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Okapi Wildlife Reserve (N 718)



Year of inscription on the on the World Heritage List: 1996

Year of inscription on the on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1997

Criteria: N (iv)

Kahuzi-Biega National Park (N 137)



Year of inscription on the on the World Heritage List: 1980

Year of inscription on the on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1997

Criteria: N (iv)

Virunga National Park (N 63)



Year of inscription on the on the World Heritage List: 1979

Year of inscription on the on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1994

Criteria: N (ii) (iii) (iv)

Garamba National Park (N 136)



Year of inscription on the on the World Heritage List: 80

Year of inscription on the on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1996

Criteria: N (iii) (iv)
Salonga National Park (N 280)
Year of inscription on the on the World Heritage List: 984

Year of inscription on the on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1999

Criteria: N (ii) (iii)
International assistance:

Total amount provided to the properties:

Virunga National Park: US$64,000 for equipment, staff allowances and training;

Garamba National Park: US$157,845 for equipment and staff allowances;

Kahuzi-Biega National Park: US$64,848 for equipment purchase;

Okapi Wildlife Reserve: US$23,000 for the preparation of the nomination dossier of the property, guard training and camp construction;

Salonga National Park: US$85,500 for project planning, infrastructure and staff training.
Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

27 COM 7A.2

26 COM 21 (a) 2
Conservation issues:

Since the 27th session, the security situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo improved considerably. However, certain regions remain unstable and have been characterised by sudden resurgence of violence. This has been especially the case in the eastern part of the country, where 4 of the 5 World Heritage properties are located. Following the approval of the new constitution in April 2003, the Transitional Government, in which the Presidential coalition, all rebel groups and representatives of civil society are represented, was formed on 30 June 2003, thereby formally re-uniting the whole country. On 28 July, 2003 the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) was extended in time and an additional mandate provided, allowing it to assist the Government in disarming and demobilising militia groups, and under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, authorizing the use of force to protect civilians. MONUC has now deployed troops in several of the eastern regions, including around Kahuzi-Biega and Virunga National Parks. A meeting was held between senior representatives of MONUC, the Centre, staff of the Management Authority “Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature” (ICCN) and representatives of the non-governmental conservation organizations to discuss closer co-operation in the demilitarisation of the World Heritage properties. It was agreed that where MONUC is conducting disarmament operations they would cooperate closely with ICCN field staff.


The situation in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve improved considerably since the 27th session. Since April 2003, stability returned to the Ituri region after the violent clashes between different rebel groups from October 2002 until March 2003, which resulted in the Reserve’s headquarters being abandoned and looted. Park staff returned to the Reserve in April 2003 and management operations were resumed by July 2003. Park staff currently control about 60% of the 1,370,000 ha Reserve. Troops stationed originally inside the Reserve were moved to the surrounding towns as requested by the Centre. However, poaching organised by military belonging to former rebel factions continues to be a major problem, especially in the northern and south-eastern part of the Reserve. These armed groups are specifically targeting elephant populations and are involved in poaching and trafficking of ivory. Park staff were able to document 116 cases of elephant poaching and ivory trafficking between 2002 and 2003. Based on these reports, it is estimated that between 230 and 460 elephants were killed in this period, representing 4 to 10 % of the pre-war population. Reports also indicated that the ivory is being exported, in contravention to CITES Convention, to several countries in East and Central Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
As reported at the 27th session, intensive fighting took place in and around the Kahuzi-Biega National Park between October 2002 and April 2003. Park authorities were able to contact the belligerents and received assurances from both sides that the gorilla families living in the highland sector would not be harmed. Park staff was able to continue monitoring 4 of the 5 families of the sector. However in January 2004, with the on-going military activities in the property, contact was lost with the fifth Mishebere gorilla family, composed of 39 individuals. After the cessation of hostilities, Park staff started a search for the family, which appeared to have vanished. The remains of the leading silverback male of the family were recovered in August 2003.
Even after the installation of the Transition Government, the insecurity persisted in the South Kivu region with sporadic fighting around the Park in July and August 2003. Only after MONUC installed an observation post in the Park headquarters in August and engaged in demobilizing fighters, the situation started to improve gradually. With the increased security, Park staff has been able to regain control over parts of the Park that so far had been inaccessible. Guard posts in Kalonge, Musenyi and Lemera in the high altitude sector were re-occupied in February 2004 and the sub-stations of Nzovu and Itebero in the low land sector, which were abandoned since the beginning of the war in 1996, became functional again in March 2004. It will be important to use this opportunity to conduct surveys in both the highland and lowland sectors to assess the impact of the war on the property and on the populations of flagship species such as gorillas and elephants. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is currently planning a survey of the highland sector and is trying to mobilize the financial resources necessary for a survey of the much larger lowland sector.
Illegal mining for colombo-tatalite, gold and cassiterite remains a serious threat to the property. The first report from the lowland sector indicates that 98 mining sites are still in operation within the sector. Another major mining site is exploited by militiamen in the northern part of the highland sector. An estimated 5,000 miners are currently residing in the Park. In spite of the lower prices on the

