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Environmental & Socio-economic Studies DOI: 10.2478/environ-2022-0018 Environ. Socio.-econ. Stud., 2022, 10, 3: 67-84 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Review article Renata Dulias Institute of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Będzińska 60 Str. 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland E–mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6149-8522 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A B S T R A C T The article presents anthropogenic and natural factors influencing African World Heritage sites. The analysis was based on the data contained in the Conservation Outlook Assessments for 2020, including all sites on the African continent where natural values are protected, i.e., both natural (38) and mixed sites – natural and cultural (6). The assessment of current and potential threats and effectiveness of protection and management included 57 items, each of which was analyzed concerning all African properties. The results show that the African World Heritage sites are subject to various pressures from human activity and natural factors. The most common current threat is hunting and trapping, found in 33 sites. The spread of invasive (alien) species in 21 areas is second. Common threats (reported in 15-17 sites) include livestock farming and grazing, logging and wood collecting, fires, tourism, mining, and crops. The most frequently mentioned potential threats are mining, oil/gas exploration, construction of dams, and various effects of climate change – droughts, flooding, temperature extremes, and habitat shifting. The effectiveness of protection and management is not satisfactory. There are serious concerns related to law enforcement, sustainable finance, staff capacity, training, and development. Some concerns are directed to monitoring, tourism and visitation management, boundaries, and effectiveness of the management system. Results of a review show that, of all natural and mixed World Heritage sites in Africa for three areas, the conservation outl ook is assessed as good, 15 – good with some concerns, 14 – significant concerns, and 12 – critical. In 2020, as many as 11 "in danger" sites were listed in Africa. At that time, there were 17 sites around the World in danger, i.e. as many as 70% of them were in Africa. KEY WORDS: World Heritage, human impact, threats, management, nature protection, Africa ARTICLE HISTORY: received 29 December 2021; received in revised form 12 June 2022; accepted 1 August 2022 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. Introduction on a global scale. These sites must conform to the authenticity and integrity requirements set out in Sites distinguished by ‘Outstanding Universal the Operational Guidelines. The first 12 places were Value’ (OUV) constitute the common good of entered on the list in 1978. Currently (2022), humanity and are successively entered on the World there are 1,154 sites in 167 countries: 897 cultural, Heritage List. According to the UNESCO Convention 218 natural, and 39 mixed cultural and natural sites. of 1972, the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage is Natural World Heritage sites include intact to present all world regions' cultural diversity and landscapes/seascapes and are the most significant natural richness. The States Parties to the Convention protected areas on Earth. For this reason, they are are to ensure the protection of these sites against monitored for nature conservation. The International destruction and to create conditions for their Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) prepares preservation as unchanged as possible for future the World Heritage Outlook every three years, generations. The requirement for entering a site starting in 2014, next in 2017, and 2020. on the World Heritage List is meeting one or more Importantly, all sites are monitored at the same cultural and/or natural criteria that make it unique time. Assessments prepared for each natural World Heritage site are available online at in which North Africa is included in the zone of worldheritageoutlook.iucn.org. Arab states. The Conservation Outlook Assessments for 2020 provide the overall results for 252 natural sites 2. Methods existing this year (213 natural and 39 mixed – natural and cultural). The results indicate that for The analysis was based on the data contained 63% of sites, the conservation outlook is either in the Conservation Outlook Assessments for 2020 ‘good’ or ‘good with some concerns’, while for (www.worldheritageoutlook.iucn.org), including 30%, the perspective is with ‘significant concern’, all sites on the African continent where natural and for 7% of it is assessed as ‘critical’ (OSIPOVA values are protected, i.e., both natural and mixed ET AL., 2020). sites – natural and cultural. The state of values, According to each of the three outlooks to date, conservation, and management assessment included on a global scale, the most common threat to Natural 57 items, each of which was analyzed concerning World Heritage sites is climate change. In 2020 it all African sites. Thus, a general overview of the was assessed as a high or a very high threat in 1/3 of conservation status of African World Heritage sites, sites. The second common threat is alien invasive including especially its weakest points, was obtained. species, followed by threats from human activities: The World Heritage Outlook is prepared every tourism visitation, hunting, fishing, fires, and livestock three years and is global, applying the same criteria grazing (OSIPOVA ET AL., 2020). In regions, however, for each site. Numerous experts assess whether a there are significant differences in the main threats site will retain its World Heritage values by taking to natural sites; for example, in South America, it into account the following: the current and potential is livestock grazing; in Africa, Asia, and Mesoamerica threats to values, the effectiveness of protection – hunting and fishing; in the Arab States – solid and management, and the current state and trend waste. of values (OSIPOVA ET AL., 2020) (Table 1) Based on This article presents anthropogenic and natural the assessment of the listed elements, the overall factors influencing African World Heritage sites. conservation outlook is formulated, and the site The analysis covered sites on the African continent is assigned one of four rating categories – good, (excluding islands). Therefore, no reference was good with some concerns, significant concern, made to the division The World Heritage Committee and critical (Table 2). A site is categorized as used, dividing the world into five geographic zones, ‘data deficient’ if there is no available data. Table 1. Assessment of the conservation of the World Heritage sites Assessment element Rating category Current and potential Very low threat Low threat High threat Very high threat threats Effectiveness of protection Highly effective Mostly effective Some concern Serious concern and management Current state of values Good Good with some Significant concern Critical concerns Trend of values Improving Stable Detoriorating Table 2. Rating categories for Conservation Outlook Assessments (Source: Osipova et al., 2020) Rating category Description Good The site’s values are in good condition and are likely to be maintained for the foreseeable future, provided that current conservation measures are maintained Good with some concerns While some concerns exist, with minor additional conservation measures the site’s values are likely to be essentially maintained in the long term Significant concern The site’s values are threatened and/or are showing signs of deterioration. Significant additional conservation measures are needed to maintain and/or restore values over the medium to long term Critical The site’s values are severely threatened and/or deteriorating. Immediate large-scale additional conservation measures are needed to maintain and/or restore the site’s values over the short to medium term, or the values may be lost 3. Results Four of the 10 Outstanding Universal Value criteria refer to natural values: VII – outstanding There are 130 sites on the World Heritage List on natural beauty and exceptional phenomena; VIII the African continent, of which 38 are natural sites, – geoheritage; IX criteria, and X are linked to and six are mixed – natural and cultural (Fig. 1). biodiversity, i.e., ecosystems and species. African The natural values are therefore protected in 44 sites. World Heritage sites meet all four natural criteria They cover an area of almost 490 thousand square but in different proportions (Table 3, Fig. 2). Most kilometers. These sites are located in 30 countries, of them, as many as 33, complete criterion X, the most (5) are in the Democratic Republic of meaning they