Committee Decisions

31 COM 7A.5

Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 137

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.6, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
  3. Expresses its sincerest condolences to the families of guards who were killed during operations related to the protection of the property;
  4. Regrets that the continuing insecurity in particular in the lowland sector continues to hamper conservation activities, including the implementation of the corrective measures set by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);
  5. Urges the State Party, in cooperation with the United Nations Organization Mission in DRC (MONUC), to urgently take measures to disarm and evacuate the armed groups present in and around the park, in particular of the Rwandese militia and uncontrolled units of the DRC army (FARDC);
  6. Notes that some progress was made in the implementation of the corrective measures, in particular the re-installation of park staff in the lowland sector, the organization of mixed patrols with the army and the start of survey work on key animals in the lowland;
  7. Requests the State Party and the protected area agency ICCN to implement as soon as possible the corrective measures, in close cooperation with the local communities around the park;
  8. Notes the draft report on the Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken for the planned rehabilitation of the RN3, which documents the potential direct impacts of the road crossing the property on the gorilla populations with a significant increase in the traffic as well as other potential indirect impacts on the property, in particular increased deforestation, bush meat trafficking and illegal mineral exploitation in the property;
  9. Recommends that the stretch of road crossing the property will only be rehabilitated as a local road and that the rehabilitation programme includes a continual monitoring component to determine the effect of the road on gorilla populations, habitat and their behaviour as well as other measures to limit the indirect impacts mentioned above;
  10. Also urges the State Party and the European Union to include in the final report clear recommendations on the measures proposed to limit the indirect impacts on the property as well as a detailed evaluation of expected increase in traffic volume and set clear indicators as to what traffic volume should trigger the construction of an alternative route which avoids crossing the property;
  11. Expresses its concern about the map produced by the Ministry of Mines, showing that mining concessions were granted inside the property, calls on the holders of any concessions to respect international standards with respect to mining in World Heritage properties, as outlined in the International Council on Mining and Metals Position Statement on Mining and Protected Areas (2003), and also urges the State Party to immediately revoke any concessions that might have been granted, as mining operations are incompatible with the World Heritage status of the property;
  12. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for the property, including the conditions of integrity, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;
  13. Further requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop a draft statement of the desired state of conservation for the property based on its Outstanding Universal Value;
  14. Requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated report by 1 February 2008 on the state of conservation of the property, including an update on the road rehabilitation project and the issue of the mining concessions and on progress with the implementation of the corrective measures set by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006) for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008;
  15. Decides to retain Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Documents
PDF Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
PDF WHC-07/31.COM/7A
Themes: Conservation
Session: 31COM