world market, the market for colombo-tantalite in the provincial capital Bukavu is booming.


Another key issue is the illegal occupation of parts of the property, most notably in the corridor between the highland and lowland sector. In some cases, the occupants detain permits issued illegally by the local authorities. Park authorities have been fighting a court case against the most prominent of them, a Bukavu judge. Given the complicity of the local authorities, there is a need for a strong intervention by the central Government to resolve the issue.
The situation in the Virunga National Park remains problematic. The 2 main conservation issues remain the presence of military troops and armed groups within and in the immediate vicinity of the property and illegal encroachment.
Although the security situation has improved considerably, different militia, including armed factions from neighbouring countries, continue to operate in the region and heighten insecurity in certain sectors of the property. Since October 2003, MONUC has deployed troops in the region and is engaged in disarming and demobilisation operations. Several military positions and roadblocks manned with military belonging to former rebel factions are still present in different locations in and around the property at Katanda, at the Vitshumbi roadblock, at Rwindi and at Kabasha, officially to ensure security. In the northern sector, a military training camp is installed inside the Park near the patrol post of Nyaleke. Troops are not paid and do not receive any food or other supplies. They are involved in large-scale poaching of elephants, buffalo, hippopotamus and other animals and in the trafficking of ivory. IUCN reports that it received information that 4 guards were killed recently in an ambush by military when trying to reveal information on poaching by the military. A recent survey of the hippopotamus population in the park by the Zoological Society of London was able to locate only 1300 individuals, a mere 4,5 % of the population in 1979 and 12 % of the pre-war population estimate. In the northern sector, the elephant population dropped from 130 individuals in 1981 to 21 individuals in 2003 and the buffalo diminished in the same period from 799 to 42. These figures are dramatic but one has to take into account that because of the heavy poaching pressure, parts of the populations might have sought refuge in adjacent protected areas in Uganda such as the Queen Elizabeth National Park or the Semuliki National Park, where protection of wildlife is more effective. The increase of the elephant population in Queen Elizabeth National Park from 500 individuals in 1995 to more than 1000 today might partly be attributable to movements of elephants across the border.
Illegal encroachment both by agriculturalists and pastoralists and through the establishment of permanent settlements is affecting almost all sectors of the park. In the Nyamulagira sector, an estimated 30,000 people have occupied parts of the park in Kirolirwe, Burungu and Mushari. As reported at the 26th session, local authorities in Goma started to resettle in this region returning refugees originating from Masisi after their camps in Rwanda were dismantled in 2002. However, although security in Masisi has improved considerably, they seem not inclined to return to their region of origin. Other people seem to take advantage of the situation to settle in the area. An estimated 30,000 ha of evergreen forest has been destroyed for charcoal production and the area converted into fields and pastures. There are at least 5,000 heads of cattle in the area. Following numerous interventions by ICCN, the Centre and non-governmental conservation organizations that were reported to the 27th session of the Committee, the provincial authorities have in principle accepted to evacuate the area. However they advance the argument that extra funds are needed to organise the resettlement as a reason for not implementing this decision. IUCN reports that it received information that Rwandan military are guarding the resettlement area and are preventing ICCN from accessing it and that local politicians are distributing plots in the forests to produce charcoal and converting the plots afterwards for cattle ranching for their own use. In the northern sector of the Park, at least 16,000 ha of fields were installed and 150 houses constructed with the consent of the local authorities belonging to a former rebel faction. On coastal areas west of Lake Edward, at least 20,000 people have settled. This region is situated on what used to be the border between Uganda and Rwanda controlled areas and was till recently inaccessible to ICCN field staff. Around 350 families of Hima and Karuruma pastoralists from Uganda, with more than 5,000 heads of cattle are still present in the northern sector. These pastoralists were installed in the Park in 1999 by Ugandan troops that were present there at that time. Two meetings were held recently between the authorities of DRC and Uganda to discuss their return to Uganda, without any results.
However, since the 27th session, ICCN with the assistance of its partners was able to make considerable progress in reclaiming some of the occupied regions of the park. In the Nyamulagira sector, 5,000 ha of encroached land could be recuperated at Kibiriza and an agreement was reached with the local population to evacuate a further 5,000 people who destroyed 25 ha in the forest on the Kabasha escarpment. In Tongo-Kanyangiri 40 ha were recuperated. In the eastern sector at Kongo, 20,000 ha were recuperated with the assistance of the Governor. In the northern sector, more than 7,000 farmers from Uganda were evacuated and 6,500 ha recuperated; and in Kanyatsi a further 750 farmers were evacuated and 3,000 ha recuperated. Some of these evacuations took place in the framework of a participatory effort to demarcate Park borders by WWF that is funded as part of the Belgian community conservation project implemented by the Centre.