are valuable in terms of biodiversity the Congo and South Africa, four are in Tanzania, and the presence of endangered species of flora three are in Kenya, and three are in Côte d'Ivoire. and fauna. The smallest number of sites, only 8, Almost half of the sites (21) are located in just five meet criterion VIII regarding the history of the countries. The oldest site is the Semien National Earth, its geology, or geomorphology. As many as Park in Ethiopia, established in 1978, and the 27 sites meet criterion VII regarding the area's youngest is the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, exceptional beauty, and criterion IX, relating to existing since 2018 in South Africa. The largest valuable ecosystems, has been assigned to 24 sites. site – Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserve in Niger, Some sites meet only one natural criterion (e.g. Wadi covers an area of over 77 thousand square kilometers, al-Hitan in Egypt, Vredefort Dome in South Africa), while the least, i.e., Mosi-oa-Tunya on the border and some meet all four criteria (Lake Turkana of Zambia and Zimbabwe – is less than 69 square National Parks in Kenya, Ngorongoro Conservation kilometers. Area in Tanzania, and Namib Sand Sea in Namibia). Fig. 1. Natural and mixed (cultural and natural) World Heritage sites in Africa (abbreviation NP – National Park) Table 3. Natural and mixed World Heritage sites in Africa according to criteria of Outstanding Universal Value Criteria of Outstanding Universal Value Number of sites Criterion Full description Short description in Africa VII Contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural Exceptional beauty and 27 beauty and aesthetic importance phenomena VIII Be outstanding examples representing major stages of Earth’s history, Geoheritage (Earth’s 8 including the record of life, significant ongoing geological processes in history; geology) the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features IX Be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological Ecological processes 24 and biological processes in the evolution and development of (biodiversity; terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and ecosystems) communities of plants and animals; X Contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ Species and habitats 33 conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science or conservation B C D Fig. 2. Examples of World Heritage sites in Africa according to criteria of Outstanding Universal Value A – Criterion VI: Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe; B – Criterion VIII: Namib Sand Sea, Namibia; C – Criterion IX: Okavango Delta, Botswana; D – Criterion X: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, South Africa (Photos R. Dulias) 3.1. Threats The most common current threat is hunting and trapping, found in 33 sites. The spread of The analysis shows that the values of World invasive (alien) species in 21 areas is second. Heritage sites in Africa are subject to various Common threats (reported in 15–17 sites) include pressures from human activity and natural livestock farming and grazing (17), logging and factors. More than 40 factors have been identified wood collecting (17), wildfires (17), tourism/ that adversely affect these sites. They are listed in visitors/ recreation (17), mining ( 16), and crops Table 4 according to the threat groups defined by (15). IUCN. These are, therefore, threats related to The most frequently mentioned potential threats construction, mining, energy, transport, agriculture, are mining/quarrying (13 sites), oil/gas exploration or other use of biological resources, moreover, (13), and construction of dams (12), with very disruptions resulting from military operations, high and high threats for 8, 10, and 8 sites, tourism development, water management, as respectively (Table 4). In addition, potential threats well as various types of environmental pollution, are anticipated through various effects of climate modification of ecosystems, or the spread of alien change – droughts (6 sites), flooding (6), temperature species of flora and fauna. A separate group extremes (8), and habitat shifting (8). Potential comprises threats related to geological phenomena threats are water pollution can occur in 7 sites, and climate change. In addition, social threats were and construction and expansion of roads in 6 sites. taken into account. Table 4. Current (C) and potential (P) threats in natural and mixed World Heritage sites in Africa Number of sites with current (C) and potential (P) threats* Threats Very high High Low Very low Data Total threat threat threat threat deficient C P C P C P C P C P C P Land development Housing/urban areas 7 2 5 2 2 – – – – – – – Commercial/industrial areas 2 3 1 1 2 1 – – – – – – Tourism/recreation areas 11 4 1 4 3 5 – 1 – 1 – Minning and Oil/gas exploration/development 1 13 1 3 – 7 – 1 – – – 2 energy Mining/quarrying 16 13 1 1 5 7 8 4 1 1 1 – Renewable energy 3 3 1 – 1 2 – – – – 1 1 Transport and Roads/railroads 13 6 – 1 5 2 6 3 – – 2 – service lines Utility/service lines 3 – 1 – – – 1 – 1 – – – Shipping lanes, 2 1 – – – – 1 1 1 – – – Flight paths 2 2 1 1 – 1 1 – – – – 1 Agriculture and Crops 15 5 – – 6 3 7 1 2 1 – – aquaculture Forestry/wood production 5 – – – 3 – 2 – – – – – Livestock farming/grazing 17 1 2 – 6 1 7 – – – 2 – Marine/freshwater aquaculture 3 1 – – 1 – – – 2 – – 1 Biological resource Hunting and trapping 33 1 11 – 8 – 9 1 1 – 4 – use Logging/wood harvesting 17 2 1 – 8 1 6 1 1 – 1 – Collection of non-timber forest products 4 – – – 1 – 2 – 1 – – – Fishing/arvesting aquatic resources 11 2 2 – 4 – 3 2 1 – 1 – Other biological resource use 5 – 1 – 2 – 1 – – – 1 – Human intrusion/ Tourism/visitors/recreation 17 5 1 1 8 1 6 2 2 1 – – interference War, civil unrest/military exer 9 3 5 – 1 2 3 1 – – – – Other activities 6 3 1 1 4 1 – 1 1 – – – Ecosystem Fire/fire suppression 17 1 3 – 6 – 7 1 1 – – – modifications Dams/water management or use 8 12 3 4 2 4 2 4 – – 1 – Other ecosystem modifications 9 1 1 – 6 – 2 1 – – – – Invasive species Invasive non-native/alien species 21 3 1 1 9 1 5 – 2 1 4 – Problematic native species 4 – – – 2 – 1 – – – 1 – Pollution Water pollution 9 7 1 1 6 3 1 2 1 1 – – Household sewage/urban waste water 5 1 – – 3 1 2 – – – – – Industrial/military effluents 2 2 – 1 2 1 – – – – – – Agricultural effluents 2 4 – – 2 2 – 1 – 1 – – Solid waste 3 2 – – 2 1 1 1 – – – – Air pollution 2 4 – 1 2 2 – – – – – 1 Geological events/ Volcanic activity 1 – – – – – 1 – – – – – phenomena Erosion and siltation/deposition 7 – 2 – 1 – 3 – 1 – – – Climate changes Habitat shifting/alteration 7 8 2 – 4 5 – – – – 1 3 and extreme Droughts, desertification 4 6 1 – 1 3 – 1 – – 2 2 weather conditions Temperature extremes 8 8 2 – 4 6 1 1 – 1 1 Storms/flooding 2 6 1 – – – 1 Social/cultural Changes in traditional ways of life and 1 – – – 1 – – – – – – changes knowledge systems that result in negative impact Identity/social cohesion/changes in 4 2 1 2 1 – 1 1 – – – local population and community that result in negative impact Other Other 9 7 – – 4 2 3 2 – 1 2 2 *For five sites, the same threat was assessed in two different aspects. The table includes the rating with the higher level of risk. 3.2. Effectiveness of protection and management some concern, and serious concern (Table 5). The result of this assessment for natural and mixed An essential element of the site assessment is World Heritage sites in Africa is not satisfactory. the effectiveness of protection and management. There are serious concerns related to law Fifteen actions/matters are assessed each on a enforcement, sustainable finance, staff capacity, four-level scale – highly effective, mostly effective, training, and development. Some concerns are directed to monitoring, tourism and visitation assessment, no site received the highest grade for management, boundaries, and effectiveness of the the effectiveness of protection and management. management system. Protection and management of However, it is also worth noting that in 17 areas, 23% of sites are of serious concern. The most relationships with local people were rated mostly (6) ‘highly effective’ rating concerns conducted effective. research. It is significant that in the overall Table 5. Effectiveness of protection and management in natural and mixed World Heritage sites in Africa Number of sites Assessment element Serious Some Mostly Highly Data concern concern effective effective deficient Management system 9 18 13 4 – Effectiveness of management system 9 21 9 4 1 Boundaries 6 22 13 3 – Integration into regional and national planning systems 8 16 14 3 3 Relationships with local people 8 17 17 1 1 Legal framework 7 19 16 2 – Law enforcement 10 20 10 – 4 Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations 7 17 15 1 4 Sustainable use 6 19 6 4 9 Sustainable finance 12 19 10 1 