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Committee Decisions

37 COM 7A.3

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire/Guinea) (N 155 bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.3 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Takes note of the conclusion of the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is still present but that it remains threatened by increasing anthropogenic pressures, notably uncontrolled fires, poaching, destruction of habitats on the periphery of the property, extension of agricultural and forestry practices on the boundaries and inside the property;

4.  Notes with concern the granting of two new mining exploration permits near and/or overlapping the Guinean part of the property with cumulative impacts that could threaten the integrity of the property and urges the Guinea State Party to review the boundaries of the nickel exploration permits for the SAMA Resources Company to exclude the zone inside the property;

5.  Requests the two States Parties that no new mining exploration or exploitation permits located around the property be granted without a Strategic Environmental Impact Study (EIES) be carried out to assess the impacts, including cumulative of these projects;

6.  Recalls its request to the two States Parties that:

a)  the EIES of the mining projects located in the mining enclave or the immediate boundary of the property be carried out in accordance with the highest international standards and in close consultation with all the stakeholders,

b)  these EIES must qualify and quantify the potential impacts of these projects on the OUV of the project, at each stage of their cycle, including the construction and exploitation, taking into account their cumulative and collateral impacts linked to the treatment at site of the minerals and their transport, as well as socio-economic changes to be expected,

c)  these EIES should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for evaluation by IUCN prior to any decision based on their conclusions and recommendations, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

7.  Warmly welcomes the slight progress accomplished in the implementation of some of the corrective measures by the two States Parties, but also takes note of the conclusion of the reactive monitoring mission of 2013 that there remains an important effort to be made to achieve the restoration of the integrity of the property and conserve the OUV over the long term;

8.  Also requests the two States Parties to implement the corrective measures as updated by the 2013 mission, notably:

a)  Finalize the geo-referencing of the Park boundaries, correct and concretize these boundaries on the ground and submit a precise map to the World Heritage Committee at its next session,

b)  Restore the integrity of the cleared parts of the property, notably by the suppression of illegally planted crops with the ecological restoration of the degraded areas,

c)  Reinforce the management capacity of the Guinean Office for Biological Diversity and Protected Areas (OGUIDAP) and the Ivorian Parks and Reserves Authority (OIPR), notably by providing them with a operating budget for the site, increasing the number of surveillance staff, their capacities, their presence on the ground and technical resources, notably in transportation and arms and amunition,

d)  Create a buffer zone around the property in collaboration with local communities to enable an effective conservation of the OUV of the property, resorting to the establishment of communal forests,

e)  Strengthen actions to benefit local communities, promoting socio-economic activities compatible with the preservation of the OUV of the property, preferably in the outlying areas further away from the boundaries,

f)   Establish a harmonized ecological monitoring mechanism between OGUIDAP and OIPR in the two parts of the property,

g)  Finalize and implement the management plans of the two parts of the property located in both countries and prepare a master plan establishing a general vision of the management of the whole property, that will serve for the local, public and private donors, including the mining companies, an action plan for conservation of the property and the sustainable socio-economic development of its periphery, to strengthen the visibility of the property and its OUV,

h)  Organize joint surveillance operations between OGUIDAP and OIPR throughout the property,

i)   Establish a permanent funding mechanism for conservation of the property and the sustainable socio-economic development of its periphery;

9.  Recommends that a second phase of the UNDP/GEF programme for the conservation of biological diversity of Mont Nimba be developed, extended to the Ivorian part of the property to assist the two States Parties in the full implementation of these corrective measures;

10.  Commends the States Parties of Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia for the efforts undertaken to implement a trans-boundary cooperation for the Mont Nimba Massif and encourages them to formalize this cooperation by a signature of the prepared framework agreement in the near future;

11.   Notes that in the absence of data on the current state of the biological values of the property that would enable the definition of appropriate indicators, the mission was not in a position to define the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and further requests the States Parties, with support from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop it as soon as an operational ecological monitoring mechanism of the state and tendencies of evolution of the property is established;

12.   Requests furthermore the two States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the progress accomplished in the implementation of the corrective measures and other recommendations of the 2013 mission, as well as on progress in the environmental and social impact studies linked to mining exploitation, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

13.   Decides to retain the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, Reports, List of World Heritage in Danger, Outstanding Universal Value
States Parties: Côte d'Ivoire Guinea
Session: 37COM