Decision : CONF 001 VIII.2
Manovo-Gounda Saint Fions (Central African Republic)
In response to the December 1992 request of the World Heritage Committee, two meetings were held with representatives of the Central African Republic (CAR) to discuss: (a) the protection of the site; (b) participation of local people, and (c) the social-economic ramifications of a "privatized management regime". The first meeting in April determined that the issues were of an administrative and legal nature rather than ecological and thus it was decided not to carry out a field mission.
On 10 May 1993 legal representatives of the Central African Republic, UNESCO and IUCN met at the World Heritage Centre to review the above-mentioned items (a), (b) and (c).
The following major findings were noted:
(i) the site and the surrounding region are currently socially, politically and economically unstable. Poaching from neighbouring countries is serious and presents high risks to anyone trying to prevent it;
(ii) the Government of the Central African Republic does not have the financial or staff resources to effectively manage the World Heritage site. It is interested in some form of privatization, leasing or franchising. This could involve an advisory body with representation from international organizations as well as local people. The body should have a fund-raising and management capability;
(iii) there is not a consensus on whether privatization would be appropriate. Technically and legally it is feasible, but further clarification of the proposal is required and has been requested.
The Central African Republic was recommended to continue to explore alternative management approaches and the Centre should co-operate in seeking an effective management solution. The Bureau agreed to the above recommendation and the Centre will report to the Committee when new information becomes available. The Bureau requested the Centre to ensure that the State Party respected all obligations incurred by joining the Convention and ensure the long-term conservation of the site.