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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7A.4
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire/Guinea) (N 155bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decisions 43 COM 7A.6 and 44 COM 7A.40 adopted at its 43rd (Baku, 2019) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions,
  3. Commends the States Parties for their ongoing efforts under difficult circumstances to implement the corrective measures including joint transboundary surveillance patrols, funding to support management operations, anti-poaching activities, restoration of degraded areas, support for local communities, and development of a high-resolution map of the property, and requests the States Parties to continue the implementation of all corrective measures including to strengthen ecological monitoring and finalize the management plans for the property;
  4. Appreciates the support by an increasing number of national and international partners to the conservation of the property, including UNESCO, USAID, GEF, EU and the World Bank and encourages the States Parties to build long term programmes with them and explore other funding opportunities for a sustainable maintenance of the ecological integrity of the property;
  5. Recalls the importance of having a functional buffer zone (or an equivalent measure) around the property in Côte d’Ivoire, and reiterates its request to the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire to designate and formalize such an area following the procedures of the Operational Guidelines, and to strengthen the monitoring of community forests around the property, while ensuring that their management objectives are compatible with the management of the property;
  6. Notes that the asphalting project of the Danané-Lola road was suspended in 2019 and the section crossing the buffer zone of the property in Guinea was moved further north, away from the property, and encourages the State Party to ensure that subsequent road projects in the landscape do not negatively impact the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property including the proposed Lola-Zoo-Côte d’Ivoire border road project financed by the African Development Bank;
  7. Takes note of the expiration of the environmental compliance certificate of Zali mining SA for the mining block immediately adjacent to the property and the information provided by the State Party of Guinea that the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN on the draft Terms of Reference (ToR) were fully incorporated, and also requests the State Party to submit the approved ToR to the World Heritage Centre;
  8. Requests the State Party of Guinea to ensure that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) for the proposed Nimba Iron Ore mining project by the Société des mines de fer de Guinée (SMFG) and the Zali Mining iron ore project:
    1. Are carried out in accordance with the highest international standards in line with the Guidance and Toolkit on Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context, and in close consultation with all key stakeholders,
    2. Identify fully and quantify the potential effects of the project on the OUV of the property, at each phase of its cycle, including construction and operation, taking into account the synergistic and collateral impacts also linked to on-site transformation of the ore and its transport, as well as the socio-economic changes to be expected,
    3. Are submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before any decision to approve the projects, including any issuance of a certificate of environmental compliance;
  9. Notes with appreciation the commitment of the State Party of Guinea not to authorize any mining activity within the property and to ensure mining activities in the vicinity must be compatible with the OUV of the property, but remains concerned about the proliferation of mining permits around the property, and further requests the State Party of Guinea not to grant any exploration or mining permits around the property without carrying out a strategic environmental assessment to assess the impacts, including synergistic and cumulative impacts of these projects, and submitting it for prior consideration to the World Heritage Centre and for examination by IUCN, and also to provide further clarification regarding the planned World Bank strategic assessment of all mining projects in Guinea, in relation to the OUV of the property;
  10. Adopts the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), presented in 2021 by the States Parties as additional information to their 2020 State of conservation report, and requests furthermore the States Parties to ensure its refinement and implementation in collaboration with international experts and development partners, considering the recommendations of the workshops related to the DSOCR held in 2022 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in 2023 in Senegal;
  11. Requests moreover the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session;
  12. Decides to retain Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Context of Decision