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Committee Decisions

33 COM 7A.8

Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 718)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7A.8, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Taking note of the conclusion of the mission that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property has been seriously degraded but that the security conditions are now in place to enable a beginning of the regeneration of the values and integrity of the property, congratulates the State Party for the progress achieved in this respect and encourages it to continue its efforts;

4. Considers that the indicators that describe the desired state of conservation and measure the restoration of the biological values of the property, its integrity and management, as established by the joint 2009 monitoring mission in co-operation with the management authority, must be reached to enable the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

5. Also takes note of the efforts made by the State Party and the management authority in the implementation of the corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

6. Urges the State Party to implement the corrective measures as updated by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring in 2009, to restore the Outstanding Universal Value of the property:

a) Continue efforts to resolve problems concerning the FARDC military involved in large-scale poaching in the south-west peripheral area of the property,

b) Officially cancel all the artisanal mining rights as well as those, encroaching the property, granted by the mining cadastre;

c) Take measures to mitigate impacts linked to the increase in traffic in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, and in particular secure the necessary technical and financial means to contribute towards the implementation of the system to control immigration and strengthen the surveillance and anti-poaching mechanism;

d) Finalise and approve the management plan for the property, with the creation of an integrally protected zone with national park status;

e) Integrate the activities of the Immigration Control Committees (CCI) and the Local Committee for Monitoring and Conservation of Nature (CLSCN) in the management activities of the subsistence areas (agricultural and hunting areas), for which management modalities should be indicated in the management plan;

f) Legalise and upscale the pilot system to regulate and monitor immigration and traffic on the RN4, and secure the right to close the RN4 to traffic at night and to establish a toll system;

g) Continue efforts to strengthen and reinvigorate the surveillance mechanism and render it more effective;

h) Request the State Party to halt illegal trafficking of timber, minerals and ivory across its north-eastern border;

i) Prepare and implement a zoning plan for forest areas adjacent to the property in order to protect it from the negative impact of unsustainable exploitation of the forest;

7. Requests the State Party to ensure the monitoring of the indicators describing the desired state of conservation and undertake, before the end of 2010, a study to prepare the methodology to be used for the 2012 inventory to enable the monitoring of any increases in wildlife numbers. The State may wish to request assistance from the World Heritage Fund for this purpose;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value as well as the draft desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, based on the proposals developed during the monitoring mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a report on the state of conservation of the property, in particular on progress accomplished in the implementation of the corrective measures and the other recommendations of the 2009 mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

10. Decides, in view of progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures and the improvement of the security situation, to no longer apply the reinforced monitoring mechanism to this property;

11. Also decides to retain Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
Session: 33COM