1.         Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 136)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1980

Criteria  (vii)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   1984-1992, 1996-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/136/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1980-1994)
Total amount approved: USD 212,870
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/136/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/136/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

Since the conclusion of the last session of the Committee (Merida, 1996), Eastern Zaire has become destabilized and military conflict appears to continue spreading to other parts of the country.  IUCN has received reports that indicate that in both these World Heritage Sites in Danger, infrastructure had been destroyed and wildlife populations decimated. IUCN and the Centre continue to maintain contacts with UNHCR and other concerned agencies and will provide up-to-date reports on both Virunga and Garamba, at the time of the Bureau meeting. 

Action Required

The Bureau joins the international community in calling for peace in Zaire and in voicing its serious concerns over the impacts of armed conflicts in Eastern Zaire on World Heritage Sites located there.. The Bureau recommends that the Committee retain Virunga and Garamba in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Given the uncertain situation in Zaire, the Bureau may treat the Virunga and Garamba National Parks as exceptional cases and consider setting aside a sum of US$ 75,000 as emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund to enable the Centre and IUCN to plan, as soon as conditions permit, a mission to assess their state of conservation, prepare rehabilitation plans and implement actions that would address livelihood needs of people resident near those sites.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

Since the Committee included this property in the List of World Heritage in Danger, at its last session in December 1996, the eastern regions of the country where this site is located have become further destabilised. Infrastructure of the Park has been damaged and wildlife poached. The uncertainty surrounding the new policy as regards nature conservation puts all World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo under threat.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 21 BUR IV.A.4

Since the twentieth session of the Committee, the eastern part Democratic Republic of the Congo has become further destabilized and military action has spread to other parts of the country. Reports received indicate that in both these sites, infrastructure had been destroyed and wildlife populations decimated. The Bureau noted that IUCN and the Centre will continue to maintain contacts with UNHCR and conservation NGOs and provide up-to-date reports on both Virunga and Garamba, at the time of the twenty-first session of the Committee. 

The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to contact relevant authorities of the new Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to arrange for a high-level mission to meet with senior officials to remind them of their responsibilities under the World Heritage Convention and to discuss restoration and rehabilitation of the country's five World Heritage sites. This mission should initiate project proposals in consultation with the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Implementation of some of the projects may be financed by emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund. A long-term policy and strategic vision for World Heritage conservation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the main need at the moment. The Centre should co-ordinate its activities with those of other UN agencies and conservation NGOs active in the country. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to provide detailed reports on both sites, at the twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau to be held on 28 and 29 November 1997, in Naples, Italy.

Decision Adopted: 21 COM VII.B.14

VII.14 Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Since the Committee included this property in the List of World Heritage in Danger, at its last session in December 1996, the eastern regions of the country where this site is located have become further destabilised. Infrastructure of the Park has been damaged and wildlife poached. The uncertainty surrounding the new policy as regards nature conservation puts all World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under threat.

The Committee decided to retain Garamba in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested the Director-General of UNESCO to send a high-level mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as soon as possible.