A further conservation problem is the management of the fishing activities in Lake Edward. At the time of inscription on the World Heritage List, ICCN recognised 3 fishing concessions at the southern edge of the lake, in the villages of Vitshumbi, Nyakakoma and Kyavinyonge. These 30-year concessions have now officially expired. During the conflict, the resident populations in these villages increased considerably. New villages and illegal fishing camps have been installed along the western and northern shoreline, often controlled by the military. The total population on the shores of the lake is now estimated at more then 20,000 people. A scientific study in 1989 estimated the total production capacity of the lake at 10,000 tons per year, sufficient to guarantee income for 700 fishing families. Unless illegal fishing activities are curtailed and camps removed a collapse of the fish populations can be expected destroying a major livelihood source of the local community.
The best-protected sector of the Park remains the gorilla sector. A survey in September 2003 executed jointly by ICCN, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and the Rwanda Park authorities with the assistance off different conservation organizations over the entire mountain gorilla range (Virunga National Park, Volcano National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi National Park in Uganda) revealed that the population increased from 324 in 1989 to 380 in 2003.
The Garamba National Park is not only affected by the political instability but even more so by the war in Sudan. It was noted in previous reports that key animal populations decreased significantly at the start of the war in DRC in 1997, when Park guards were disarmed and different militia groups occupied the Park station; but since 1998, through increased surveillance efforts, populations of key species remained fairly stable. Unfortunately, this situation changed significantly since the 27th session of the Committee. In July 2003, poaching pressure increased significantly and the focus of the poaching seems to have changed from meat to ivory. As this activity demands less time, poachers who don’t have to stop to smoke the meat, do kill more and more animals. An aerial survey in August 2003 showed 34 fresh elephant and two rhino carcasses. All animals were killed by automatic gunfire and their tusks and horns had been removed. In November 2003, 47 more fresh elephant carcasses were found in an area where a group of northern white rhino occur. On 20 April 2004, the Centre received another report from the Garamba Project that Sudanese poachers where spotted accompanied by 25 donkeys loaded with ivory, moving rapidly towards the Sudanese border. Ground patrols found the carcasses of two rhinos and 12 elephants in the area. Only the horn and ivory was taken. This is the first time poachers were reported using pack animals. There is now evidence that between September 2003 and the time of the preparation of the document at least five rhinos were killed out of a total population of approximately 30 animals. Now that poachers have entered the heart of the Park, the threat to the last remaining northern white rhinos is greater than it has ever been in the last 20 years. Poachers are predominantly SPLA rebels aided by Congolese porters. Ironically, the increase in poaching seems to be connected to the progress in the peace talks in Sudan and the subsequent cease-fire agreement between the SPLA and the Sudanese government, resulting in fighters coming back from the front and turning towards poaching. It has to be noted that a large group of SPLA rebels is stationed in the DRC town of Aba and that there is no presence of DRC military in this region. In response to this situation, an emergency strategy was developed by ICCN and its conservation partners aiming to reverse this situation. The strategy focuses on re-training guards to better equip them to deal with professional bush war fighters, providing the necessary equipment to increase the law enforcement effectiveness and taking steps to put pressure on the SPLA to withdraw their fighters from the region. Several meetings were already held with SPLA officials, in which they promised to recall their troops but the local SPLA commander so far has refused to comply with this decision. A report on the situation was sent by UNESCO to MONUC, requesting them to consider stationing military observers in the region and to inform the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Special UN Envoy for Humanitarian Needs for Sudan.
The situation in the Salonga National Park remains unchanged. Commercial poachers, often well-equipped former military personnel or rebels, with automatic weapons and outboard motors, operate along the rivers in the Park. Bush meat and ivory are alleged to be transported by commercial planes to Kinshasa. Although Park guards receive some support through the UNESCO/UNF project and from other partners such as the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, mainly for salaries, rations and medicine and limited equipment, the Park remains grossly under-funded and continues to lack proper management. Park guards only have some arms seized from poachers and are not allowed to wear uniforms. Currently surveys of key species are being conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Preliminary results indicate that in certain areas, large mammals populations have decreased considerably. WCS is also conducting socio-economic surveys as well as a population census in the corridor that separates the two principal forest blocs of the Park, as part of the Belgian community conservation project implemented by the Centre.
With stability returning to the country, the Government, with support of donors such as the World Bank and the European Union, is planning to rehabilitate the national road network in DRC. Already rehabilitation works are scheduled for roads that cross the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. It will be important to guarantee that these infrastructure works are done without causing negative impact on the habitat of the World Heritage properties. The re-opening of roads to motorized traffic might result in increased bushmeat trade and immigration of populations from the densely populated regions into areas adjacent to the properties.
