Committee Decisions

37 COM 7A.8

Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 718)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.    Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add,

2.    Recalling Decision 36 COM 7A.7 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.    Expresses its deep concern at the continued deterioration of the security situation in the property, the total loss of control of the southern part and its buffer zone, invaded by Simba rebels, increased poaching and the reopening of artisanal mining sites and considers that if this situation continues it is likely to destroy all progress made over the past five years;

4.    Notes with concern the results of the 2010/2011 inventories that show that the degradation of the Outstanding Universal Value continues and that the impact of the current insecurity may further aggravate the situation;

5.    Expresses its appreciation to the field staff of the site who, at great risk, continue efforts for the conservation of the site, and notes that the guards continue to lack the necessary material support, arms and munitions,  to deal with heavily armed poachers;

6.    Recalls the commitments made by the Congolese Government in the Kinshasa Declaration in January 2011, notably securing World Heritage properties and the strengthening of the operational capacity of the Congolese wildlife authority ICCN, including the provision of material support, arms and munitions for monitoring activities;

7.    Requests the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures and the emergency plan of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve to halt the degradation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and begin its rehabilitation;

8.    Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, as soon as the security situation permits, to assess the state of conservation of the property and progress in the implementation of corrective measures, to evaluate the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and if necessary to revise the corrective measures and their implementation schedule accordingly, taking into account the evolution of the situation on the ground;

9.    Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, including an update on progress made in the implementation of corrective measures, for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;

10.  Decides to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;

11.  Also decides to retain the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, Reports, List of World Heritage in Danger, Outstanding Universal Value
Session: 37COM