1.         Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire,Guinea) (N 155bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1992)
Total amount approved: USD 202,382
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

November 1988; June-July 1992: UNESCO field visit

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1992

The Bureau's attention is drawn to the fact that the Committee, at its last session, found that the site of the proposed iron-ore mining project was within the Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. In the light of an evaluation carried out by IUCN the Committee took cognizance of the fact that the new boundaries proposed by the Guinean authorities, though intended to excise that part of the site where iron-ore mining is expected to take place, will also reduce the Reserve's area by about 30% and seriously endanger the integrity of the values for which Mt. Nimba was originally granted World Heritage status. For instance, the montane and moist forest areas of the Reserve would be reduced by 50% and the area of montane grasslands would decrease by 30%. The Committee also observed that the site did not have management plans and programmes for ensuring long-term protection. Furthermore, the Committee was informed that an independent environmental impact study of the iron-ore mining project had not been carried out.

The Committee was of the view that the proposed reduction in the size of the Reserve's area was in itself a major threat to the World Heritage status of the site. The Committee found it likely that some of the features which made this site worthy of World Heritage status were located within the area proposed to be deleted. Furthermore, the Committee also recalled that additional habitats of Mt. Nimba within Cote d'Ivoire were added to this site in 1982 and since then the World Heritage site has been a transborder property of C6te d'Ivoire and Guinea. The Committee was concerned that the Government of C6te d'Ivoire had not been consulted in any of the negotiations related to the modification of the boundary of the site.

The Committee concluded that the Mt. Nimba Nature Nature Reserve, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981, was seriously at risk from a variety of threats, primarily the proposed iron-ore mining project. As instructed by the Committee, the Secretariat contacted the Governments of Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea, and requested them to nominate this site, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 4 of the Convention, for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Government of Guinea has proposed to organize, in co-operation with the Government of Cote d'Ivoire, a meeting to bring the relevant authorities of the two States Parties together and discuss the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee. The Chairman approved a sum of US$19,500 for the organization of this meeting which, though it was originally scheduled to be held in March 1992, is now expected to be convened from 19-24 June 1992. The outcome of this meeting will be reported at the forthcoming session of the Bureau.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1992

The Bureau recalled that the Committee at its last session concluded that the reduction in the size of this site proposed by the Government of Guinea in order to exclude areas that would be impacted by a proposed iron-ore mining project, posed a major threat to its integrity. Taking into account that the site also faced several other threats, the Committee, at its last session recommended that the Governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea nominate this site for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau noted with satisfaction that experts of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea, together with representatives of UNDP and UNESCO had met, from 29 June to 3 July 1992, at Mt. Nimba and, on the basis of field visits and consultations, have endorsed the conclusions of the Committee and requested the Governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea to urgently nominate this site for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau noted with concern that the site continues to be under pressure from interest groups which are eager to take advantage of the economic benefits of exploiting the iron-ore deposits in this site. The Bureau, however, noted that so far no iron-ore mining activities have been undertaken and that bi-and multilateral donors have refrained from financing a project which, in the Committee's view, will seriously endanger the integrity of tins World Heritage site.

The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to contact the Governments of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea and, once again, urge them to nominate this site to the List of World Heritage in Danger. Furthermore, the Bureau recommended that the World Heritage Centre co-operate with the two States Parties concerned and donor agencies such as the World Bank and UNDP to develop an integrated rural development project to bring socio-economic benefits to people living in the immediate vicinity of this World Heritage site.

Despite the endorsement of specialists from the two States Parties of the Committee's recommendation to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, no official request from either of the States Parties has been received so far. The Government of Guinea however, issued a decree on 6 August 1992, entrusting a part of the Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve to an international mining consortium and published a brochure announcing the launching of the mining project. The brochure explains the economic benefits of the project and the steps taken by the Government to safeguard the protection of Mt. Nimba's environment. The World Heritage Centre is in contact with the UNESCO/UNDP project personnel in Mt. Nimba to obtain additional information on the details of the launch of the iron-ore mining project and shall report any new information that it may obtain at the time of the Committee meeting. The Committee should decide on the actions that are needed to be taken in order to avert further threats to the integrity of this World Heritage site. The Chairman of the World Heritage Committee was received by the Guinean Minister for Environment and Mines; the Chairman will report on this meeting to the Committee.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 16 BUR V.24

