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 2018

On 3 March 2018, the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents, providing the following information:

On 2 March 2018, the State Party of Guinea submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, also available at the above-mentioned Internet address, referring in particular to the activities implemented by the State Party in 2012 and do not highlight the efforts taken since the 41st session of the Committee. With regard to the mining exploration permits, this report confirms that the West Africa Exploration Society (WAE) has prepared an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), a copy of which was sent to the World Heritage Centre in 2015. It is indicated that all the field activities of the Society have been halted following the complaint by the Director-General of the national committee of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) because of the negative impacts noted at the site. The Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée (SMFG) has not yet carried out an ESIA. Its field activities are currently halted.  The permit attributed to the SAMA Resources Company was withdrawn in 2014. The report mentions that the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests has given firm instructions to the Centre for Environmental Management of Mount Nimba and Simandou (CEGENS) to prevent all the above-mentioned mining companies from continuing their activities in the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The continued efforts of the OIPR to conduct anti-poaching patrols and to ensure ecological monitoring are warmly welcomed. However, the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire has not provided updated data on tendencies observed of the populations of key species of the property, and the data provided on the anthropogenic activities allow no assessment of the global tendency of poaching, although they suggest a decline in hunting in 2017. It is recommended that the Committee request the two States Parties to provide fuller information on the analysis of data gathered to enable an evaluation of the tendencies of anthropogenic activities, including poaching, as well as the populations of key species in the property.

The funding obtained in the framework of the FADCI programme enabling the implementation of the management functions of the Ivorian component of the property is favourably welcomed. Noting the importance of developing trans-border management of the property and in particular the necessary harmonization of ecological monitoring and the establishment of joint surveillance operations, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the two States Parties to develop a follow-up to the Nimba Project on the property as a whole. The confirmation of the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire that no degraded area is excluded from the Ivoirian component of the property during the redefinition of the boundaries is noted. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire to submit a high-resolution map of the updated boundaries.

It is regrettable that the report of the State Party of Guinea contains information that concerns the situation as it was in 2012. The information provided is very ambiguous.  The information, according to which all mining activities of the WAE and SMFG Companies are now suspended and that the permit granted to the SAMA Company has been withdrawn since 2014, is noted.  However, the World Heritage Centre has received information according to which the suspension of the activities in the WAE concession is more likely linked to financial difficulties of the mother company, Sable Mining. It must also be recalled that the examination by IUCN of the ESIA undertaken by WAE and submitted by the State Party in 2015, noted that the assessment has not been carried out in conformity with international standards as requested by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7A.3.

With regard to the SMFG concession, one of the responsible agents confirmed to the World Heritage Centre that the preparations for the ESIA of the project continues but that the mining project was in a state of ‘d’entretien et maintenance’ (“care and maintenance”) awaiting a decision of the Government concerning the disposal route for the minerals.

It should be noted that the World Heritage Centre and IUCN have received information concerning a road development project to facilitate transportation to The Mano River Union, that would comprise the tarmacking of the Lola route (Guinea) – Danané (Côte d’Ivoire) passing by Mount Nimba. The ESIA summary of the project, dated August 2014 and available at the website of the African Development Bank (ADB), does not take into account the presence of a World Heritage property in the areas concerned by the project, but recognizes that the Mount Nimba Reserve would be affected by indirect impacts, notably pollution by visitors’ garbage, poaching and illegal logging. It is regrettable that the States Parties have not informed the World Heritage Centre of this project, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. On 14 May 2018, a letter was sent by the World Heritage Centre requesting the State Party of Guinea to provide additional information, and it is recommended that the Committee request the States Parties to also provide a full ESIA, assessing the potential impacts of this project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.

It is also appropriate that the Committee reiterate its request to the two States Parties to establish, in close cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, the proposal for the DSOCR and all the corresponding indicators.

Considering the mining issue, the issue of the road, the need to develop a DSOCR and that the last Reactive Monitoring mission dates from 2012, it is recommended that the Committee request the  States Parties to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7A.46

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.6, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Warmly welcomes the continued efforts of the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire to conduct anti-poaching patrols as well as ecological monitoring and requests the States Parties of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea to provide additional information on the analysis of the data gathered during the surveillance patrols and the ecological monitoring, to enable an evaluation of the tendencies of anthropogenic activities, including poaching, and that of the populations of the key species in the property;
  4. Also warmly welcomes the funding obtained to enable the implementation of the management functions of the Ivorian component of the property, expresses its concern as regards the level of formal trans-border collaboration and reiterates its request to the States Parties to develop trans-border management for the property and notably the necessary harmonization of ecological monitoring and the establishment of joint surveillance operations, and to prepare a follow-up of the Nimba Project on the entire property to promote the implementation of the corrective measures;
  5. Takes note of the confirmation by the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire that no degraded area would be excluded from the Ivorian component of the property during the redefinition of the boundaries of the Reserve and also requests the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire to submit to the World Heritage Centre a high-resolution map of the updated boundaries.
  6. Regrets that the report of the State Party of Guinea does not clearly distinguish the obsolete information from the current information concerning the implementation of the corrective measures;
  7. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party of Guinea that all mining activities of the WAE and SMFG Companies have now been suspended and that the permit granted to the SAMA Resources Company has been withdrawn since 2014 and also reiterates its request that no new mining exploration and exploitation permits located around the property be granted without a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) being carried out to evaluate the impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including the accumulative effects of these projects;
  8. Also regrets that the States Parties have provided no information concerning the road development project to facilitate transport within the Mano River Union, that would include tarmacking the Lola route (Guinea) – Danané (Côte d’Ivoire) passing by Mount Nimba, and further requests the States Parties:
    1. to provide additional information concerning this project,
    2. to ensure that the impacts of the project on the OUV of the property are assessed in the framework of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), in conformity with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment,
    3. to submit, as soon as possible, a copy of this ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN ;
  9. Further reiterates its request the States Parties to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, a proposed Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and all the corresponding indicators;
  10. Moreover requests the States Parties to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, to assess the state of conservation of the property, to update the corrective measures, propose a timetable for their implementation, develop a proposed DSOCR, and evaluate the current state of the different mining projects surrounding the property;
  11. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated joint 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;
  12. Decides to retain Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 42 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/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: