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Decision : 36 COM 7A.7
Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 280)

The World Heritage Committee, 

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.7, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Notes with satisfaction the recent progress in the security of the property and progress accomplished by the managers and their partners concerning the participatory management of the natural resources, notably the delineation of the property;

4.   Expresses its deep concern regarding the conclusion of the reactive monitoring mission that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, although intact, has further deteriorated since the 2007 reactive monitoring mission with erosion of biodiversity and questioning of the integrity of the property;

5.   Requests the State Party for detailed information on the oil exploration and exploitation projects in the central basin that risk to overlap the property and recalls its established position on the incompatibility of oil exploration and exploitation with World Heritage status;

6.   Urgently requests the State Party to implement the corrective measures, as updated by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission of 2012 for the rehabilitation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property:

a)  Secure the property through the implementation of the third stage of ‘Operation Bonobo’ to eliminate the pockets of rebellion still present inside the property,

b)   Revitalize the permanent consultation framework between the political, administrative and military provincial authorities of the four provinces concerned with the property to eliminate poaching in the Park by rapidly organizing a second meeting and establishing a monitoring mechanism for this consultation,

c)   Revise, adapting to the current situation in the Park and implement the anti-poaching strategy and ensure its monitoring by immediately establishing the monitoring of law enforcement through the daily use of the MIST programme,

d)  Implement without delay the overall ecological monitoring of the whole Salonga National Park to collect updated data to orient the anti-poaching strategy and finalize the Management Plan,

e)  Address the conflicts concerning the management of natural resources by accelerating the participatory delineation process of the non-natural boundaries of the Park and pursue the present formalization procedure for the fishing associations by establishing a zoning, creating restricted zones and reconsidering the land boundary granted locally for fishing,

f)   Pursue the creation of an ecological continuum between the two sectors of the Park through participatory work for the orientation of this area and propose a listing status for this protected area and accompany this process with a simple Management Plan,

g)  Conduct studies concerning the situation and ecological impact of the two communities established inside the Park, before taking any relocation decision;

7.   Takes note of the indicators developed by the mission with the management team of the Park and also requests the State Party, in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to quantify these indicators based on the results of overall ecological monitoring of the whole property and the results of monitoring law enforcement to enable the proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

8.   Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the updated corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

9.   Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism;

10. Also decides to retain Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger, Reinforced Monitoring
Properties: Salonga National Park
Year: 2012
Decision Code: 36 COM 7A.7