The Centre continued its support to the 5 World Heritage properties through its project “Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict, Protecting World Heritage Sites in DRC” in close co-operation with ICCN and with its on the ground partners in each of the sites (German Technical Co-operation Agency (GTZ), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Gilman International Conservation (GIC), International Rhino Foundation (IRF), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), and the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM)). The project, funded by the United Nations Foundation with complementary support from the Government of Belgium, will end in December 2004.
As recommended by the 27th session of the Committee, the Director-General of UNESCO in co-operation with the Government of DRC has launched an international campaign to mobilise the necessary support to continue the conservation activities in the DRC World Heritage properties. A high-level conference will take place at UNESCO headquarters 16-17 September 2004. The objectives of the conference are (a) to obtain a high-level political commitment from the Transition Government to address the key conservation problems of the World Heritage properties, such as encroachments, illegal resource extraction and the presence of military and armed groups; (b) to mobilize necessary financial resources to sustain the achievements of the UNESCO/UNF project and ensure recovery of the World Heritage values of the five properties; and (c) to raise awareness in the international community for the conservation of the World Heritage properties in DRC. The President of DRC has accepted an invitation by the Director-General to attend this conference, thereby demonstrating his commitment to the conservation of the World Heritage properties. Several personalities, including the President of France and the Royal Family of Belgium have already accepted to be patrons for the event. The Government of Belgium, the Government of Italy and UNF have indicated their willingness to support the future programme through their financial support to UNESCO. UNESCO is also discussing with the European Union, the World Bank, the Central Africa Regional Programme for the Environment and others on how to support the properties through their on-going or planned conservation initiatives in the Congo Basin. Parallel to the conference, the Government of Belgium will organise an exhibition at UNESCO on the biological and cultural diversity of DRC during 8 –27 September 2004. At the donor conference UNESCO expects to have pledges from some of the major multilateral donors like the World Bank and the EU to invest in building capacity for protected areas, including the five World Heritage sites of DRC.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.3
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Expresses its satisfaction that the installation of the Transition Government and the deployment of MONUC around some of the properties has put an end to many of the hostilities in and around the 5 World Heritage properties and has enabled the management authority ICCN to regain control of parts of some of the properties;
2. Commends ICCN and especially its dedicated field staff, UNESCO and its partners in the project “Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict” for their on-going efforts to protect the integrity and the World Heritage values of the properties;
3. Reiterates its serious concern about the continuing threats to the properties, especially encroachment and extraction of natural resources, including mining, with the consent of local political or military authorities and the poaching and ivory trafficking by armed groups, including former rebel troops that are awaiting demobilisation or integration in the national army;
4. Expresses special concern on the sudden upsurge in poaching in the Garamba National Park by SPLA fighters, which is threatening with extinction the last population of the northern white rhino;
5. Urges the Transition Government to take all necessary steps to restore the integrity of the properties, especially of the Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks, by taking urgent measures to evacuate all illegal settlements and halt all illegal resource extraction;
6. Urges the Transition Government to pull all military positions, including former rebel troops awaiting demobilization or integration in the national army out of the five World Heritage properties and station them at sufficient distance from the properties and requests MONUC to pay particular attention to the demobilization and disarmament of armed groups inside and in the immediate vicinity of the properties;
7. Requests the Director General of UNESCO to use UN and other appropriate diplomatic channels to influence high-level SPLA officials, urging them to put a halt to the poaching by their fighters as well as an immediate retreat of SPLA troops from the vicinity of the Garamba National Park;
8. Commends the Director-General of UNESCO for the organization of the high-level conference on the conservation of the DRC World Heritage properties in September 2004 and invites all State Parties to the Convention, as well as international donor agencies, foundations and the private sector to support this initiative and post-conference rehabilitation of the five World Heritage properties;
9. Requests the State Party to invite a joint Centre/IUCN mission to Virunga National Park, Kahuzi-Biega and Garamba National Parks to assess their current state of conservation and report on the findings of the mission in view of examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005;
10. Decides to retain the Garamba, Salonga, Kahuzi Biega and Virunga National Parks and the Okapi Wildife Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

