1.         Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 280)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1984

Criteria  (vii)(ix)

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/280/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1985-1999)
Total amount approved: USD 144,500
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/280/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/280/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: This is the only one of the five sites of this country that has not been included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The site is located in the more central parts of the country and hence is relatively less impacted by on-going armed conflicts in the eastern parts of the country. (Please refer to document WHC-99/CONF.204/4 for state of conservation reports on those four World Heritage Sites in Danger located in the eastern parts of DRC).

New information: IUCN has received a report (February 1999) on this site from the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). The status of the habitats and abundance of elephants and the Bonobo chimpanzees seem satisfactory. Human activity within the Park, however, is a concern and poaching and human settlements threaten the integrity of the site. There are too few guards and they are ill equipped to effectively deal with poachers. The dire need for boats to better control the waterways, which are the main arteries for the transport of weapons and poached wildlife products has been stressed and crackdown on arms-traffic within the Park has been called for. IUCN has commended ICCN for its comprehensive report and supports the following recommendations made by ICCN:

Lack of vehicular transport, funds and monitoring equipment, and limited communications facilities are inadequacies that need urgent attention.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to recommend that the State Party submit a detailed list of equipment and other assistance required to strengthen site management to the Centre before 1 September 1999. The Bureau may request the Centre and IUCN to determine the costs of meeting the needs of site management and propose, to the twenty-third session of the Committee, a plan to finance the costs and identify priority activities that could be supported by contributions from World Heritage Fund.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.30

New information: The Chairperson approved in September 1999 a technical co-operation grant of US$ 20,000 to : (a) launch special anti-poaching programmes including providing living and motivational allowances to personnel ; (b) expand Park units from two to six in order to enhance patrolling and surveillance efficiency ; (c) organise a programme of awareness building among all stakeholders and design and implement small-scale projects benefiting local populations ; and (d) purchase of uniforms, tents and communications equipment essential for basic patrolling and surveillance operations. The heightened levels of threats due to poaching and illegal encroachments continue to prevail and the conditions which led the Bureau to recommend that the Committee inscribe this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger remain unchanged. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 23 BUR IV.B.30

The Centre informed the Bureau that Salonga National Park is the only one of the five sites of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has not been included in the List of World Heritage in Danger and that the site is located in the more central part of the country and hence is relatively less impacted by on-going armed conflicts in the eastern part of the country.  However, the Centre proposed to the Bureau that Salonga National Park should be included with the other four sites of DRC in the List of World Heritage in Danger.  In this way, Salonga would be part of all efforts to be undertaken by the Task Force at the Naivasha Seminar, Kenya, (see Chapter VII, page 53) to support conservation of World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Bureau was informed that IUCN received a report (February 1999) on this site from the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). The status of the habitats and abundance of elephants and the Bonobo chimpanzees seem satisfactory. Human activity within the Park, however, is a concern and poaching and human settlements threaten the integrity of the site. There are too few guards and they are ill equipped to deal effectively with poachers. The dire need for boats to better control the waterways, which are the main arteries for the transport of weapons and poached wildlife products, has been stressed and crackdown on arms traffic within the Park has been called for. IUCN commended ICCN for its comprehensive report and supported the following recommendations made by ICCN:

(i) the need to encourage active participation and education of local populations;

(ii) improvement of infrastructure and communications;

(iii) development of sustainable tourism around the Bonobo; and

(iv) improved management of scientific research.

Lack of vehicular transport, funds and monitoring equipment, and limited communication facilities are also issues requiring urgent attention.

The Bureau took note of the information provided and recommended that the State Party submit to the Centre before 1 September 1999, a detailed list of equipment and other assistance required to strengthen site management. The Bureau further requested the Centre and IUCN to determine the costs of equipment and other site management needs and propose, to the twenty-third session of the Committee, a plan to finance the costs and identify priority activities that could be supported by contributions from World Heritage Fund. The Bureau recommended that the Committee consider including this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 23 COM VIII.1-2

VIII.1 Following the review of the state of conservation reports and at the recommendation of the Bureau, the Committee decided to inscribe the following natural and cultural properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

VIII.2 The Committee did not recommend the deletion of properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

 

Decision Adopted: 23 COM X.B.21

X.21 Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))

The Committee noted that the heightened levels of threats due to poaching and illegal encroachments as well as the conditions which led the Bureau at its July session to recommend that the Committee inscribe this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger still prevail.

The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to extend to Salonga the co-operation with the conservation NGOs, ICCN and other partners, targeted to raise international awareness and support for four other World Heritage sites in Danger in the DRC (Garamba, Virunga and Kahuzi Biega National Parks and the Okapi Faunal Reserve). They should also explore ways and means to strengthen the conservation and management of Salonga National Park. The Committee decided to inscribe Salonga National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger.