On 24 March 2010, the State Party submitted a concise report on the state of conservation of the property. This report contained limited information on progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures, which was complemented by additional information gathered by the World Heritage Centre:
a) Continue efforts to resolve problems concerning the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) military involved in large-scale poaching in the south-west peripheral area of the property;
Following reports at the 34th session on increasing commercial poaching by FARDC military and armed groups in particular in the south-western part of the Reserve, the report notes several mixed patrols have been organized with the army and that park staff has progressively re-taken control of the southern part of the Reserve since December. The report further notes that 3 notorious poachers were convicted to long prison sentences and that 7 AK47 and other weaponry had been confiscated. The State Party further mentions that in agreement with the military authorities in Bunia, joint patrols are continuing in the southern part, but acknowledges that there is a lack of cooperation from the army authorities in Kisangani, who command the military based in the western part of the Reserve near Nia-Nia, where poaching pressures remains high. The report further notes that prices for Ivory have significantly increased since the previous World Heritage Committee’s session.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the efforts of the State Party to address poaching in the southern part of the Reserve through joint patrolling with the army. They note that in December two park guards were killed in fire exchange with poachers. They further note that poaching pressure in the west of the Reserve continues, and that there is a lack of support from the military stationed in this area and hence recommend that the World Heritage Committee expresses its concern.
b) Officially cancel all the artisanal mining rights as well as those encroaching the property, granted by the mining cadastre;
According to the State Party report, all artisanal mining sites, which were closed by the management authority in 2008, remain closed in spite of several attempts by miners to re-open them.
The report further notes that discussion continues with the Mining cadastre of the Ministry of Mines to obtain the canceling of all mining exploration or exploitation licenses covering the property. The report notes however the lack of cooperation of the mining services to effectively cancel prospecting permits which are overlapping with the Reserve or situated on its boundary.
Following reports of the attribution of new mining exploration rights inside the property by the Government to the Kilo Goldmines company, the Director of the World Heritage Centre wrote on 29 November 2010, a letter to the Minister for Environment, Conservation of Nature and Tourism to request more information, and expressed his utmost concern about these reports. To date, no official reply was received but in a meeting in January 2011, with staff of the World Heritage Centre in Kinshasa, the Minister stated that only exploration permits had been granted for blocks outside the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that gold exploration at the Adumbi site is currently ongoing. They consider that while the Adumbi site might be outside the property, it is definitely very close to it and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be conducted, which should identify the potential negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. This EIA should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, before activities are continued. They further note that the website of the company presents a map which shows other concession areas for which it has established joint ventures, two of which, the KGL Sihu joint venture and the KGL ERW joint venture, are clearly situated within the Property. The website further shows that the KGL ERW joint venture, which covers a huge area in the north of the Reserve, is active and that Kilo and Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration Ltd. entered into a long-term joint venture to explore for the iron ore assets on Kilo's KGL ERW properties.
c) Take measures to mitigate impacts linked to the increase in traffic in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and in particular secure the necessary technical and financial means to contribute towards the implementation of the system to control immigration and strengthen the surveillance and anti-poaching mechanism;
d) Legalize and upscale the pilot system to regulate and monitor immigration and traffic on the RN4, and secure the right to close the RN4 to traffic at night and to establish a toll system;
The State Party report mentions that discussion with the political and administrative authorities of the Province to step up the control are on-going but have so far not yielded any results. It notes that the Provincial Gouvernment is not in favor of the proposed night closure of the road but that in response to the increasing traffic on the RN4, patrolling along the road has been reinforced, as well as around other roads crossing the Reserve.
The pilot system to regulate immigration continues to function based on controlling the movement of people and vehicles using the two main entrances to the Reserve on the RN4 and on the permanent monitoring of persons residing in the villages located alongside the road. However, the report notes that better equipment is needed to be able to conduct the vehicle checks and discover illegal objects.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN reiterate the need to instaure a night closure of the road, as well as an increase of the human and other resources made available for its control to cope with the estimated 25 fold increase in traffic on the RN4 following its rehabilitation.
e) Finalise and approve the management plan for the property, with the creation of an integrally protected zone with national park status;
The draft management plan prepared with support of the World Heritage Centre is currently being finalized before it will be sent to the Ministry for approval. The zoning wich is foreseen includes a large central integrally protected zone, comprising an estimated 25% of the property.
f) Integrate the activities of the Immigration Control Committees (CCI) and the Local Committee for Monitoring and Conservation of Nature (CLSCN) in the management activities of the subsistence areas, for which management modalities should be indicated in the management plan;
The CLSCN, created to ensure the management of the subsistence zones, is now the sole interlocutor for the Reserve authorities concerning all management issues related to the natural resources (agriculture and hunting). A guide for the management of the natural resource management areas was adopted by the local communities and traditional authorities.
g) Continue efforts to strengthen and reinvigorate the surveillance system and render it more effective;
The report notes that two new mobile guard posts were set up in areas with high poaching pressure in the south and the centre-west of the Reserve. As a result of regular patrols in the north east and south west of the Reserve, and continuous monitoring of the evacuated mining sites, poaching is also reported to have diminished in these areas. Approximately 55% of the Reserve is reported to have been patrolled in 2010. No new information is provided on efforts to retire old staff or guard numbers.
h) Request the State Party to halt illegal trafficking of timber, minerals and ivory across its north-eastern border;
The report notes that with support of the World Bank, the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism (MECNT)is putting in place a system of checks at the north eastern border to strictly control the trafficking of natural resources. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome this important development.
i) Prepare and implement a zoning plan for forest areas adjacent to the property in order to protect it from the negative impact of unsustainable exploitation of the forest;
The report notes that three community based natural resource managed areas have been set up in the wider Ituri landscape outside the Reserve, which could positively impact the deforestation problem.
j) Wildlife Survey;
The report notes that a new survey was conducted in the property and that the data gathered during this survey are currently being analyzed. However, the World Heritage Centre was informed that a preliminary analysis of the data indicated that compared to the 2006 survey, numbers of certain wildlife species have decreased further, in spite of all efforts to increase the area of the property under control of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) and to control poaching. Preliminary results indicate that especially ungulate species have continued to decrease, with the exception of okapi. Elephant numbers are not yet recovering and have remained stable but the area of the reserve where elephants were found was further reduced. Moreover, signs of human activities were found throughout the Reserve. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that these preliminary findings would have a negative impact on the OUV of the property and hence, recommend that the Committee expresses its concern. If confirmed, it will be important to identify the causes of the continuing decline and if necessary revise the strategy for law enforcement in the Reserve.