W National Park of Niger (Niger)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Notes with concern the proposed construction of the Dyondyonga electricity dam on the Mekrou River, on the border between the Republics of Niger and Benin, within the W National Park World Heritage property in Niger and the proposed World Heritage property in Benin, currently deferred by the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee (April 2002);
2. Notes that the proposed construction of a dam, as well as the exploitation of a phosphate mine are a serious potential threat to the integrity of the property;
3. Recognises the importance of finding solutions to the urgent need for electricity in Niger and Benin but urges the States Parties and funding agencies concerned to seek alternative solutions to that currently proposed;
4. Encourages the States Parties of Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso to cooperate with IUCN, Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), Ramsar, the regional programme Ecosystème protégés en Afrique Sahélienne (ECOPAS) and the World Heritage Centre in order to seek the most appropriate solution, and to seek assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the co-ordination of meetings and studies;
5. Requests the authorities of Benin and Niger to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 and before any construction takes place, a detailed report on the proposed construction of a dam on the Mekrou River and the exploitation of the phosphate mine as well as an independent evaluation study of the environmental and social impact according to international standards in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004;
6. Defers the decision on the inscription of the W National Park on the List of World Heritage in Danger until the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2004, pending an assessment of the responses of the two most concerned States Parties and the outcome of any missions or meetings held with the States Parties.