1.         Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon) (N 407)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

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/407/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1987-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 84,700
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/407/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/407/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

During August and September, The Guardian (London, UK) published two articles on illegal poaching in Cameroon, with particular mention of and Dja Faunal Reserve.  One article criticised UNESCO for not doing enough to halt the loss of wildlife in Dja Faunal Reserve, quoting a report by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) that said "Hunters operate almost unimpeded in the Dja Reserve, despite its status as a world heritage site."   The second article focuses on the role logging operations and their staff play in wild meat consumption and trade.  Figures reported include:

·  13 tonnes of bushmeat passed through one village bordering Dja Faunal Reserve within two months. Most of it was bound for Yaoundé.

·  The logging roads used for the transportation bushmeat to Yaoundé come to within 500 metres of the border of Dja Faunal Reserve.

·  Three tonnes of meat arrive at Yaoundé's four bushmeat markets daily.

·  The number of men hunting in the logging concession adjoining Dja Faunal Reserve equals the number of men employed by the concessionaire.

·  Each hunter may lay 200 snares, and capture on average three or four chimps and twogorillas a month.


IUCN reports that the articles also raised concern about the effectiveness of the 50 ‘eco-guards’ funded by the EU, who are responsible for law enforcement in and around Dja.  Both articles claim that the guards are not making a difference to the poaching problem.  They are hampered by the State requirement that any meat they confiscate - including that of protected species - must be auctioned for State revenue, hence creating a perverse incentive to protect wildlife.  IUCN notes that such a situation can negatively impact protected area relations with local people. IUCN reports that, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife monitoring programme of IUCN and WWF, convened a technical workshop in Yaounde, Cameroon from 17-20 September 2001.  The workshop, entitled “Links Between Biodiversity Conservation, Livelihoods and Food Security and the Use of Wild Meat”, aimed to: forge functional links among the species conservation, food security/community development and commercial sectors in order to identify means to address conservation and development concerns linked to the unsustainable use of wild fauna for food; contribute to the process of identifying, prioritising and planning practical responses to address priority conservation and development concerns related to the use of wild fauna for food; and provide input to a GEF proposal related to the use of wild fauna to contribute to sustainable livelihoods in Central Africa.

IUCN and the Centre note that the UNESCO/FAO African World Heritage Forest Initiative (AWHFI) concept document, currently being developed for submission to the UNF Board for the July 2002 round of biodiversity grants, includes Dja Faunal Reserve.  IUCN received an update on activities of the Africa Working Group of the CEO Forum from the NGO co-chair. The Forum, initiated by the World Bank in 1998, comprises chief executives of the major logging firms worldwide.  The CEO Africa Working Group (CEO-AWG) comprises the chief executives of the major European logging firms active in Central Africa, representatives from various conservation NGOs (WCS, IUCN, WWF) and officials from the World Bank and the European Union. 

From this meeting it was reported that the logging companies had produced a code of conduct, which included a clause for independent monitoring.  The code of conduct and associated operational work programme is to be finalised on 5 October 2001. The Forum was working on developing some additional clauses to add to the code, notably:

·  A clause on sub-contracting and environmental responsibilities of the sub-contractor.

·  A clause on the establishment of small totally protected areas within logging concessions.

·  A clause on bush meat.

The latter includes two key sub-clauses requiring logging companies to make available alternative protein supplies for all its employees and families, and requiring them to ban the use of their facilities and transport for illegal hunting operations.

The Centre and IUCN observe with concern that the reports on poaching and logging, if accurately reported, suggest that it may be necessary to consider whether the site should be placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. They acknowledge that the problem is due to a combination of factors including law enforcement, political commitment, cultural differences, resources, and food availability.  In light of the recent Wild Meat workshop it is hoped that prompt and effective action will be taken by the State Party to address these damaging trends.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 25 COM VIII.86

VIII.86 The Committee welcomed the recommendations of IUCN, and called upon the State Party to take urgent action to halt illegal poaching in the Reserve, and requested a full report from the State Party on this situation by 1 February 2002. This report shall be submitted for consideration by the twenty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee (June 2002), at which time it will decide on the need for a mission to the site. Furthermore, the Committee commended the chief executives of major European logging firms active in Central Africa, representatives from various conservation NGOs (WCS, IUCN, WWF) and officials from the World Bank and the European Union for their initial efforts in bringing stakeholders together to tackle the environmental problems associated with logging operations. The code of conduct should be supported, and the Committee urged the CEO-AWG to strengthen its efforts to involve Asian companies in the work of the group and to undertake every effort to include all logging companies working in Cameroon.