4. Simien National Park (Ethiopia) (N 9)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1978

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1996

Criteria: N (iii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

Total amount provided to the property US$149,307 (for technical assistance and training).


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

27 COM 7A.3


Conservation issues:

At the time of the preparation of the document, the State Party had not submitted the report requested by the Committee at its 27th session to provide additional information on progress made on the state of conservation of the property, particularly in relation to the benchmarks for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and other recommendations outlined in the IUCN/UNESCO mission report of April 2001.


However IUCN has received a report dated 12 March 2004 from the “Simien Mountains National Park Integrated Development Project” a project funded by the Austrian Government. This project operates in and around the Park focusing on five major issues: strengthening Park management; community based tourism development; agricultural intensification; natural resource rehabilitation and conservation and enhancing the capacity of communities and institutions. The report provides figures on the increase in the population of wildlife, specifically the Walia Ibex and Simien Fox. Numbers of Walia Ibex are said to have increased from 514 in 2001 to 558 in 2002 and to 579 in 2003, indicating a significant and continuous increase compared to the 1995 figure of 270. Simien Fox numbers show an increase from 41 in 2001 to 45 in 2002 and 2003, a significant increase from the 1997 estimate of 20 to 30 individuals. These numbers concur with the numbers reported in last years report by the State Party. IUCN is currently seeking input from the Canid Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission to verify the increase in numbers reported.
The report notes that the construction and installation of different tourist facilities has increased the number of tourists, which in turn increases the income of the community in and around the Park. It is stated that the introduction of new technologies of crop production, vegetable and tree seedling production have decreased the agricultural expansion and deforestation within the World Heritage property and that awareness campaigns to inform local communities about the use of the Park, tourism and natural resources have created a sense of ownership and support for the Park.
The report provides no information with regard to other benchmarks set by the Committee at its 25th session, which are included in the draft decision.
Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.4
The World Heritage Committee,


