Phase I (2000-2005)
The first phase of the program has focused on maintaining conservation activities in the five sites and establishing a “Diplomacy of Conservation” (a political and diplomatic support for the sites’ conservation). Relying on the World Heritage Convention, the programme has done everything to obtain the cooperation of the different parties involved in the conflict in order to achieve the safeguard of the World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Phase II (2005-2010)
During the second phase of the project, the programme supported the implementation of emergency action plans in the five Congolese sites, while continuing to implement « Diplomacy of Conservation ». In a context of high security risks linked to the presence of armed groups in the Eastern Congo, emergency action plans have been developed for the three pilot sites: Kahuzi-Biega and Virunga National Parks and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. In Garamba National Park, a strategy of community conservation has been developed.
Phase III (2010-2013)
The third phase is aimed at setting the necessary conditions for the rehabilitation of the five Congolese sites, mainly through the finalization of emergency action plans, and strengthening the element of “Diplomacy of Conservation”. This phase was mainly about implementing the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee in consultation with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and following the evolution of the sites’ State of Conservation, so as to allow their withdrawal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
High-level Meeting between the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and UNESCO
A key event of this phase was the holding of a High-level Meeting between the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and UNESCO, on 14 January of 2011 in Kinshasa. This meeting, chaired by the Congolese Prime Minister, Adolphe Muzito, and by UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, aimed at exploring ways to strengthen the protection of the five Congolese sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger. A significant result of this meeting is the adoption of the Kinshasa Declaration’s, which marks Congolese government’s involvement in implementing the corrective measures decided by the World Heritage Committee for the rehabilitation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the endangered sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with UNESCO’s support.