Air and Ténéré Natural
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|This is the largest protected area in Africa, covering some 7.7 million ha,
though the area considered a protected sanctuary constitutes only one-sixth of
the total area. It includes the volcanic rock mass of the Aïr, a small Sahelian
pocket, isolated as regards its climate and flora and fauna, and situated in the
Saharan desert of Ténéré. The reserves boast an outstanding variety of
landscapes, plant species and wild animals.
In 1992, the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in
The region having recently suffered from military conflict and civil disturbance, the Government of Niger asked the Director-General of UNESCO to launch an appeal for the protection of the site, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1991. Six members of the Reserve staff were being held as hostages since February 1992 and, in compliance with the request of Niger's Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, the Committee decided to inscribe the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. A peace agreement having been signed in April 1995, an IUCN/WWF project has since then been assisting in re- establishing a management regime in the Park.
||The findings of a recent mission
to the site in the autumn of 1998 have indicated that the numbers of most
wildlife species are recovering.
The flora appears to be intact in most parts, except in some valleys where over-use by local people was noted.
Some wildlife species like the ostrich however, continue to be seriously threatened by poaching and international trade in live animals and its by-products.
Impact of rebel activities in the area on the integrity of the site has been less severe than expected. The State Party has submitted an emergency program for the rehabilitation of the site and it may be considered for removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1999.
Sources and links:
Other World Heritage Sites in Niger (on this web site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Niger Section for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 20 jul 2006