Decision : 29 COM 8B.18
Nominations of Natural Properties to the World Heritage List (Ecosystem and Cultural Landscape of the Minkébé Massif)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC-05/29.COM/8B, WHC- 05/29.COM/8B.Add 2, WHC-05/29.COM/INF.8B.1 and WHC-05/29.COM/INF.8B.2,
2. Refers back to the State Party of Gabon the nomination of the Ecosystem and Cultural Landscape of the Minkébé Massif (Gabon) to the World Heritage List on the basis of its natural values to allow the State Party to:
a) better document the natural values of this property;
b) clarify the status and potential impacts of proposed mining activities adjacent to the property, specifically in relation to the potential exploitation of iron deposits in Belinga/Minkébé;
c) confirm the long-term protection, planning and management arrangements for the property; and
d) consider, in collaboration with Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, and under the current Dja-Minkébé-Odzala Tri-National (TRIDOM) landscape project, the relationship of the property to adjoining natural areas and the potential for an expanded transboundary nomination.
3. Refers back to the State Party the nomination of the Ecosystem and Cultural Landscape of the Minkébé Massif, Gabon, to the World Heritage List on the basis of its cultural values, to allow the State Party to work with neighbouring countries to consider whether a site might be proposed as a cultural landscape that would encompass a viable Baka community who could be engaged in the sustainable management of forest produce. Such a site would need to be supported by a management plan that:
a) puts in place management practices that allow the involvement of Baka communities in the conservation of forest produce, in a way that benefits them socially and economically;
b) sets out how the distinctive, and highly valuable, traditional knowledge and beliefs of the Baka can be recorded and, if possible, how their knowledge of forest plants can be harnessed in conservation work; and
c) shows how the profile of the way of life of the Baka people can be raised and their skills optimized.
4. Welcomes the State Party's development of an improved Tentative List and recommends that, with the assistance of the advisory bodies, the position of the nominated property is confirmed in relation to other potential World Heritage properties in Gabon, including possibilities for serial and transboundary nominations;
5. Invites the State Party to submit an international assistance request to support the work needed to provide the information requested above.