2 Staff capacity, training, and development 11 15 13 1 4 Education and interpretation programs 5 19 14 1 5 Tourism and visitation management 6 21 13 1 3 Monitoring 5 23 10 3 3 Research 3 18 14 6 3 Overall assessment of protection and management inside the site 10 23 11 – – Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and 14 21 6 – 3 management in addressing threats outside the site 3.3. Current state and trend of values 15 – good with some concerns, 14 – significant concerns, and 12 – critical. It means that 59% of The current state of natural and mixed World sites are classified as critical or significant concerns. Heritage sites in Africa is unsatisfactory. Only eight In 2020, as many as 11 ‘in danger’ sites were sites scored good, and the assessment of low listed in Africa, constituting a quarter of the total concern was formulated for 11 areas, while as number of World Heritage sites on this continent many as 20 sites were assessed as a high concern (Table 6). At that time, there were 17 sites around and five – critical in terms of the state of values. the world in danger, i.e. as many as 70% of them The deteriorating trend was found in as many were in Africa. All five sites were in danger in the as 16 sites, half of which refer to sites not in DRC (Salonga NP was removed from this list in danger status, which is worrying. For five areas, 2021). As of 2020 (the year of the report), Garamba the trend was found to be improving; one of NP was the longest on the in danger list – 33 years these ratings relates to the site in danger, namely (1984-1992; 1996-), and seven sites were on this Garamba NP. A stable trend was found for 18 sites. list from 23 to 29 years, two of them for over 95% of Data for five areas were insufficient to determine the time from being entered on the UNESCO list the trend, including the in danger Virunga NP (Okapi Wildlife Reserve in DRC and Aïr and Ténéré (Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC) and the Natural Reserves). Except for Mount Nimba Strict newly established Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains. Natural Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea) and Lake Turkana NPs, these are extensive sites ranging 3.4. Conservation outlook from several hundred thousand to several million hectares, mainly in tropical forests. These sites Results of a review show that, of all natural and cover an area of almost 220,000 square kilometers mixed World Heritage sites in Africa for three areas, (45% of the total area of World Heritage sites in the conservation outlook is assessed as good (Namib Africa), which impacts the effectiveness of Sand Sea, Lakes of Ounianga in Chad, Wadi al-Hitan), conservation and management. Table 6. African World Heritage in Danger in 2020 Inscription Site Country/Countries List of World List of World Heritage Heritage in Danger Virunga National Park Democratic Republic of the Congo 1979 1994 - Garamba National Park Democratic Republic of the Congo 1980 1984-1992; 1996 - Kahuzi-Biega National Park Democratic Republic of the Congo 1980 1997 - Mount Nimba Strict Natural Reserve Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire 1981 1992 - Niokolo-Koba National Park Senegal 1981 2007 - Selous Game Reserve Tanzania 1982 2014 - Salonga National Park* Democratic Republic of the Congo 1984 1998 - Manovo-Gounda Strict Nature Reserve Central African Republic 1988 1997 - Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves Niger 1991 1992 - Okapi Wildlife Reserve Democratic Republic of the Congo 1996 1997 - Lake Turkana National Parks Kenya 1997 2018 - *Removed from the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2021 4. Discussion protected status (Ututu) as it has been divided into plots and sold (STATE PARTY OF KENYA, 2019). 4.1. Land development Around Simien NP, there are around 30 villages with an estimated population of about 30,000, while Land development high threats are found in eight inside the park, more than 3,200 people live in over sites, including the two smallest in Africa – Mosi- 580 households (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). oa Tunya/Victoria Falls (69 km ) and Lake Malawi Voluntary resettlement within the site was carried NP (94 km ). Since the Mosi-oa Tunya was included out, but due to livelihood problems, part of the in the World Heritage List, the population of the population re-graze cattle in the protected area neighboring city of Livingstone (Zambia) has doubled (TESSEMA ET AL., 2012). to over 135,000 (2015) (https://www.city-facts.com/ The population displacement also occurred in livingstone-zambia). The property has numerous the Ngorongoro CA. In 1974, 8,700 Maasai were tourist facilities – hotels, restaurants, visitor centers, evicted, and no permanent residents were on the camps, and others (LIU & MWANZA, 2014). There are site, but grazing of about 300,000 cattle continued. controversial plans to expand the infrastructure Contemporary housing and commercial areas in inside the site and in the buffer zone (a tethered Ngorongoro CA are perceived negatively for aesthetic balloon, a Ferris wheel, 5-star hotel). In the town reasons. Due to non-compliance with building of Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), construction began guidelines, modern houses and housing estates are on a large shopping and entertainment center near created that stand in a visual dissonance with the the property. natural landscape (UNESCO/ICOMOS/IUCN, 2012). Within the Lake Malawi NP are five villages In the Serengeti NP (Tanzania), tourism infra- enclaves, whose predominantly fishing population structure and facilities are concentrated in a relatively has grown from 5,400 in 1977 to over 25,000 in small area in the central part of the park. There are 2018 (STATE PARTY OF MALAWI, 2020). Due to lodges, permanent tented camps, campsites, rest population growth, the encroachment of houses houses, and a youth hostel. In addition, the tourist within the park boundaries is reported in some infrastructure in the Western Corridor is being places. Numerous tourist facilities are developed at expanded. It is worrying that some new investments the largest enclave village, Chembe. The high density occur in the middle of the migration route in of tourist facilities along the beach may result in important wildlife areas. Permanent tented camps deterioration of water quality, as shown by the from the Mara River bank have recently been results of the research by TYNER ET AL. (2018) in transferred because of limiting free access by other areas close to the park, namely extremely migrating herds that cross the river en mass during high fecal coliform counts in nearshore water. the dry season (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley has Considerable pressure on the ecosystem exerts the no permanent residents, but it is located close to infrastructure required to maintain the tourism the rapidly growing city of Nakuru. Increased housing demand (e.g., toilets, food, waste, road maintenance). developments are recorded in the buffer zone of The tourism pressure is growing in Mana Pools the property. One of the areas has already lost its NP – Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas in Zimbabwe. Two of the six new tourist facilities were located become uneconomical, but the mining threat in the Wilderness zone, which stripped the area continues. of this status. Close to the floodplain core area, at Lake Malawi NP is the only African World Heritage least ten camps with their exclusion areas have site currently highly endangered by oil exploration. been established. New camps are also allocated at The oil concession covers the entire property. pans; despite their seasonal character, they can Lake Malawi is essentially a closed system with a potentially disturb wildlife (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, flushing time of more than 600 years, so any oil 2020). spilled in the lake will pollute it (CONSERVATION There are no industrial areas in African World OUTLOOK, 2020). Oil drilling anywhere in the lake Heritage sites. An evaporative saltworks on the represents a significant threat to the unique Dungonab Bay-Mukkawa NP (jointly protected assemblage of endemic fish species and associated with Sanganeb Marine NP) in Sudan, but o limited evolutionary processes (VERHEYEN ET AL., 2016). impact on the site values. 