The Bureau recalled that the Committee at its last session concluded that the reduction in the size of this site proposed by the Government of Guinea in order to exclude areas that would be impacted by a proposed iron-ore mining project, posed a major threat to its integrity. Taking into account that the site also faced several other threats, the Committee, at its last session recommended that the Governments of C6te d'Ivoire and Guinea nominate this site for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau noted with satisfaction that experts of Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea, together with representatives of UNDP and UNESCO had met, from 29 June to 3 July 1992, at Mt Nimba and, on the basis of field visits and consultations, have endorsed the conclusions of the Committee and requested the Governments of C6te d'Ivoire and Guinea to urgently nominate this site for inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau noted with concern that the site continues to be under pressure from interest groups which are eager to take advantage of the economic benefits of exploiting the iron-ore deposits in this site. The Bureau, however, noted that so far no iron-ore mining activities have been undertaken and that bi-and multilateral donors have refrained from financing such a project.

The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to contact the authorities of Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea and, once again, urge them to nominate this site to the List of World Heritage in Danger. Furthermore, the Bureau recommended that the World Heritage Centre co-operate with the two States Parties concerned and donor agencies such as the World Bank and UNDP to develop a integrated rural development project to bring socio-economic benefits to people living in the immediate vicinity of this World Heritage site.

Decision Adopted: 16 COM VIII

Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve (Cote d'Ivoire/Guinea)

The Committee recalled its decision taken at its last session in Carthage, Tunisia, that the reduction in the size of this site proposed by the Government of Guinea in order to exclude areas that would be impacted by a proposed iron-ore mining project, posed a major threat to its integrity. The site is also threatened by the arrival of a large number of refugees to areas in and around the Guinean part of the World Heritage site.

The Committee noted that a meeting of experts of Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea, with participants from UNDP and UNESCO, was held at Mt. Nimba from 29 June to 3 July 1992. The meeting endorsed the recommendation of the Committee made at its last session, and called upon the Governments of Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire to nominate this site for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee took note of the Bureau's recommendation, made at its last session, that the Centre, together with the two States Parties concerned and donor agencies, such as the World Bank and UNDP, develop an integrated rural development project to bring socio-economic benefits to people living in the immediate vicinity of the World Heritage site.

The Committee was deeply concerned that the Guinean Government had issued a decree on 6 August 1992 entrusting a part of the Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve to an international mining consortium and published a brochure announcing the launching of the mining project. The Committee was informed by the Guinean Observer that there had been an error in the boundary of the Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve originally nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List in 1981 and that the area proposed for the iron-ore mining project was not considered by his Government as being part of the World Heritage site.

Mr. Beschaouch confirmed this point, recalling a meeting he had in Paris in July 1992, in his capacity as President of the Committee, with the Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources of Guinea.

Aware of the confusion concerning the boundaries of the World Heritage site and the decision of the Government of Guinea on the one hand, and on the other the real dangers of exploitation of the mine and the arrival of large numbers of refugees, the Committee decided, in accordance with the provisions of Article 11, paragraph 4 of the Convention, to inscribe Mt. Nimba on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee recommended that the Centre takes the necessary steps to send an expert mission to (a) ascertain, in co­operation with the States Parties concerned, the boundary of the site at the time of its inscription and if it cannot be definitely determined, to recommend an appropriate boundary, and (b) assess the impact of the iron-ore mining project, demographic changes and other threats to the integrity of the site and the universal values for which the site was inscribed.

Furthermore, the Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with agencies such as UNDP to prepare an integrated management plan that addresses the existing and potential threats to the site. The Committee instructed the Centre to continue on-going co-operation with donor agencies to develop projects and implement integrated rural development projects that benefit the local population.

