1.         Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) (N 8)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1996-2006

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/8/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 140,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/8/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

1999: UNESCO/IUCN/Ramsar mission; 2000: IUCN/Ramsar mission; 2002: IUCN mission; June 2006: UNESCO/IUCN mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Adverse impacts of dam construction;

b) Inadequate water flows for maintaining biological system;

c) Inadequate management structure;

d) No management plan. 

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/8/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

A joint UNESCO/IUCN mission took place from 31 May to 2 June 2006. The results of the mission were presented orally to the 30th session of the Committee (Vilnius, 2006). The mission reported excellent progress in improving the State of Conservation of the property and in the implementation of the corrective measures. The significant increase in the direct inflow of water into the lake ecosystem had resulted in a reduction in the level of salinity and permitted a gradual restoration of the ecosystem. Whilst the increase in water inflow so far had been mainly the result of increased rainfall over the past 4 years, the State Party had recognized the need to provide Ichkeul with fresh water, recognizing it as a net water consumer. As a result, the Committee decided to remove the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The mission noted however that there was still a need to develop an integrated and autonomous and adequately funded management structure, and to finalize and adopt the management plan.

As requested by the Committee, the State Party organised in January 2007 a workshop to discuss the recommendations of the 2006 mission, in which UNESCO and IUCN participated. The workshop made the following recommendations:

a) Management structure:

(i) Create a management structure with decision-making powers;

(ii) Establish a Consultative Scientific Council with the goal of guiding the discussion on the structure of management;

(iii) These two elements should form an integral part of the Management and Operations Plan;

b) Water management:

(i) Integrate water management as a principal and fundamental element of the Management and Operations Plan (MOP);

(ii) Ensure the objectives of the MOP focus on the conservation measures by taking into account the Outstanding Universal Value of the site;

(iii) Ensure the careful use of water discharging from the Sidi Barrak Dam;

(iv) Ensure that measures are put in place to restore the ecological functioning of the Joumine Wadi inside the Park;

c) Scientific research and monitoring:

Collect and store scientific data and reports relating to Ichkeul in a central location to enable their analysis; in particular, for the census of winter waterfowl and for mountain birds;

Continue and complete monitoring, in particular relating to lake sedimentation;

d) Social aspects:

(i) Ensure that there are public campaigns to raise awareness of the values of the Park (above all with the inhabitants of the Park and its surroundings);

(ii) Facilitate the production of both accessible and scientific documents in Arabic.

 The State Party submitted on 31 January 2007 a report on the state of conservation of the property and on progress with regard to the completion of the corrective measures.

Despite having a year of below average rainfall, favourable conditions for the ecosystems were maintained, for the fourth consecutive year. This has had a positive impact on the wetland vegetation, resulting in a significant return of wintering migratory birds over 120,000. These results are presented in the Park’s 2005/2006 scientific report.

The State Party has reported the following progress in implementing the recommendations of the 2006 monitoring mission:

a) Management plan: a joint Tunisian-German research group is developing a participatory Operations and Management Plan for Ichkeul National Park. This plan was discussed during the January 2007 workshop;

b) The first results from the updated mathematical models for management and forecasting will be available in June 2007, and the models will be re-launched to be operational for the next annual hydrological cycle;

c) The population of the park has actively participated in the identification of pressures and proposed actions for the Community Development Plan;

d) Existing scientific monitoring activities continue to be carried out by the National Agency for the Protection of the Environment (ANPE);

e) Measures to strengthen institutional capacity for park managers and those involved in community development were carried out in 2005;

f) Research contracts have been signed with university departments and research institutions in order to improve the scientific and ecological knowledge of wildlife and vegetation in the park; and

g) A plan of action has been prepared to raise public awareness, which includes plans to produce educational materials, promote ecotourism, and establish five environmental clubs.

The State Party has yet to complete the establishment of the autonomous and permanent management structure, and the participatory management plan. Although the State Party reported that the wetland ecosystems were functioning and that migratory bird numbers have increased, there was no information on the volume of annual inflow achieved.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.13

Le Comité du patrimoine mondial,

1. Ayant examiné le document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Rappelant la décision 30 COM 7A.12, adoptée à sa 30e session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Note avec satisfaction que l'État partie a organisé avec succès l'atelier requis par le Comité à sa 30e session (Vilnius, 2006) pour discuter des recommandations de la mission de suivi de 2006 et qu'il a avancé dans la planification de la gestion des ressources;

4. Demande à l'État partie d'achever et de soumettre le plan de gestion du bien au Centre du patrimoine mondial et à l'UICN, ainsi que le rapport annuel de suivi scientifique, les informations sur le Comité de l'Agenda 21 et la création de l'organe de gestion permanent et autonome;

5. Demande aussi à l'État partie de soumettre au Centre du patrimoine mondial avant le 1er février 2008 un rapport actualisé sur la mise en œuvre des recommandations de la mission de suivi de 2006 et les recommandations de l'atelier de 2007, pour examen par le Comité du patrimoine mondial à sa 32e session en 2008.