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

Total amount granted: USD 60,000, UNESCO Netherlands Funds-in-Trust; USD 263,700 from Franz Weber Foundation (2012 to 2017) and USD 600,000 in the framework of the Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initiative (CAWHFI) (2017 to 2019)

Previous monitoring missions

March 1998: UNESCO monitoring mission; June 2006, December 2009, February-March 2012 and November-December 2015: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive 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 2018

On 24 January 2018, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/407/documents/, providing the following information in response to the recommendations of the 2015 mission:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

In the light of the information provided, it is recommended that the Committee congratulate the State Party for its efforts to strengthen surveillance and ecological monitoring, as well as the anti-poaching combat with financial support from the European Union – ECOFAC 6 Programme (Conservation of Biodiversity and Fragile Ecosystems Support Programme) and the Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initiative (CAWHFI), with technical support from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). Whilst acknowledging that the number of guards remains insufficient, the seizure of 216 ivory tusks in December 2017 is one of the most important in the last few years in Central Africa and is to be commended. It is recommended that the Committee strongly encourage the State Party to continue these efforts and requests strict enforcement of the law in the domain of wildlife crime.

Despite incessant poaching, confirmation of the presence of large wildlife is encouraging. An inventory, foreseen for May/June 2018, will be fundamental for the wildlife assessment, and it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to transmit this data to the World Heritage Centre to enable an evaluation of the state of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.

With regard to the extension by 13,000 hectares of the concession, granted to the Sud Cam Hévéa Company and the envisaged installation of a latex treatment facility, the World Heritage Centre wrote to the State Party on 14 February 2017, requesting Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) of these projects. In the framework of a mission for the CAWHFI project in March 2018, the World Heritage Centre met with the Cameroon authorities to discuss these new developments that remain worrying and continue to threaten the OUV of the property. The mission also visited the DFR where it met with technical staff of the rubber plantation. It noted that the ESIAs had been carried out and had not been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and made no reference to the OUV of the property. the mission also proposed that the national authorities receive an advisory mission in the framework of the project to conduct an independent evaluation of the impact of the agro-industrial project on the property. Representatives of the Company indicated their willingness to cooperate with the World Heritage Centre and indicated that they would take into consideration the recommendations proposed by this advisory mission to limit damage caused by their activities to the DFR.

Concerning the Mékin dam, the mission for the CAWHFI project recalled that the current ESIA is not in conformity with the standards for a World Heritage property, and it is expected that the Company submit, as soon as it is available, the ongoing studies: socio-economic to measure the impact of the impoundment of the dam on the local populations, and environmental to evaluate its impact on the state of conservation of the DFR. The Company has undertaken some measures, but they remain insufficient to curb the degradation of the habitat in the western part of the property.

During the CAWHFI mission, the team was informed of other projects under study located in the periphery of the property that could have an impact on its OUV (e.g. roads, mines and dam). It is recommended that the Committee express its concern as to the new developments and recalls the importance of avoiding acceptance of any new project that could aggravate the existing threats because, despite the progress accomplished in the management of the property, the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger still remains an eventuality should further infrastructures be added. It is recommended that the Committee grant an additional year to the State Party before considering this option, in order to obtain the results of the Advisory mission and the inventories.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.90

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.18, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for its efforts in strengthening surveillance and technical capacities and equipment for the guards, as well as the increased patrol efforts, appreciates the support of donors and technical partners for their support in the conservation of the property, and requests the State Party to continue these efforts to reinforce the number of guards;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the seizure of 216 ivory tusks in December 2017, one of the most important in recent years in Central Africa, and also congratulates the State Party for the rigorous enforcement of the law as concerns wildlife crime;
  5. Takes note of the indications that confirm the presence of large wildlife in the property, and also requests the State Party to transmit to the World Heritage Centre the data of the 2017 inventory, as soon as it is available, to enable an evaluation of the state of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Also takes note of the extension of the rubber agro-industrial project, and requests the State Party to submit the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to the World Heritage Centre using the international standards applied to the World Heritage properties;
  7. Further takes note of the efforts of the State Party in view of limiting the negative impacts on the local communities, their plantations and associated forestry ecosystems due to the partial impoundment of the Mékin dam, and requests the State Party to continue to implement the Environmental and Social Management Plan (PGES) and to pursue the relocation plan of local communities affected by the impoundment;
  8. Reminds the State Party of the importance of avoiding acceptance of any new project that could aggravate the existing threats and compromise the progress achieved in the management of the property, and reiterates that all projects must be the subject of an ESIA prior to approval, including a specific evaluation of potential impacts on the OUV of the property, in conformity with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: Environmental Assessment;
  9. Also takes note of the willingness of the State Party to welcome an advisory mission to assess the impacts of the agro-industrial projects on the property and to continue to closely collaborate with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in the implementation of the recommendations enabling the State Party to undertake the necessary corrective measures to limit the impacts on its OUV;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an 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 43rd session in 2019.