 

Decision Adopted: 16 COM X.E

Even though there were no requests from the States Parties concerned, the Committee on the basis of state of conservation reports provided by IUCN (see Chapter VIII, page 20) decided, in accordance with Article 11, paragraph 4 of the Convention to include the following sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Angkor (Cambodia)

Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve (Cote d'Ivoire/Guinea)

Sangay National Park (Ecuador)

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)

 

Decision Adopted: 16 COM XI.A-B

The Committee examined document WHC-92/CONF/002/8, 8Add. and 8Add.2, as well as information on additional requests received by the Committee from States Parties during its session, and approved the following projects:


A. Technical Co-operation                                            US$

Galapagos National Park (Ecuador)                             29,000
Revision of the Management Plan to harmonize its goals and objectives to that of the tourism and conservation plan. The Committee instructed the Centre to provide these funds to the Galapagos authorities on the condition that they finalise the implementation of on-going projects receiving assistance from the World Heritage Fund and nominate in 1993, the marine park as an extension to the World Heritage site.

Old City of Cairo (Egypt)                                                            50,000
Restoration of monuments and sites damaged by the earthquake which occurred in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt in October 1992.

Mt. Nimba Nature Reserve (Cote d'Ivoire/ Guinea)            35,000
Organization of an interdisciplinary mission to ascertain boundaries of the site in Guinea, assess impacts of iron-ore mining projects and influx of refugees into the region and plan integrated rural development projects benefiting the local population. The Committee instructed the Centre to contact donors such as UNDP and the World Bank to explore the feasibility of obtaining funds for the organization of the interdisciplin­ary mission and to keep costs of organizing this mission to the minimum possible level.

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)                                          30,000
Provision of materials and equipment for the restoration of mosaics in St. Sophia.

World Heritage Cities Organization                                 50,000
Support to allow participation at the General Assembly and colloquium of the World Heritage Cities Network, mid-1993, Fez, Morocco.

Sub-total (Technical Co-operation) 194,000


B. Training

1. Saudi Arabia                                                              30,000
Organization of a training course (4-19 April, 1993) on protected area management for the Arab region.

2. France/Mali                                                               30,000
Organization of a one-month (January­- February 1993) course for Francophone Africa in ecology and conservation in the Boucle de Baoule Biosphere Reserve, Mali.

The Committee instructed the Centre to request:

a) the organizers to incorporate a component on the philosophy and work of the Convention in the course curriculum;
b) undertake an evaluation of the course, covering the last 5-year period, and providing specific information on the extent to which course participants have returned to African States Parties to assume responsibilities concerned with natural heritage protection;
c) to ensure in the future that these field courses take place, if possible, at an African natural site inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The Committee also requested the Centre to inform the course organizers (ENGREF/France), that contributions from the Fund for this course will, in the future, depend upon the findings of this evaluation.

3. ICCROM
a) Financial contributions to trainees from States Parties participating in two courses, namely architectural conservation and scientific principles of conservation, respectively, to be held in Rome, Italy, January-March 1993.               30,000

b) Financial contribution to trainees from States Parties participating in the 10th International course on Technology of Stone Conservation and organization of study tours during the course, Venice, Italy, autumn 1993.        44,000

Sub-total (Training) 134,000


The Committee took note of the fact that it approved, at its .fourteenth session in Banff, Canada, a sum of US$50,000 for the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves of Costa Rica, subject to the State Party satisfying two conditions, viz. that the Costa Rican authorities (a) report on the completion of the projects for which the Committee had already provided funds and, (b) revise the boundaries of the site in accordance with IUCN's recommendations. The Committee was satisfied to note that the Costa Rican authorities have completed the implementation of two of three on-going projects which receive assistance from the World Heritage Fund. The Committee requested the Centre to contact the Costa Rican authorities and to urge them to expedite the implementation of the remaining project and revise the boundaries of the Talamanca-La Amistad Reserves in accordance with IUCN's recommendations.

The Committee took note of the fact that the implementation of the project to prepare a Master Plan for the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary, Peru, for which the Committee approved a sum of US$40,000 during its fifteenth session in Carthage, Tunisia, has not progressed according to the timetable foreseen in the project proposal due to changes in the co­operating government agencies.

The Committee was informed by the Regional Coordinator for the UNDP/UNESCO Project on Cultural Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean that the situation is now stable and that the implementation rate of the project is expected to improve in 1993.