  1. Commends the Austrian Government for its support to the property through the Simien Mountains National Park Integrated Development Project;


2. Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide by 1 February 2005, a report on the state of conservation of the property for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005, specifically on progress made in relation to the benchmarks set by the 25th session of the Committee for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger on the following issues:
a) Realignment of the Park’s boundary to exclude the villages along the boundary;

b) Extension of the Park to include at least Mesarerya and Lemalino Wildlife Reserves;

c) Significant and sustainable reduction in the human population density within the Park, especially within the core area; and

d) Effective conservation within the extended National Park of a larger population of Walia Ibex and Simien Fox.
3. Decides to retain Simien National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

5. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea) (N 155/257)
Year of Inscription on the World Heritage List: 1981, extended in 1982

Year of Inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1992

Criteria: N (ii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

Total amount provided to the property US$443,349 (project preparation, consultants, equipment and training). In 2003, a further US$30,000 was approved for the Mount Nimba Conservation Project.


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

27 COM 7A.4

26 COM 21 (a) 3
Conservation issues:

On the Guinean part of the property, the 9-year UNDP Global Environment Facility-supported programme: “Conservation of the biodiversity of the Nimba Mountains through integrated and participatory management" will be launched in 2004. This project will support and strengthen conservation efforts in the full Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve, including the Nimba Mountains World Heritage property. In support of the programme, an initiative to understand hunting patterns, and its dynamics and impacts on the World Heritage property was approved for funding by the Netherlands Committee for IUCN. Managed by two non-governmental organizations, Sylvatrop and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and in close collaboration with Guinean governmental authorities, the project will allow local villages and hunters to recognize the problem of over-hunting where it exists and to develop appropriate solutions to manage wildlife in a sustainable way. In addition, primate research and environmental awareness campaigns continue, based out of the Environmental Research Institute of Bossou, with support from the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute, the University of Stirling and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As part of this project, efforts to establish a forested corridor between the World Heritage property and the Bossou Hills, to permit movements of chimpanzees between the two sites, continue. As part of a new project to provide emergency assistance to natural World Heritage properties in need, which was approved by the UN Foundation in 2003 and which will be implemented through the Centre and FFI, some funding is also earmarked for the property.


With regard to the refugee issue, a report commissioned by FFI, published in July 2003, entitled "Assessment of Refugee Activities Impact on the Mount Nimba Biosphere Reserve", mentions that the Mount Nimba range played host to a large number of refugees and that the refugee populations significantly increased local community populations within the buffer and transition zones of the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve. However, as a result of a swift relocation of refugees in camps set up away from the property, the negative impacts to Mount Nimba property have been minimized.
The Centre and IUCN were informed that, in late 2003, the EuroNimba consortium repossessed the main mining exploration station in the mining enclave within the World Heritage property in anticipation of restarting exploration studies, including collection of environmental baseline information.
In spite of the cessation of hostilities, security remains tenuous in the part of the property located in Côte d’Ivoire. The European Union is taking steps to restart its 'Programme transitoire', channelling support through Conservation International (CI) to the appropriate authorities in the Directorate of Nature Protection (DNP) in Côte d’Ivoire.
Due to insecurity, no further progress has been made on transboundary collaboration since the tri-national meeting between Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia in N'Zérékoré in February 2002. However, on 20 April, the Centre received a request for international assistance from the Government of Liberia, to assist them with the preparation of a tentative list.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.5

