1.         Sangha Trinational (Cameroon,Central African Republic,Congo) (N 1380rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2012

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/1380/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1380/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: 250,000 Euros from 2008 to 2013 through the Central African World Heritage Forest Initiative funded by the European Commission 

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1380/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 25 April 2013, the World Heritage Centre was informed by organisations working in the region that the worsening security situation in the Central African Republic as a result of the political turmoil was affecting the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, one of the three protected areas that make up the property. According to the information received an unknown number of heavily armed men have installed themselves in Nola at 105 km from Bayanga, where the park headquarters are situated, from where they are conducting missions to surrounding villages and sites, including looting, and pillaging. The park headquarters have been raided three times resulting in the destruction and theft of most of essential materials and equipment, including vehicles and communication materials. The manager of the site together with the international staff working for the World Wildlife Fund and international researchers working at the property had to evacuate to neighbouring Cameroun as a result of the security risks. Park guards were reportedly disarmed but have stayed on-site and continue to try to guard key locations in the park. It appears that elephant poaching has started and that elephant meat is available on local markets and villages.

In a reaction to this alarming situation, the Director-General of UNESCO on 2 May 2013 wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, expressing her concern on the situation and requesting his personal intervention to take all necessary measures to secure the region, ensure the protection of the property and the security of the communities.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the Sangha Trinational World Heritage property was only inscribed at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and recall that problems related to insecurity resulted in the disappearance of most of the wildlife in the other World Heritage property in the Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, currently inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. They recall that the property comprises one of the last intact forest elephant populations in the region, which so far was almost not impacted by the wave of elephant poaching which is affecting Central Africa. They therefore recommend that the World Heritage Committee express its utmost concern on the current situation and urges the Government to take all necessary action to restore security and ensure the protection of the property. They also call upon the State Parties of Cameroon and Congo to take all necessary measures to ensure security of the property in their respective territories and prevent a further increase in elephant poaching or other illegal activities.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 8B.8 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Expresses its utmost concern about the recent attacks on the part of the property situated in the Central African Republic, which lead to in the destruction and theft of most of essential materials and equipment, including vehicles and communication materials and the evacuation of the manager of the site together with the international staff and international researchers working at the property and about the reported increase in elephant poaching in and around the property;

4.  Urges the State Party of the Central African Republic to take all necessary action to restore security in the area and ensure the protection of the property;

5.  Requests the State Parties of Cameroun and Congo to increase surveillance activities to avoid insecurity and poaching also affecting areas of the property located within their respective territories;

6.  Launches an appeal to the State Parties of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to consider the sub-regional dimension regarding the consequences of crimes against wildlife to which the property is confronted, in order to ensure a sustainable and efficient control of poaching in Central Africa;

7.   Also requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , a detailed joint report on the state of conservation of the property, in particular on the impacts of the current security problems on the property, and the response undertaken, for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.