and the existence of an oil concession likely to affect the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

10.  Decides to retain the Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

36 COM 8C.2
Establishment of the World Heritage List in Danger (Maintained Properties)

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-12/36.COM/7A and WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add),

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

    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 36 COM 7A.25)
    • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 36 COM 7A.26)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 36 COM 7A.15)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.1)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 36 COM 7A.33)
    • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.16)
    • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.2)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 36 COM 7A.3)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.4)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.5)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Rep. of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 36 COM 7A.8)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 36 COM 7A.20)
    • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.9)
    • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 36 COM 7A.30)
    • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 36 COM 7A.31)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 36 COM 7A.17)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 36 COM 7A.13)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 36 COM 7A.21)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 36 COM 7A.22)
    • Islamic Republic of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Decision 36 COM 7A.27)
    • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 36 COM 7A.23.I)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 36 COM 7A.10)
    • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 36 COM 7A.11)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 36 COM 7A.34)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.12)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 36 COM 7A.32)
    • United Rep. of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 36 COM 7A.19)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 36 COM 7A.18)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 36 COM 7A.14)
    • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 36 COM 7A.35)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 36 COM 7A.24)
Draft Decision: 36 COM 7A.11

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.11, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Regrets the absence of precise information in the reports submitted by the State Party on the implementation of the corrective measures and their impact, in response to the decisions of the Committee;

4. Reiterates its deep concern concerning the deterioration of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property based on reports received indicating that several species of antelope and other large mammals have disappeared from the property, or are on the point of disappearing, following important poaching activities within and around the property due to the insecurity situation;

5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to clarify the information concerning the existence of an oil concession in the property, and recalls that the Committee adopted several years ago a clear position regarding the issue of mining and oil exploitation and exploration within inscribed properties, judging these activities incompatible with the World Heritage status;

6. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to organize, before the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee (in June-July 2013), and in cooperation with the IUCN Species Survival Commission, an inventory of the remaining large fauna, in order to assess the state of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and prepare rehabilitation programmes and re-establishment of the populations;

7. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, as soon as the inventory is available to update the corrective measures and establish a timetable for their implementation and develop the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

8. Strongly urges the State Party to continue and reinforce its efforts to fully implement all the corrective measures, and in particular the anti-poaching measures, as well as the other recommendations proposed by the 2005 monitoring mission and invites the international community to increase its support to the property;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, and in particular on the implementation of corrective measures and their impact on the restoration of integrity of the property, the inventory of fauna, an update on security in the property, and the existence of an oil concession likely to affect the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

10. Decides to retain the Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2012
Niger
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 36COM (2012)
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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