Committee Decisions

34 COM 7A.6

Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 136)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.6, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Congratulates the officers of the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN) for the efforts undertaken to safeguard the property often at great personal risk, but regrets that persistent insecurity since the 2006 mission has continued to obstruct the implementation of the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4. Reiterates its concern with regard to the possible extinction of the Northern White Rhinoceros of which no trace could be currently found, despite intensive searches in the property and in the adjacent hunting areas, and requests the State Party to continue the intensive searches for a further year before declaring the definite extinction of the Northern White Rhinoceros;

5. Takes note of the conclusion of the mission that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property has been greatly degraded but that it, with the probable exception of the Northern White Rhinoceros, could be restored if adequate management measures for the park are established and maintained;

6. Expresses its great concern as regards the reports of increasing involvement of the Congolese Army in poaching activities in the property and the hunting reserves that surround it;

7. Urges the State Party to implement the corrective measures as updated by the 2009 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, to rehabilitate the Outstanding Universal Value of the property:

a) Urgently undertake at the highest level measures to halt the involvement in poaching activities of the Congolese Army,

b) Ensure that the guards of the Management Authority are adequately equipped, in particular with appropriate weapons and ammunition,

c) Strengthen disarmament efforts within the communities living around the property and at the same time improve the security situation of the region, if possible in cooperation with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO),

d) Renew contacts with Sudan to strengthen transboundary cooperation with Lantoto National Park,

e) Ensure a team of at least 200 operational guards through the rapid retirement of older guards and by the replacement of those not attaining the required level,

f) Gradually extend the area of surveillance to include the totality of the Park area, and at least 20% of the hunting reserves by 2015,

g) Establish a conservation strategy for the hunting reserves so that they may fully play their role as buffer zone and in view of their importance in the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property,

h) Strengthen the community conservation activities to improve relations with local communities,

i) Complete and approve the management plan of the property and ensure the means for its implementation;

8. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to finalize the draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value as well as the proposed Desired State of Conservation with a view to the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including an update on the progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

10. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to the property;

11. Also decides to maintain Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger, Reinforced Monitoring
Properties: Garamba National Park
Session: 34COM