4.3. Transport and service lines 4.2. Minning Each year, an average of 5 elephants and buffaloes Mining activity is conducted in over a dozen sites. are killed by a train crash in the Ecosystem and Besides geomorphological and hydrological changes, relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda in Gabon. mining is associated with felling trees, agriculture, The excessive speed of cars, buses, and trucks on and hunting for the mining camps. In six sites, mining the main road passing through the center of activity is a very high or high threat. Artisanal and Ngorongoro CA, also poses a risk of animal semi-industrial illegal mining of diamonds and coltan accidents. The main (unpaved) road in the Simien occurs in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and the NP runs through critical wildlife habitat in the peripheral zones. In 2019, 57 mines were observed, middle of the park – it will not be decommissioned of which 30 active mines have been closed by eco after building a new road outside the park guards (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). In Ennedi Massif: In Kahuzi-Biéga NP (DRC), there are very rich Natural and Cultural Landscape in Chad, the influence natural resources. In 2000, the gold and coltan rush of common off-road driving on the vegetation and began, fueled by its high price in world markets. landscape of this site is noticeable. The rapid road From 10 to 15,000 miners came to the park, and development in Sangha Trinantional (Cameroon, dozens of mines arose. In 2011, there were over 900 DRC, CAR) has made available an area of the site mining sites (HOLLESTELLE ET AL., 2012). Since 2017 for illegal hunting and fast transport of bushmeat no legal mining concessions have been active, but to outlets. illegal mining continues. Patrols subsequently A very high threat for birds is a high-voltage dismantled mining digging holes. Illegal mining of power transmission line 500 m from the southern diamonds is conducted at the Manovo-Gounda Strict shore of Lake Elmenteita in the Kenya Lake System Nature Reserve in the Central African Republic (CAR). in the Great Rift Valley (SMALLIE & VIRANI, 2010). North-east of Comoé NP (Côte d'Ivoire), a 50-meter high pylons are a physical hazard for gold-panning tradition has been going on for about 4 million flying birds, mainly flamingos, generations. This activity has expanded considerably and pelicans. At the same property, there is a very for some time and is secretly encroaching inside high risk of collisions between birds and planes on the park. The main threat from mining is the potential the existing bird flight corridor between the Rift contamination of watercourses within the limits Valley lakes (a planned expansion of the military of the property (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). airstrip in Nakuru). In Niokolo-Koba NP (Senegal), a basalt quarry Shipping lanes do not pose a significant threat is operating, which should be closed by 2022. A few to the nature of African World Heritage sites. years ago, gold mining began at the site's eastern border. Monitoring surface and groundwater quality 4.4. Agriculture and aquaculture around the mine shows general compliance with drinking water standards and rare exceedances Crops. Agriculture is reported for 15 sites, and of the limit values (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). for several of them, it was considered a high threat to In Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania), the WORLD the values of properties. In long and narrow HERITAGE COMMITTEE (2012), in an ‘exceptional Virunga NP, about two-thirds of its borders are and unique manner,’ approved the excision of ca. under pressure from illegal agriculture. Crops' 40,000 ha from the property to facilitate uranium encroachment into the park interrupts the mining. Due to low uranium prices, mining has connectivity between the uniquely diverse habitat types. Given that approximately 1,000 km² of the In Manovo-Gounda Strict Nature Reserve, at least park area remains under illegal occupation, the 280,000 domestic animals graze, which is several above problem is difficult to solve (CONSERVATION times more than wild animals. Shepherds from OUTLOOK, 2020). CAR, Chad, and Sudan reside in the property area, Around the villages that exist within the often armed. Niokolo-Koba NP is also exposed to boundaries of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, 27 intense grazing to meet the needs of the large agricultural zones have been established, but population in its vicinity. Overgrazing outside and some have excessive forest clearance under crops inside Maloti-Drakensberg Park (Lesotho, South due to increased migration to these villages. Africa) on high-altitude grassland results in the Agricultural activity has been spotted inside the loss of some grass species. Manovo-Gounda Strict Nature Reservee, but it is In Lake Turkana NP, the grazing pressures from relatively small. On the contrary, in Simien NP, domestic livestock occur mainly within Sibiloi NP. agriculture pressure is extensive due to high Over-grazing results in trampling vegetation, loss population growth and dominant subsistence of grasslands, and increased woody vegetation. It agriculture. Thousands of households near the also negatively affects shoreline nesting habitats park run the crop-livestock farming system using for birds and crocodiles (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, park resources as a grazing area. Under cultivation 2020). Grazing adversely affects the small Kenya are some 1,200 hectares inside the park. The law Lake System in the Great Rift Valley. Domestic permits crop cultivation on steep slopes of up to animals graze along the lakeshore, increasing erosion 60-degree slope gradients; therefore, erosion rates, run-off, and siltation. In addition, the capacity commonly occurs (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). of rangelands has decreased significantly due to In W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Niger, Burkina the exceptionally high lake water levels, so over- Faso), cotton, millet, and sorghum are cultivated grazing is a significant threat to the valuables of in the site's immediate vicinity and pose a risk of the site. fire or cutting of non-wood materials. Freshwater aquaculture. Two non-indigenous Forestry/wood production. Deforestation was species of Oreochromis (O. niloticus and O. recorded in five sites, and it was considered a leucostictus) are farmed on fish farms in ponds high threat in three. In Lake Malawi NP, fuelwood connected with Lake Malawi by the Ruhuhu River. harvesting and regular burning contributed to There are well-founded concerns that their clear denudation of the hills on the property. introduction into the lake is a matter of time Harvesting large trees for use in smoking fish has (GENNER ET AL., 2013). Farming of common carp the largest share of forest degradation (RANTALA (Cyprinus carpio) has been banned. ET AL., 2004). In Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape Lopé-Okanda, three decades ago, forest 4.5. Biological resource use concessions were granted in reserve, currently only in the buffer zone (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, Hunting and trapping (poaching). Hunting are 2020). In iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa), the most common threats in African World Heritage new forestry licenses have been discontinued. sites. It applies to as many as 33 areas (75%), Livestock farming/grazing. In W-Arly-Pendjari including very high and high threats, occurring in Complex, the illegal grazing of hundreds of 11 and 8 sites, respectively. This practice occurs thousands of cattle occurs during the dry season mainly in large parks, in politically unstable regions (TCHÈGOUN ET AL., 2018). However, this pressure affected by military conflicts, and in areas of illegal is gradually diminishing, thanks to the creation of mining. It is also facilitated by transport accessibility. pastoral areas and corridors on the outskirts of The most challenging situation is in the DRC, where the property. Around the Serengeti NP human poaching occur in all five properties. population growing rapidly, which led to changes In Kahuzi-Biéga NP, the hunting problem began in land use (VELDHUIS ET AL., 2019). In some areas, to increase with the influx of Rwandan refugees the field fenced with wire, which resulted in the in 1994 and rebels in 1997; it took immense collapse of the Loita-Mara wildebeest migration proportions during the gold and coltan rush of from 140,000 animals in the mid-1990s to under the early 2000s. The demand for meat from 10,000 now (OGUTU ET AL., 2016). It is unknown thousands of miners has led to the mass killing of what the consequences of constructing a new animals. In just four years, the highland sector of electrified fence (35 km and in plans extend for the property lost more than 95% of its elephant the next 35 km) are in an area used by the population and about 50% of its gorilla population wildebeest and zebra migration. (YAMAGIWA, 2003). Research by PLUMPTRE ET AL. (2016) indicate that in the lowland sector, from 1994-2015, Grauer's gorilla numbers declined by Nature Reserve, poaching is a very high threat, 87%. especially concerning black duiker, water chevrotain, War, military