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World Heritage Convention

Decision 39 COM 7B.11
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) (N 338)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.65, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party, particularly to secure the property and to address civil strife in the area, such as the establishment of a high-level security committee, engagement with local communities, and increased patrolling, including the introduction of SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) patrolling, and notes with appreciation that these actions appear to have resulted in a decrease of poaching in 2014;
  4. Notes with concern the report by the IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group indicating a high risk of local extinction of rhino within 30 years if poaching is not eradicated, and encourages the State Party to continue increasing its efforts to combat poaching in order to secure the property and its recovering Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), in particular the reintroduced rhino and eastern swamp deer populations, including by:
    1. Increasing the number of frontline staff at the property,
    2. Taking appropriate actions to boost forest staff morale, and
    3. Ensuring adequate equipment of forest staff to protect the property from heavily armed poachers and insurgent groups;
  5. Requests the State Party to confirm the successful implementation of proposed short-term actions to address the encroachment at Bhuyanpara Range, and to report on progress achieved in reversing current and preventing further encroachment through the implementation of long-term measures to meet the needs of local communities and garner their support for the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party to undertake a detailed study on the use of fire as a tool for grassland management, in order to ensure that its application does not result in the further spread of some invasive species, and to allocate adequate funding to control the long-standing threat of invasive species in the property;
  7. Also notes with concern that despite the successful operation of the Manas Tiger Conservation Foundation the property remains inadequately funded, as demonstrated by the slow release of funds by the State Government reported by the State Party, and strongly urges the State Party to ensure that adequate funding is available to the property in a timely manner, as this is crucial to the implementation of the abovementioned actions and to significantly address the threats to the property;
  8. Reiterates its request to the State Party of Bhutan to submit a copy of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Mangdechhu hydro-electric project, as per Decisions 36 COM 7B.10 and 38 COM 7B.65, including an assessment of potential impacts on the property’s OUV and cumulative impacts in relation to the existing Kurichu dam, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage advice note on Environmental Assessment;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017.
Decision Code
39 COM 7B.11
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2015 Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015)
Context of Decision