Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves

Niger
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Civil unrest
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Human resources
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Political instability and civil strife (issue resolved)
  • Poverty
  • Management constraints (lack of human and logistical means)
  • Ostrich poaching and other species
  • Soil erosion
  • Demographic pressure
  • Livestock pressure
  • Pressure on forestry resources
  • Gold panning
  • Illegal activities (increase in poaching threats and timber harvesting)
  • Proliferation of the invasive exotic species (Prosopis juliflora)
  • Insecurity
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The region having recently suffered from military conflict and civil disturbance, the Government of Niger requested the Director-General of UNESCO to launch an appeal for the protection of the site

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 8 (from 1999-2019)
Total amount approved : 202,316 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 6 April 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/573/documents/ containing the following information:

  • The implementation of corrective measures continued, especially with regard to re-establishing the physical presence of management authorities, the protection and ecological monitoring of species of outstanding universal value (OUV), combating poaching and illegal extraction of natural resources for commercial purposes;
  • The strengthening of collaboration with local communities through the support of the valley chiefs has resulted in the organization of a workshop with relevant stakeholders to encourage their involvement in the management of the property;
  • The aesthetic values of the property have kept their character almost intact. Regular ecological monitoring missions have confirmed the presence of the dama gazelle, the dorcas gazelle and the Barbary sheep. However, the addax has not been seen on the property for more than 20 years and it is not excluded that this species is locally extinct in the property;
  • Patrols have controlled gold mining within the property. On the other hand, evidence of poaching of dorcas gazelle, Barbary sheep and Nubian bustards was recorded as well as illegal logging. No offenders were apprehended;
  • The international assistance request (IA 2019-3083) for the elaboration of a Management and Development Plan (MDP), an emergency monitoring plan and a desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) will be implemented in 2020. In addition, a strategy to combat Invasive Alien Species (IAS), in particular Prosopis juliflora, will be developed with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC);
  • The State Party has not granted any mining exploration or exploitation permits within or in the immediate vicinity of the property. However, uranium, oil and gold exploration and exploitation permits have been granted between 100 and 400 km from the property. These permits are subject to regulatory procedures and regular monitoring of the operations by the competent authorities within the framework of the implementation of Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMP).

On 6 April 2020, the State Party submitted to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for the Kafra Block (2017), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) International (Niger) Limited (2015), and GoviEx Niger Holdings Limited (2015) oil exploration projects.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The State Party continues its important efforts to operationalize the management body for the property and to strengthen collaboration with local authorities through the involvement of valley chiefs with the aim of improving monitoring and raising community awareness of the protection of the property.

However, it is worrying that poaching, gold mining and illegal logging continue to threaten the property. Although regular patrols have been undertaken, no detailed information on patrolling efforts, area covered, extent and location of these pressures has been provided despite the Committee's request.

Furthermore, the proliferation of Prosopis juliflora remains a major preoccupation and the development of a strategy for IAS in consultation with IUCN should be urgently initiated to ensure that it is included in the Development and Management Plan (DMP) of the property being elaborated.

The elaboration process by the State Party of the DMP, the emergency monitoring plan and the finalization of the DSOCR are noted and it is recommended that the Committee should request the State Party to urgently finalize the various management documents and the DSOCR in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN. In this regard, the World Heritage Centre, through financing from the Government of Norway, will contribute to the efforts of the State Party with a view to operationalizing the DMP and finalizing the DSOCR.

Re-confirmation of the presence of some iconic antelope species is noted, however their conservation status remains unknown. The lack of sightings of several iconic species that are characteristic of the OUV, in particular the addax which appears to be locally extinct in the property, remains of great concern. Noting that some species remain Critically Endangered, for example the dama gazelle for which the property contains one of the four remaining populations, the State Party should be encouraged to develop a monitoring and recovery plan for the iconic antelope species in consultation with the IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group.