conflicts, and illegal mining also royal antelope, olive colobus, or Diana monkey underlie hunting in Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the (BENE ET AL., 2013). In Taï NP (Côte d'Ivoire), pristine Ituri Forest. From 1995–2006, the population most catches are focused on duikers and monkeys, of elephants declined by nearly fifty percent, i.e., but fish, otters, water turtles, and other reptiles by approximately 3,300 animals; it was estimated are also caught (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). that at least 23 tons of ivory were taken out of the Railroads and roads at the Ecosystem and Relict reserve and its surroundings (BEYERS ET AL., Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda site facilitate 2011). The most important species is the okapi – elephant poaching for ivory, buffalos, gorillas, a forest giraffe that has decreased from around chimpanzees, and duikers. Hacking has decreased 5,000 in 1986 to about 3,000 in 2008. The hunting in recent years thanks to the remedial measures intensity of the bushmeat trade increased after taken (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). In Mana the renovation of the RN4 national road, which Pools NP and Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas, made access to the reserve easier. poaching of black rhinos drove the species to Significant declines in all wildlife populations are local extinction between 1984 and 1994. in others, reported for Garamba NP (DRC). The number of Global Conservation and Bushlife Conservancy elephants has decreased by approximately 20,000 has made very good progress in countering poaching since 1976 (BEYERS ET AL., 2011). The population (https://globalconservation.org)/news/conserva of Kordofan giraffe has declined by more than tion-win-over-last-year-no-elephants-poached- 85%, from 350 individuals recorded inside the mana-pools- /). park in 1976 to 45 in 2017 (D’HAEN ET AL., 2019). A very high threat of hunting and trapping Commercial poaching to supply bushmeat occurs in Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves, which markets also includes elephants, hippopotamus, is facilitated by its large area and difficulties in Buffalo, chimpanzees, l'Hoest’s monkey, okapi, patrolling. Poachers often travel on motorcycles; Ruwenzori duiker, and other animals in Virunga NP. their prey is North African ostriches, adaxas, For example, since the 1990s, the hippopotamus dama and dorcas gazelles, Berber sheep, and population has been reduced by 95% (CONSERVATION Nubian and Arab bustards. Cheetahs have become OUTLOOK, 2020). very rare (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). Both forest and savanna elephants, very common Poaching persists in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in the Salonga NP (DRC), were reduced to especially among rhinos. At the same time, in approximately 2,000 individuals in 2003 due to Lake Malawi NP, the mammalian fauna, except vervet poaching (IUCN & UNESCO, 2007). This practice monkeys and baboons, has been drastically reduced decreased significantly thanks to the preventive (CHAFOTA ET AL., 2005). In Lake Turkana, NPs measures taken, and the park was removed from crocodiles and turtles are threatened as they become the in danger list in 2021. entangled in nets and drown, Grevy's zebra may no Aviation research has established that in the longer be present, and the Northern topi population Manovo-Gounda Strict Natural Reserve in CAR, is approaching 'vulnerable' or 'near threatened' the large mammal population decreased by 75% status (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). in just five years (2005-2010) (IUCN & UNESCO, It follows from the above that hunting and 2019). Due to the hunting of savannah elephants trapping threaten various animals, especially by armed groups of poachers (local and foreign – mammals – elephants, gorillas, rhinoceros, buffaloes, Chad, Sudan), the animal is on the verge of extinction. and others. Poaching occurs primarily in the following Also, in the Selous Game Reserve, the numbers of biogeographical provinces: Congo Rainforest (5 sites), the African elephant, as well as the critically West African Woodland/Savanna (5), Miombo endangered black rhino, dramatically dropped in Woodland/Savanna (2), Guinea Rainforest (2), the 1980s, when prospecting for oil began, and and Central African Highlands (2). roads were made to hitherto inaccessible parts of Logging/wood harvesting. In as many as 17 sites, the reserve (BORNER & SEVERRE, 1986; KIDEGHESHO, illegal logging/wood harvesting is a threat to their 2016). values, including site threat is very high in one Ivory poaching continues to be intense in and and high in eight. Mount Nimba Strict Nature around the Sangha Trinational (UNESCO, 2019), Reserve is the worst situation. As a result of the Niokolo-Koba NP (Senegal), and Dja Faunal Reserve progressive loss of forest in the buffer zone of this (Cameroon), where the number of forest elephants site (slash-and-burn agriculture, cocoa plantations), decreased from 420 in 2015 up to 219 individuals in it is becoming more and more isolated, and its 2018 (BRUCE ET AL., 2018). In Mount Nimba Strict ecological functions are endangered. In Mount Kenya NP, illegal logging increased by 3.5 fold in and Gibe IV) built in the Omo basin changed the the last several years, and charcoal production by annual flooding regime. According to GOWNARIS 74% (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). The pressure ET AL. (2015), the loss of the seasonal oscillations on the forest in Kilimanjaro NP (Tanzania) is also in lake water level decreases fisheries yield by high. An aerial survey in 2001 found about 8,000 over two-thirds. smallscale logging sites, which means that logging Illegal fishing in rivers is widespread in the for valuable timber species is common at the Salonga NP, using destructive methods, including mountain (HEMP, 2006). Most lower montane dynamite and poison (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). forests are destroyed by this illegal activity, Illegal fishing in Zambezi River in Mana Pools NP including Garcinia tanzaniensis, the tallest trees of is carried out with the use of extensive plastic, Africa (Entandrophragma excelsum), and Camphor non-destructible monofilament net, in which (Ocotea usambarensis) (HEMP ET AL., 2017). In another crocodiles, in addition to fish, are entrapped. mountain park, Virunga NP, under intense pressure In the Atlantic waters near Banc D'Arguin NP from commercial charcoal making, there are (Mauritania), international fleets and Moorish especially slow-growing unique Sclerophyllous fishermen fished artisanal (CAMPREDON & CUQ, forests, which also threaten chimpanzee populations 2001). These have increased many times over, and the endemic l'Hoest's monkey. Tropical forests but the impact of fishing on the park's ecosystem in Kahuzi-Biéga NP are affected by logging, is undetermined, as is the result of fisheries; over especially in the Nindja ecological corridor where 300 foreign trawlers were 2012 licensed to fish in illegal farms arise. According to the UNESCO report the waters surrounding the site. (2009) continuum of primary habitat types from Other biological resource use. In Tassili N'ajer low altitude to high altitude has been completely National Park (Algeria), unsustainable is considered severed. Simien NP has very high pressure, the commercial collection of several species for especially on the tree heather forests and Hypericum charcoal and medicinal purposes (CONSERVATION thickets. OUTLOOK, 2020). The harvesting of non-wood forest Some logging companies in the buffer zone of products (medicinal plants, fruit, etc.) in the W- Sangha Trinational use practices threatening Arly-Pendjari Complex is generally done under biodiversity – creating gaps in the canopy and the control of foresters. unsustainable extraction of large trees, e.g., Mahogany (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). The example of Dja 4.6. Human intrusion/interference Faunal Reserve shows that even minor logging impacts biodiversity due to the fragmentation of Tourism, visitors and recreation. According to forest habitats (BETTI, 2004). In Aïr and Ténéré the IUCN report, tourism is a very high threat in Natural Reserves, a lot of wood is harvested each one site, W-Arly-Pendjari Complex. This negative year, especially since gold panning was started. assessment does not reflect the real impact of Fishing/harvesting aquatic resources. In the past, tourism on the area's nature because, in this site, Lake Edward in Virunga NP was one of Africa's the threat was determined jointly for various human most productive lakes for fish. During the wars, intrusion/interferences, among which the activities illegal fishing increased, and recently we have been of terrorist groups (jihadists) are decisive. The dealing with severe overfishing, and volumes and insecurity due to the presence of terrorists has fish sizes dramatically declined. Inland fisheries even reduced tourism, thus the pressure on its part. support livelihoods for over 4.9 million people in Over three hundred thousand tourists come to this region, so the management of inland fish Serengeti NP every year. Most of them concentrate stocks needs to be improved (MUSINGUZI ET AL., on several points, mainly around Seronera. Twenty 2021). A very high threat constitutes illegal fishing in years of field observations show that wildebeest Lake Malawi NP. 'Mbuna' (the 13 genera of cichlids), migrators avoid areas with a large tourist footprint which are relatively small, are caught in nets set despite their prime grazing conditions. Increased for other species, so their diversity declines. tourist traffic increases road kills and erosion According to BELL ET AL. (2012), nearshore fishing (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). results in the capture of spawning and immature fish, Hiking to Bwindi Impenetrable NP (Uganda) including 'chambo' (three species of Oreochromis), focuses on gorilla sightings. Currently, 19 gorillas lowering the productivity of these commercially are habituated, but their fearlessness in front of important species. Overfishing has long been reported humans could potentially threaten them to poachers. for Lake Turkana NPs, but its scale is not determined. Gorillas may also be susceptible to transmission Lake fisheries ecology is dependent on the annual of human disease (HANES ET AL., 2018). Omo seasonal flood. Hydropower plants (Gibe III Excessive tourism in Kilimanjaro NP results in around 1000–1200 (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). erosion of paths and water contamination (WAKIBARA The scale of the danger in the park is evidenced ET AL., 2009). There are also significant problems by the number of over 180 killed park guards in with litter and waste and the trampling of vegetation. the years 1996-2020. The wilderness qualities and aesthetic value of A similar situation occurs in Kahuzi-Biéga NP, the Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls are disrupted by where illegally armed militia oversees hunting, noise from sightseeing helicopter tours (9 in 2007), mining, and farming inside the five sectors of the micro-light aircraft carrying visitors to view the park. The Congolese army removed the rebels from Falls, and sunset party boats operating on the upper the other two sectors. Activities of rebel groups river (40 in 2007; newer data not available). still affect animal biodiversity and endemism values. Increased vehicular traffic and operator game The security crisis in Mali, which has been going drives in Mana Pools NP and Sapi and Chewore on for more than a decade, is failing to adequately Safari Areas threaten the site's wilderness values. protect the Cliff of Bandiagara. Islamist terrorism There are also reports of disturbance by tourists at and a sharp conflict between the shepherd (Fulani) African wild dog dens leading to their abandonment. and agricultural (Dogoni) communities continue. Other types of tourism threats exist in Sanganeb Massacres of the population, the destruction of Marine NP and Dungonab Bay-Mukkawa NP. Large villages, and the abduction of cattle make the tourist liveaboard vessels cause damage to sensitive park and its surroundings very dangerous, so coral habitats when they deploy and recover their tourism has collapsed, and the site's values are anchors (COUSTEAU SOCIETY, 2013). Banc D'Arguin deteriorating. NP tourism is poorly developed, and its impact on Other activities. The outskirts of Okapi Wildlife the environment is limited (BOIDE ET AL., 2018). Reserve are under a lot of pressure from migrants However, weekend excursions result in degraded who have come from overpopulation highlands. coastal vegetation and dunes due to non-organized They sought land to settle, leading to deforestation, 4x4 traffic and abandoning solid waste. In Simien hunting, and inside the property. In Bwindi NP, constructing a new lodge in a critical gelada Impenetrable NP, a source of conflict between park habitat is a threat. Along with the development of authorities and local farmers is crop damage by tourist facilities in the vicinity of the camp in wild animals. The poverty and local feelings of Chembe Village in Lake Malawi NP., the area and injustice become illegal activities inside the reserve access road have been very littering, and the (BAKER ET AL., 2013). Destroy crocodile's nesting quality of nearshore water has deteriorated due sites by fishermen who illegally encroach into the to sewage (TYNER ET AL., 2018). waters on the Lake Turkana NPs is reported. War, civil unrest, and military exercises. W-Arly- Pendjari Complex has no security due to the presence 4.7. Ecosystem modifications of jihadists. They attack and even kill forest guards and other officers. Monitoring the property is Fire. Intentional or accidental fires are a problem complicated, and counting wild animals is carried in over a dozen sites. In Kilimanjaro NP, as HEMP out from the air. (2005) reported, wildfires destroyed about 150 km The civil war in the CAR started in 2014, makes it of subalpine cloud forest during the last decades practically impossible to manage the Manovo- and lowered the upper forest line by over 800 m. Gounda Strict Nature Reserve and protect its values. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is also affected There are over a dozen armed groups and shepherds by fires from farmers, e.g., charcoal production and in this area, and illegal use of natural resources is poachers, to facilitate hunting, but their frequency ongoing (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). Several has decreased recently (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, armed militia groups also influence Okapi Wildlife 2020). In another mountain site – Mount Kenya NP, Reserve; one of them, in 2012, attacked the Reserve the causes of fires are also anthropogenic – charcoal headquarters and killed seven people. The patrol burners, honey collectors, livestock grazers, and station and village looting also happened in the for cultivation purposes (NYONGESA & VACIK, 2018). following years. Although fire is a natural component of the Fynbos At least three rebel groups (called M23) Biome in Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, occupied the Virunga NP and were involved in frequent fires are a significant threat because they illegally exploiting natural resources. During fierce make it difficult for some plants to reach seeding age. fighting with dissident elements of the Congolese Fire management in this property is complex due army in 2012, the rebels were stationed in the to its proximity to urban areas, large pine plantations, gorilla sector. Although they were defeated, in and the presence of invasive alien plants (POOLEY, 2019, their number in the park was estimated at 2012; CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). High fire frequency of sub-alpine vegetation is recorded in Negative consequences of damming in Ichkeul Maloti-Drakensberg Park, which threatens with NP in Tunisia caused the park to be on the danger loss of some plants and animals. Winter and spring list from 1996 to 2006. Reduction of water inflow fires of high-altitude grasslands (O'CONNOR, 2008) resulting in salinization and consequent shift in can touch the integrity of the natural vegetation vegetation to halophytes and reduction in waterbird cover. In turn, in the Cliff of Bandiagara site, numbers. Declining water levels during dry years frequent fires severely degraded the savannah threaten aquatic fauna, including the European vegetation, especially near villages. They are also eel. Situations are improved by periodic increases initiated to prevent terrorists from sheltering in rainfall and worsened by the rise in local water (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). Burning savannah demand (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). under the pretext of regenerating vegetation for A very high threat to Selous Game Reserve is grazing animals is typical in Manovo-Gouna St Floris. the construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower In turn, the Lake Malawi NP's terrestrial part is in the middle of the property, which will change burning annually, influencing, among other things, the site's values (DYE & BARNABY, 2017). Among woodland density and species composition. other things, below the dam, the Rufiji River will Dams and water management or use. The lose its characteristic seasonal flow variability construction of dams in protected areas is almost and the related changes in the course of the riverbed always controversial, mainly when conflicts of and the