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Toward removing Niokolo-Koba National Park from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Geographical focus

Created in 1954, the park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981 under criterion (x) for its rich fauna, its unique ecosystems, and its remarkable diversity of wildlife. However, in 2007, various ecosystem disturbances led to its inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

In order to respond to these disruptions, new park agents were recruited, but the latter require training in the use of recent ecological monitoring tools. In addition, the lack of statistically reliable data on some emblematic species and the absence of hydraulic infrastructures at a number of guard posts represent important issues to address in order to ensure the implementation of the recommended corrective measures.

This project is part of the efforts made by the State of Senegal, with the support of UNESCO and its partners, to carry out activities that contribute to the removal of the Niokolo-Koba National Park from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.


The overall objective of this project will therefore be to support the Implementation of the DSOCR and update the ecological monitoring system in order to restore the Niokolo-Koba National Park to a better state of conservation. This will be done by strengthening the capacities of the agents in terms of wildlife monitoring, strengthening the ecological monitoring programme of emblematic species, by contributing to the restoration of the ecological functions of several ponds, and supplying water to the guard posts.


  • Round table consultation of technical and financial partners organized in November 2021 in Dakar
  • Roadmap of urgent actions to be undertaken in accordance with the corrective measures and the DSOCR for the removal of the site from the list of World Heritage in danger to be finalized by the end of 2024

Sustainable development goals (SDGs) addressed by the project: 11.4 and 15.1 



State Party (Direction de Parcs Nationaux) and a technical partner [to be identified]

This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of
the Norwegian government.

World Heritage Properties 1
States parties 1
Geographical focus
Date Start: Thursday, 15 April 2021
Date end: Saturday, 15 April 2023
Decisions / Resolutions (1)
Code: 43COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.55, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for the efforts undertaken in the implementation of the corrective measures, in particular the updating of the General Management Plan of the property and its periphery, the combat against invasive species and the operationalisation of the ecological monitoring system, and requests the State Party to continue its efforts;
  4. Takes note that the results of the inventory and the ecological monitoring indicate an increase in the population of some flagship species, while showing the vulnerability of other species like the elephant, the lycaon, and the hartebeest and considers that this monitoring should continue for a longer period, and also requests the State Party to implement the recommendations of the inventory; notably the establishment of an emergency programme for the lycaon, a conservation programme for the Derby eland and a monitoring programme for the hartebeest ;
  5. Welcomes all the development, education, information and awareness-raising activities initiated by the State Party and its partners enabling an improved involvement of communities in the management of the property;
  6. Expresses its keen concern regarding the reports on mining extraction in the south-east part of the property, further requests that all mining exploitation in the property be immediately suspended, and reiterates its position concerning mining exploration or exploitation which is incompatible with World Heritage status, policy supported by the position statement of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) not to undertake such activities in World Heritage properties;
  7. Regrets that the State Party has not provided any information concerning the possible granting of a mining license to the Barrick Gold Society in the vicinity of the property, and requests furthermore the State Party to ensure that the impacts of this project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property be evaluated in the framework of an in-depth Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), in conformity with the IUCN Advice Note on World Heritage and environmental assessment, and to submit, without delay, a copy to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  8. Recalls its high concern with regard to the impacts of the Petewil Mining Company mining project on the quality and regime of the waterways as well as on the chimpanzee population and their habitat, and requests moreover the State Party to:
    1. Continue the regular monitoring of the quantity and quality of the surface water, waste water and groundwater above and below the Mako mining project,
    2. Provide detailed data on the monitoring of chimpanzees and their habitat, to enable an evaluation on the actual impacts of the project and the proposed mitigation measures to ensure the conservation of this species,
    3. Carry out microbiological analyses of the waterways likely to be affected by the project and submit the results to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  9. Also regrets that the information provided on the inter-connectivity water project of the Gambia River and the ponds located in the property do not enable the evaluation of the potential impacts of the Sambangalou dam project on the OUV of the property and reiterates its request to the State Party that this project be subject to a detailed ESIA in conformity with the IUCN Advice Note and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on the progress of the project;
  10. Further regrets the report on the closure of the quarry at Mansadala due to public works and requests in addition the State Party to proceed immediately with its closure given its negative impact on the OUV of the property;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  12. Decides to retain Niokolo-Koba National Park (Senegal) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Read more about the decision