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Committee Decisions

36 COM 7B.1

Dja Wildlife Reserve (Cameroon) (N 407)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.   Recalls Decision 35 COM 7B.1 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011)

3.   Notes with concern that the State Party has not suspended the GEOVIC mining license, as requested by the Committee at its 34th and 35th sessions, although no activity has begun at the site since the 2009 mission, and that the new environmental impact study submitted to the World Heritage Centre does not meet international standards and does not take into account the presence of the property;

4.   Expresses its deep concern regarding the granting of mining exploration licenses, including one for iron exploration, within the property, the impacts of the Mekin Dam and the rubber plantation on the property, the consequences of which would significantly affect its Outstanding Universal Value and in particular its integrity;

5.   Recalls its position concerning the incompatibility of mining exploration and exploitation with World Heritage status;

6.   Takes note of the conclusion of the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission that the threats and pressures on the property continue to increase affecting its Outstanding Universal Value, and that the management body of the property does not dispose of financial, logistical or human resources to respond to these threats and pressures present inside and at the immediate periphery of the property;

7.   Considers that in view of this accumulation of possible and even imminent threats, the property meets, according to Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and that the property would possibly be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger at the 37th session in 2013, if the following conditions are not fulfilled:

a)  Review the limits of the iron exploration license to exclude the area inside the property and to ensure that this has no impact on the Outstanding Universal Value,

b)  Suspend GEOVIC mining work until the completion by the company of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment meeting international standards, before any commencement of exploitation at the site and create a consultation framework with the management body of the property to prepare and implement a biodiversity safeguarding plan supported by adequate resources,

c)  Define, in consultation with Sud Hévéa Cameroun company, the measures to be undertaken to foresee, reduce and compensate the negative effects of the agriculture exploitation project (rubber plantation) on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property,

d)  Suspend the Mekin Dam work until the appropriate measures to mitigate the direct and indirect impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN;

8.   Urgently requests the State Party to implement the following measures to prevent, the degradation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property:

a)  Strengthen the human and logistic resources of the management body to enable permanent surveillance and control, under normal conditions, of the land and aquatic parts of the property; to this end motorized transportation, notably aquatic, should be made available to the ecoguards,

b)  Establish the technical and financial means for the effective operation of the monitoring system of large wildlife and enable the creation of a reference data base on the state of conservation of the biodiversity of the property,

c)  Revise and modify the boundary and physical marking of the property and submit a map in the required format to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2013;

9.   Requests the State Party to also implement the other recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission of 2012;

10.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a progress report on the state of conservation of the property, including a detail of progress accomplished in the implementation of the corrective measures and recommendations of the mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013; 

Themes: Conservation, Capacity Building, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties: Cameroon
Properties: Dja Faunal Reserve
Session: 36COM