1.         Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire,Guinea) (N 155bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (ix)(x)

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

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4982

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-2015)
Total amount approved: USD 482,588
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted:  USD 25,282 from the Rapid Response Facility in January 2012 (see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/news/830/)

Previous monitoring missions

October/November 1988: World Heritage Centre mission; 1993: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission; 1994: IUCN mission; 2000: World Heritage Centre mission; 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to Guinea; 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to Côte d’Ivoire; 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 31 January 2017, the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire submitted its report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents/, and which reports on the progress in implementing the corrective measures as follows:

On 13 March 2017, the State Party of Guinea submitted its report on the state of conservation of the property, available also at the above link, and reports the following:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The continued efforts made by both States Parties in undertaking anti-poaching patrols and conducting ecological monitoring, as well as the continued actions to raise awareness of local communities by the State Party of Guinea, are appreciated. The increase in wildlife observations, as noted by the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire, is a positive finding.

The impacts of the Ebola crisis have continued to seriously affect the implementation of the corrective measures, but it is noted that with the recent reopening of the borders, progress is anticipated in the coming year. In particular, it is important that ecological monitoring be harmonized between the States Parties, and that joint surveillance operations are organized as soon as possible. The development of a protocol for collaboration of managers between Guinea and Liberia is appreciated in this regard, and should be extended to include Côte d’Ivoire. However, to further support transboundary coordination and in order to promote the implementation of the corrective measures, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate once more its request to both States Parties to collaborate with UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to develop the second phase of the Nimba Project, to concern the entire property. This is particularly important considering the limited resources available, as reported by the State Party of Guinea. 

Moreover, the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the corresponding set of indicators have not yet been developed, and both States Parties should be requested to establish these in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN.

Although the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire provided further details of the drafting process of the decree for the redefinition of the boundaries, it does not confirm that the revised boundaries do not erroneously exclude degraded areas of the property containing cocoa plantations. While the area of the revised boundaries is slightly larger than before, the map provided does not enable a comparison with the current boundaries of the property, and therefore it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire to confirm that the decree does not exclude degraded areas from the property.

It is not clear from the report of the State Party of Guinea whether the restoration of degraded land by WAE and SMFG was undertaken within the property or in the larger Biosphere Reserve. The continued collection of biodiversity data by SMFG to gather baseline information to inform an ESIA is noted. However, it is regrettable that no update was provided by the State Party of Guinea on the preparation of an ESIA by WAE to international standards, and that little information is provided on the status of the development of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for all planned mining projects that could impact on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). In that regard, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its position regarding the fact that mining exploration and exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status, and that it request the State Party to ensure that no mining will be permitted outside the boundaries of the property if it could have a negative impact on OUV.

It is noted that the boundaries of the exploration permit granted to SAMA Resources Company have been redefined, however, no further details have been provided. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party of Guinea to submit to the World Heritage Centre a map of the revised permit boundaries in relation to the property.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7A.6

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.36, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Notes with appreciation the continued actions by the States Parties to undertake anti-poaching patrols and ecological monitoring;
  4. Noting that the borders between Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia have reopened, reiterates its request to the States Parties of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea to implement a joint monitoring system of the property to control all anthropogenic pressures, and to collaborate with UNDP and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to develop the second phase of the Nimba Project, to concern the entire property, in order to promote the implementation of the corrective measures to safeguard the integrity of the property;
  5. Welcomes the development of a protocol for collaboration of managers between Guinea and Liberia, and encourages all three States Parties, to consider extending this protocol to also include Côte d’Ivoire;
  6. Requests the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire to provide further details on the decree for the redefinition of the boundaries, in order to confirm that it does not exclude degraded areas of the property;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to strictly ensure that the preparation of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the West Africa Exploration Company is in accordance with international standards as requested previously, and to submit this ESIA to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, before authorizing the project, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Further reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to develop a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in line with international standards, to qualify and quantify all the potential cumulative impacts of all planned mining projects in proximity to the property on its Outstanding Universal Value, in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and submit the report to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, before making any decision on these projects, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Reminds the State Party of Guinea of its position regarding the fact that mining exploration and exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status, policy supported by the declaration of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) not to undertake such activities in World Heritage properties, and also requests the State Party to continue its efforts in order to ensure that no mining will be permitted outside the boundaries of the property if it could have a negative impact on OUV;
  10. Further requests the States Parties, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to prepare a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and the corresponding set of indicators;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party of Guinea to submit a map of the revised boundaries of the exploration permit granted to SAMA Resources Company in relation to the property;
  12. Requests moreover the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  13. Decides to retain Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 41 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: