State of Conservation (SOC)

Virunga National Park

Virunga National Park
  Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date of Inscription: 1979
Nomination records (Year): 1978
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)(x)
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  • Civil unrest
  • Financial resources
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Mining
Inscription on the Danger List
Year: 1994
Threats to the Site:

Virunga National Park was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger at the 18th Session of the World Heritage Committee (1994) in the wake of the war in neighbouring Rwanda and the subsequent massive influx of refugees from that country which led to massive deforestation and poaching at the site.

Many members of the Park staff had not been remunerated for almost a year.

Poaching of wildlife has continued and the staff lacks the means of patrolling the Park's 650 km long boundary.

The human population in the fishing village near Lake Edward has increased several fold, posing a serious threat to the integrity of the Park.

The fuel wood requirements of almost one million refugees camping inside the Park is estimated at 600 metric tons/day and is leading to widespread depletion of forests in the lowlands. 

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.