The confirmation that no exploration or mining permits located within or in the immediate vicinity of the property have been granted and that the uranium, oil and gold exploration and exploitation permits are located between 100 and 400 km from the property has been noted. However, although ESIAs have been submitted for three proposed projects, the current status of these projects is unclear and no information has been provided regarding the existing exploration and exploitation permits, in accordance with the Committee’s previous requests. It is recommended that the Committee should request the State Party to provide a clear overview of all the exploration and exploitation permits in and around the property, including location maps; to carry out an assessment of the individual and cumulative impacts of these projects on the OUV of the property; and to ensure that the ESIAs of the exploitation projects be carried out in accordance with the IUCN Advice Note and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for examination, before any approval. Consideration should be given to potential wider indirect and cumulative impacts on the OUV of the property, e.g. habitat fragmentation due to the ecological link between the property and permit areas, the risk of increased poaching with the influx of personnel and the creation of access roads.

Lastly, it is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.48
Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.14, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Pary to implement corrective measures but considers that additional progress is needed in view of the extent of the threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the launch of the process to establish a Development and Management Plan (DMP), an emergency monitoring plan, and an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) strategy in consultation with IUCN and requests the State Party to finalize the various management documents and implement them urgently;
  5. Reiterates its request that the State Party develop a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and again encourages the State Party to seek advice from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in this regard;
  6. Thanks the donors who continue to support the conservation of the property, notably the Government of Norway through its contribution to the World Heritage Fund;
  7. Reiterates its deepest concern that some of the characteristic species of the OUV are reported to be threatened, endangered or locally extinct, in particular the addax, and urges the State Party to develop a monitoring and recovery plan for the iconic antelope species in consultation with the Antelope Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC);
  8. Notes the confirmation that no exploration or mining permits are located within or in the immediate vicinity of the property, and that permits granted for uranium, oil and gold are located between 100 and 400 km from the property and are subject to regulatory procedures, however, also recalling its concern about the increase in uranium, oil and gold exploration and mining permits in the vicinity of the property, as well as the continuation of illegal gold mining, also requests the State Party to:
    1. Provide a clear overview of the concessions around the property (location maps, concessions, permit details),
    2. Ensure that the impacts of development projects on the OUV of the property are assessed through Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: Environmental Assessment,
    3. Submit these ESIAs to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN before any approval of decision,
    4. Not grant any new oil and mining exploration or exploitation permits in the vicinity of the property without a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the impacts on the OUV of the property, including the cumulative effects of such projects, in accordance with the IUCN Advice Note;
  9. Regrets once again that the report submitted by the State Party does not provide detailed information on poaching, gold mining and logging in and around the property, and on actions implemented to counter these threats, and also reiterates its request that the State Party submit maps showing the location of the main threats identified, together with indications of their severity and extent;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session;
  11. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.49

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.14, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Pary to implement corrective measures but considers that additional progress is needed in view of the extent of the threats to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the launch of the process to establish a Development and Management Plan (DMP), an emergency monitoring plan, and an Invasive Alien Species (IAS) strategy in consultation with IUCN and requests the State Party to finalize the various management documents and implement them urgently;
  5. Reiterates its request that the State Party develop a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and again encourages the State Party to seek advice from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in this regard;
  6. Thanks the donors who continue to support the conservation of the property, notably the Government of Norway through its contribution to the World Heritage Fund;
  7. Reiterates its deepest concern that some of the characteristic species of the OUV are reported to be threatened, endangered or locally extinct, in particular the addax, and urges the State Party to develop a monitoring and recovery plan for the iconic antelope species in consultation with the Antelope Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC);
  8. Notes the confirmation that no exploration or mining permits are located within or in the immediate vicinity of the property, and that permits granted for uranium, oil and gold are located between 100 and 400 km from the property and are subject to regulatory procedures, however, also recalling its concern about the increase in uranium, oil and gold exploration and mining permits in the vicinity of the property, as well as the continuation of illegal gold mining, also requests the State Party to:
    1. Provide a clear overview of the concessions around the property (location maps, concessions, permit details),
    2. Ensure that the impacts of development projects on the OUV of the property are assessed through Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: Environmental Assessment,
    3. Submit these ESIAs to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN before any approval of decision,
    4. Not grant any new oil and mining exploration or exploitation permits in the vicinity of the property without a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the impacts on the OUV of the property, including the cumulative effects of such projects, in accordance with the IUCN Advice Note;
  9. Regrets once again that the report submitted by the State Party does not provide detailed information on poaching, gold mining and logging in and around the property, and on actions implemented to counter these threats, and also reiterates its request that the State Party submit maps showing the location of the main threats identified, together with indications of their severity and extent;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2022;
  11. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
Niger
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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.