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World Heritage Convention

Decision 31 COM 7B.1
State of conservation of World Heritage Properties - Niokolo-Koba National Park

The World Heritage Committee,

1.Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.1, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.Notes with utmost concern the degradation of the property and the imminent threats to its Outstanding Universal Value, in particular the critically low mammal populations, the ongoing management problems and the impacts of the proposed construction of a new dam on the Gambia river a few kilometres upstream of the park;

4.Welcomes the initiative by the State Party and the African Parks Foundation to start discussions on an innovate public-private partnership for the conservation of the property;

5.Urges the State Party to develop and start the implementation of an emergency action plan to address urgent threats to the outstanding universal value and integrity of the property. The action plan developed recently by the African Parks Foundation is an excellent basis for this plan;

6.Further urges the State Party to implement within the next 12 months the following urgent corrective actions:

     a)Implement urgent steps to halt poaching, using the Department of National Park's aircraft for surveillance, with ground support provided by a mobile ‘strike force';

     b)Provide urgent training to the newly-recruited staff in the park, focussing on park security procedures and general ‘orientation' to integrated management approaches;

     c)Survey and demarcate the park boundary;

     d)Explore the possibility of creating boreholes outside the Park to minimize illegal movements of livestock and local population inside the Park in search of water;

     e)Introduce a long-term moratorium on the hunting of giant eland, and also a hunting quota system in buffer areas surrounding the park based on reliable animal census statistics;

     f)Modify the park ecological monitoring programme to focus on a limited number of indicators and benchmarks which can be measured in a cost effective manner;

7.Also requests the State Party to implement the following additional urgent measures:

     a)Prioritise conservation of the property in national policy, planning and budgets, and take pro-active measures to solicit donor support for managementof the property;

     b)Develop Species Survival Plans for Giant Eland, Elephant, Hartebeest and Chimpanzee and other threatened species in close collaboration with international experts, including the relevant parts of the IUCN Species Survival Commission;

     c)Enhance trans-boundary co-operation, and measures to protect buffer zones and ecological corridor areas outside the park;

     d)Revise the 2000 Management Plan, and begin implementation of the revised plan.

8.Further urges the State Party to reconsider its plans to build a new dam on the Gambia river at Mako, and to explore other alternatives, as it could alter the hydrological regime in the property and lead to the loss of its Outstanding Universal Value;

9.Encourages the State Party to urgently submit an international assistance request to address some of the above corrective actions;

10.Calls on international donors to provide funding for the implementation of the emergency action plan currently being developed by the State party and the African Parks Foundation;

11.Further requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 a report on the state of conservation of the property, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, a draft statement of desired state of conservation, progress in implementing the emergency action plan and the corrective measures mentioned above, together with information on the current status of the proposed dam on the Gambia river as well as any potential mining activities in the region, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;

12.Decides to inscribe Niokolo Koba National Park (Senegal) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

13.Further notes that any further significant wildlife extinctions from the property, as well as the construction of the Mako dam without adequate provisions to mitigate its impact on the flooding regime and the hydrological cycles in the park could result in the loss of its Outstanding Universal Value and could lead to a deletion of the property from the World Heritage List.

Decision Code
31 COM 7B.1
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2007 Niokolo-Koba National Park
Decisions adopted at the 31st Session of the World Heritage Committee (Christchurch, 2007)
Context of Decision