oxbow lake system during the rainy season, interest occur. Lake Turkana NPs is influenced by which threatens the biodiversity of a large wetland. changes due to the almost finished construction For nature, Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon) high of the cascade of five hydropower dams (Gibe I to V) threat is the Mekin Hydroelectric power station on the Omo in Ethiopia River. So far, this river has on the Dja River. provided over 80% of the inflow to Kenya's Lake Other ecosystem modifications. In Lake Turkana Turkana; therefore, the use of its waters for NPs, ecosystem modifications that reduce the extent hydropower generation, irrigation, and other services and quality of floodplain vegetation which impact significantly impacts the 'Outstanding Universal the ecology of aquatic habitats that are essential Value' of the World Heritage site. They include, fish-spawning sites may occur (CONSERVATION among others, loss of the all-important annual OUTLOOK, 2020). flood season, reduced freshwater inflow to the In Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, lake, and reduced supply of sediments and three lakes – Nakuru, Bogoria, and Elmenteita are nutrients (AVERY & TEBBS, 2018). isolated. Still, they are linkages shared in supporting Due to the overlapping of anthropogenic and bird populations, above all the lesser flamingo. natural influences, a complicated hydrological Already small buffer zones threaten the maintenance situation occurs in the Kenya Lake System in the of the people of many birds due to the reduction Great Rift Valley. Throughout the region, small of the land area available to them. Recent rises in irrigation dams were constructed on rivers flowing lake water levels in all lakes further aggravate into the lakes, and Lake Naivasha's water level was this deficit. critically lowered for some time (CONSERVATION Almost two-thirds of the Simien NP area grazed OUTLOOK, 2020). However, flooding from above- massive numbers of sheep, goats, and other animals average rainfall contributed to high water levels by the herders from the vicinity of the park. Thus, in all lakes in the Rift, and terrestrial ecological it reduces the amount of habitat available for wildlife habitats were inundated. species (Ethiopian wolf, Wales ibex). As NIEVERGELT In Serengeti NP, irrigation farming (in Kenya) ET AL. (1998) reports, overgrazing caused an almost during a drought withdraws about 80% of the complete disappearance of small mammals, mainly available Mara River water (KIHWELE ET AL., 2021). rodents. During a dry period, this river is the only permanent The increasing population of the Maasai people source of surface water in the park; therefore, a and their poverty result in competition between significant concern raised the proposals for several domestic animals and wildlife for natural resources dams upstream as there would probably be water in Ngorongoro CA. Human-wildlife conflict aggravates and sediment flow changes. lost livestock by wild predators. In Rwenzori On the Zambian side of the Mosi-oa Tunya/ Mountains NP (Uganda), there are only 13 elephants Victoria Falls, there is a hydroelectric power left, probably of only one gender. This population station that, to operate at total capacity, needs a is isolated and has limited movement to and from certain amount of water in the dry season. Climate the property due to the fragmentation of the changes may deepen this seasonal fall in water forest outside of the park by the new roads and flow (KILLINGTVEIT & HAMUDUDU, 2016). the increase in agricultural lands. In iSimangaliso Wetland Park, critically (FOXCROFT ET AL., 2006). Negatively impacting grazing endangered swamp forest is cut out in two areas quality also has to step on grasslands indigenous for subsistence agriculture. The reasons are sought pioneer species of plants. for the residents' conflict over the property's In Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, boundaries. Tobacco farming in peripheries of the in the grazing areas for the large mammals in the Mana Pools NP and Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas Lake Nakuru area, invasive plants such as Solanum resulted in unspecified deforestation, as fuelwood is incanum, Datura stramonium, and Lantana camara used for tobacco curing. (NG'WENO ET AL., 2010) appeared, while grasslands and wetlands in the region of Lake Bogoria are 4.8. Invasive species spreading robust and thorny Prosopis juliflora (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020), already listed Threats related to invasive non-native/alien throughout Kenya's Rift Valley. In the described species are reported for 21 African World Heritage property, specifically in the fenced area around Lake sites, including very high for one site and high for Nakuru, native species of animals are also a high nine sites. The most serious situation in this respect threat to the habitat. In rising lake level conditions, is Cape Floral Region Protected Areas), where competing for feed causes severe ecological invasive plant species are the most severe threat imbalances, the over-abundant population of buffalo to the continued existence of the Fynbos ecosystems. and giraffe. Fynbos is a biome with unique adaptive flora to fire In Senegal, in Niokolo-Koba NP, the risk is the and seed dispersal patterns. Meanwhile, species drying out of joints and their obstruction due to such as Pinus spp., Acacia spp., Hakea spp., and the invasive Mimosa pigra plant and the spread of Eucalyptus spp. Have invaded large areas of 13 Lantana camara in the western part of the park parts of the property, changing the fire regime and (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). In the second characteristics. MOTHAPO & WOSSLER (2011) reported Senegalese site – Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, that species that depend on seed dispersal by ants the threat is Typha domingensis, which has spread are under threat because the alien Argentine ant since the construction of the Diama Dam. It reduces could displace the native seed-dispersing species. the speed of water flow and has partially contributed Apart from Cape Floral, belonging to the Cape to the loss of waterfowl habitat on Lake Lamantin Sclerophyll biogeographical province, the remaining (GUEYE ET AL., 2017). The water macrophytes highly endangered sites belong to the West, East, Ceratophyllum demersum and Najas marina also South, or Miombo Woodland / Savanna provinces contribute to the reduction of the water flow velocity (7) and the Western Sahel province (2). and eutrophication and siltation. The same problem In iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the native flora occurs in the buffer zones of the W-Arly-Pendjari is threatened by several alien invasive plant Complex, where the water hyacinths Eichhornia species, including Chromolaena odorata, Psidium crassipes and Typha contribute to silting. guajava, Casuarina equisetifolia, Lantana camara, Three marine invasive non-native species were Parthenium hysterophorus (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, found in Banc D'Arguin NP – an unidentified red 2020). In turn, in Maloti Drakensberg Park (Lesotho, alga, ascidian tunicate (Botrylloides diegensis), and South Africa), the montane vegetation is vulnerable the green alga Caulerpa taxifolia, which could to invasion by American bramble (Rubus cuneifolius) constitute a severe threat to the local seagrass (NDLOVU ET AL., 2018) and, e.g., pine and wattle. (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). An important seed source is forestry plantations outside the park. 4.9. Pollution In Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls, the cliff faces in the Falls and gorges have colonized by spreading Water pollution in the analyzed sites comes from aggressively Lantana camara, while water hyacinth known or unspecified sources. In Djoudj National Eichhornia crassipes may be obstructing water Bird Sanctuary, the waters are excessively channels above the falls. Various measures are contaminated with pesticides applied in rice fields taken to prevent the spread of invasive species located in the property's buffer zone. In Lake (CONSTANTINE ET AL., 2022). Malawi NP, larger tributaries deliver increased The main biological threats to biodiversity in loads of sediment and nutrients from farmland to the Ngorongoro CA are invasive alien species such as the lake (HECKY ET AL., 2003), threatening fish water fern (Azolla filiculoides), black wattle (Acacia abundance and diversity, especially around the Maleri mearnsii), Eringa (Melia azedarach), Lantana (Lantana Islands (RUSUWA ET AL., 2006). In iSimangaliso camara), Mexican Poppy (Argemone mexicana), Wetland Park detected high levels of organochlorine Mauritius Thorn (Caesalpinia decapetala) and others pesticides (OCP) in two common fish species, Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) Air pollution is not a severe problem and African and African Sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus), World Heritage sites. In Lake Malawi NP, locally as well as in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) and temporally, air pollution can be intense during (BUAH-KWOFIE ET AL., 2017). High OCP concentrations the dry season when biomass burning is widespread. in coastal groundwater are probably a source of In addition, large amounts of nutrients are the pollutants in coral species Sarcophyton glaucum, transported through the atmosphere into the Sinularia gravis, and the sponge Theonella swinhoei lake, causing eutrophication (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, (PORTER ET AL., 2018). Widespread contamination 2020). of herbicides in riverine sediments and the St Lucia estuarine environment has also been detected 4.10. Geological events/phenomena (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). No data is available on the source of heavy metal contamination Volcanic activity is threatened only in one site detected in several species of fish from Kosi Lake – Virunga NP. It is low, but each time there is a (arsenic) and found in the soft coral Sinularia lava flow, Sclerophyllous forests are lost, which from Sodwana Bay (nickel) (VAN DER SCHYFF ET AL., are already significantly degraded by illegal charcoal 2020). In Kahuzi-Biéga NP, in the low altitude, the exploitation. The volcanic activity also threatens fishing practice often uses the insecticide Andrine, communities living in the vicinity (NICOLE, 2022). which in addition to fish poisoning, causes water In Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, pollution (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). a very high threat constitutes erosion and siltation/ Significant water pollution with high cadmium deposition. Deforestation, overgrazing, and expansion concentrations occurs in the marine waters in Banc of agriculture result in increased soil erosion, D'Arguin NP. Vaal River in Vredefort Dome is run-off, and siltation of lakes (WATENE ET AL., 2021). reached by contamination from upstream mining It provides to raising bed levels and consequently activities and poorly treated urban wastewater. raises lake water levels and flooding the terrestrial Household sewage is also a high threat in iSimangaliso buffers around the lakes. Siltation of the Niger Wetland Park. The quality of groundwater, the River, the floodplains, and wetlands are observed lakes, and the estuary is threatened due to boreholes within the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex as a and wastewater discharge into the ground between consequence of deforestation and, among other numerous private holiday establishments built things, cotton cultivation in the periphery of the site. near this park (BATE & TAYLOR, 2019). In Lake Malawi NP, concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria 4.11. Climate changes and extreme weather in much of the nearshore water around the property conditions are very high due to seepage from septic tanks and latrines (TYNER ET AL., 2018), especially in nearshore Climate changes and extreme weather conditions park enclave villages (MADSEN ET AL., 2011). The significantly affect the environment of the ten sites. pollution also results from spillage of boat fuel and oil. In the Rwenzori Mountains NP rising temperatures Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley is cause the melting of the glaciers and a shift of the most serious water pollution situation. It is vegetation zones. The valuable high-altitude Afro- related to the development of the large city of alpine vegetation communities are reducing the Nakuru and other localities. Into Lake Nakuru acreage, while the area of crops at the park boundary flow poorly treated wastewater and water from is increasing. Also, changes in the rainfall regimes fertilized farmland, which may lead to its periodically lead to flooding. In Kilimanjaro NP, rising eutrophication. Due to poor waste management, global temperatures have reduced the surface area garbage, plastics, and sullage are dumped into of glacial ice by more than 80% and a general shift of stormwater drains and released into the lake vegetation zones; however, like Mount Kenya NP, (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). not necessarily on the higher elevations. Solid waste is a major growing problem in In Banc D'Arguin NP, sea level rise and erosion Lake Malawi NP, where plastic bags and other are modifying the flat and sandy coastlines and plastic litter are along the lake's shores (MAYOMA impacting marine and terrestrial ecosystems (EL- ET AL., 2019). In Banc D'Arguin NP on the several HACEN ET AL., 2018). Coastal retreat and islet kilometers coast (between the villages of Teichott flooding threaten breeding colonies of endemic and R'Gueiba), there is an open dump, probably sub-species. In addition, there has been a reduction plastic fed by ocean currents from the open sea. in the overall bird population (including migratory Moreover, macroplastics come, among others, birds) by around half a million. Climate change also from the development of the town of Chami and affects coral reefs protected in the two-piece Mamghar (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). Sanganeb Marine NP site and Dungonab Bay- Mukkawar Island Marine NP (Red Sea). Heat stress 4. Conclusions events result in coral bleaching, and the threat remains high (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). In The African World Heritage sites are subject to turn, the area of the Cliff of Bandiagara is affected various pressures from human activity and natural by droughts and desertification, which harms factors. The most common current threat is hunting, natural and cultivated vegetation. Harmattan, the which occurs mainly in large parks in rainforests wind blowing during heat waves, is likely to and savannas, in politically unstable regions affected intensify aeolian soil erosion. by military conflicts, and in areas of illegal mining. Droughts and desertification also occur at Lake It is also facilitated by transport accessibility. Turkana NPs. The lake is a very vulnerable ecosystem, Poaching threatens various animals, especially and its water level has changed frequently in large mammals, whose numbers have dropped recent decades for climatic and anthropogenic dramatically. The spread of invasive (alien) species reasons (OJWANG ET AL., 2016). With global warming, occurs in nearly half of the sites and poses a severe the lake's salinity can increase further due to threat to African flora. Anthropogenic threats include increased evaporation rates due to rising lake livestock farming and grazing, logging and wood water temperature (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). collecting, fires, mining, crops, tourism, and However, the recent rise in water levels leaves these others. Various effects of climate change – forecasts in question. droughts, flooding, temperature extremes, and HERRNEGGER ET AL. (2021) 's research clearly habitat shifting are reported for many properties shows the connection between rainfall and changes and are expected to deeply more and more. in lake areas in Kenya Lake System in the Great Results of a review show that, of all natural Rift Valley. The authors write about increases from and mixed World Heritage sites in Africa (44) for 21% for Lake Naivasha to 123% for Solai and about three areas, the conservation outlook is assessed fluctuation between the minimum and maximum as good, but for 12 as critical. As many as 11 sites water level range between 8.53 m and 2.38 m. are inscribed on the World Heritage in Danger There is a threat that saline waters of Lake Bogoria list, accounting for 70% of all such sites worldwide. can spill into the freshwater of Lake Baringo Conflicts between nature and humans in Africa (CONSERVATION OUTLOOK, 2020). Changes in Lake have various causes and occur in various socio- Nakuru's limnological conditions caused flamingoes economic and political conditions. Generalizing, to desert the lake, and consequently, the number however, two reasons can be indicated: 1) meeting of tourists has decreased. life's needs by poor rural communities living in overpopulated areas in the vicinity of the property, 4.12. Other and 2) the desire for profit pursued by illegal hunting and mining by armed groups. In the expansive Serengeti NP, disease transmission between domestic stock and wildlife is References a very high threat. 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Environmental & Socio-economic Studies – de Gruyter
Published: Sep 1, 2022
Keywords: World Heritage; human impact; threats; management; nature protection; Africa
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