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Recommends the States Parties of Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia to follow up on the decisions and recommendations of the tri-national meeting held in N’Zérékoré to increase transboundary co-operation and inform the Centre on progress achieved;
2. Requests the State Party of Guinea to provide more detailed information on the expected restarting of the exploration studies in the mining enclave for which the concession rights were acquired by the Euronimba consortium, including relevant information on the potential impacts to integrity of the property;
3. Requests the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea to submit by 1 February 2005 a report on the impact of hostilities on the conservation status of the property for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005;
4. Invites the State Party of Liberia to assess the feasibility of extending the property to Liberia as part of its work to prepare a tentative list of properties for nomination as World Heritage;
5. Decides to retain the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

6. Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (N 573)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1991

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1992

Criteria: N (ii) (iii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

Total amount provided to the property: US$143,250 (including the US$108, 250 for projects as part of the rehabilitation plan for the property).


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

27 COM 7A.4

26 COM 21 (a) 5
Conservation issues:

The Committee at its 27th session expressed its serious concerns regarding the lack of clarity on information on vehicles provided with financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund and requested the State Party to report on this issue and on progress made in the implementation of the rehabilitation plan. At the time of the preparation of the document, no report has been provided by the State Party.

The Committee requested that IUCN and the Centre undertake a mission to the property and submit a report by 1 February 2004. In a letter dated 12 December 2003, the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Hydraulics, Environment and Combat of Desertification invited the Centre to undertake this mission in order to assess the state of conservation of the property. At the time of the preparation of this document, the mission had not yet been undertaken but it is scheduled to take place before the 28th session of the Committee. If the mission is undertaken, the findings will be presented during the Committee session and a revised draft decision might be proposed to take into account the conclusions of the mission.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.6
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Reiterates its concern that no report was provided by the State Party on the vehicles provided with financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund and on progress made in the implementation of the rehabilitation plan and urges the State Party to provide this report as soon as possible and no later than 1 December 2004;
2. Decides to retain Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

7. Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal) (N 25)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1981

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 2000

Criteria: N (iii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

Total sum provided to the property: US$241,297 (as emergency assistance and for equipment purchase and training).


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

27 COM 7A.6


Conservation issues:

In its report to the 27th session of the Committee, IUCN confirmed the State Party’s statement that the proliferation of the invasive species Salvinia molesta, which lead to the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2000, had been reduced to an acceptably low level. The Centre and IUCN received a letter dated 3 March 2004 from the Director of the National Parks of Senegal, requesting the Committee to maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and referring to a number of persisting threats already reported by the State Party in 2003, namely a retreat of natural faunal habitats due to the colonization of invasive aquatic species, growing salinity in the soils resulting in increased mortality of riverine vegetation and silting up of river courses causing a reduction in the natural river flow and impacts on biodiversity. The letter also has proposed a small experts workshop in order to urgently prepare a plan of action. The letter provides no information with regard to possible benchmarks and timeframes for the possible removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.


IUCN reiterates its observation that, although Salvinia molesta is now under control in the property, monitoring is still needed and that there is a need to asses the threat caused by another invading species, Typha australis, which is colonizing open water bodies due to changing hydrological conditions created by the upstream dam. Unlike Salvinia molesta, which was introduced from the neotropics, Typha australis is a native species that due to changes in environmental conditions has been expanding rapidly into the ecosystem. IUCN notes that, being a native species, it is impossible to control using biological methods. However, it might be managed by increasing water depth, and/or cutting stems under water.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.7

The World Heritage Committee,
1. Requests the State Party to invite the Centre and IUCN in close co-operation with the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group, to organise an expert mission to the property to assess the level of threat posed by the proliferation of Typha australis and other invasive aquatic species as well as the other problems reported by the State Party, namely the growing salinity and the silting up of rivers and to advise on required actions and possible benchmarks and timeframes for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
2. Decides to retain Djoudj Bird Sanctuary on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

8. Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda) (N 684)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1994

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1999

Criteria: N (iii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

Total amount provided to the property US$96,249 (US$32,249 for technical support activities and US$64,000 as emergency assistance).


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:
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