Initiative to support the sustainable management of W-Arly-Pendjari Complex: Niger hosts the first national consultation in Bangoula
In response to the deteriorating security situation at the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex World Heritage property, the States Parties of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger have agreed to strengthen their cooperation to improve the management and protection of the property through a "Support Initiative for the Sustainable Management of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex". Financed by the Government of Norway's generous contribution to the World Heritage Fund, this initiative supports existing initiatives and provides for inclusive national and regional consultations in the three countries in collaboration with key partners in securing and conserving the property.
In this context, the State Party of Niger hosted the first national consultation in Bangoula from 30 May to 1 June 2023. It brought together approximately thirty participants, including local authorities, prefects, canton chiefs, mayors and representatives of various Ministries, in particular the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Desertification, the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, Regional Planning, Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Agriculture, as well as representatives of the Niger National Commission for UNESCO, civil society, transhumant communities, NGOs such as Wild Africa Conservation (WAC), IUCN, the World Heritage Centre, etc...
This consultation was facilitated by a team of two experts (international and regional), and saw the active and strong involvement of stakeholders and representatives of various administrations and institutions. At the end of the three days of workshops and intensive group work, proposals for action were made in relation to three main pillars (prevention - combating - support) for securing the property and preserving its Outstanding Universal Value, and these proposals will be consolidated and translated by the team of experts in the form of a draft National Action Plan for the Niger component of the property.
Two key recommendations also emerged at the end of the discussions: (i) to speed up the process of signing the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Desertification and the Ministry of National Defence, and (ii) to encourage the finalisation of the ongoing process of setting up and running the Executive Secretariat of the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex.