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World Heritage Convention

Decision 37 COM 8B.17
Bijagós Archipelago – Motom Moranghajogo (Guinea Bissau)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-13/37.COM/8B, WHC-13/37.COM/INF.8B1 and WHC-13/37.COM/INF.8B2,

2. Defers the examination of the nomination of the Bijagós Archipelago – Motom Moranghajogo, Guinea Bissau, to the World Heritage List to allow the State Party to:

a) Strengthen the legal protection status of the property to ensure that all areas nominated have adequate legal and/or customary protection;

b) Consider modification of the boundaries of areas to be nominated within the overall biosphere reserve to conform to integrity requirements and exclude heavily modified areas that do not contain attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. These areas, including the towns of Bolama and Bubaque, could be included in a buffer zone for the property as defined in paragraph 103 of the Operational Guidelines ;

c) Deepen the comparative analysis so as to ascertain whether the property might be considered to have the potential to demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value for cultural criteria;

d) Ensure that an overall management plan/system is established for the nominated site with appropriate institutional and financial means and measures in place, including an overall coordination body for the whole property;

e) Ensure that this management plan/system includes a clear and agreed strategy for sustainable tourism, including appropriate policies, programmes and tourism infrastructure that does not degrade the integrity of the property and its OUV;

f)  Update, detail and strengthen management plans for the existing legally protected areas included within the property in a way that is compatible with the overall management plan/system of the property;

g) Establish effective protection and management measures and activities that minimize the effects of the non-native species, including those considered as invasive, and restore degraded areas where appropriate;

h) Ensure that new shipping routes are not be established through the nominated site;

i)  Ensure that oil exploration and exploitation operations do not take place within the nominated property and that operations outside of the site do not have any significant impact on the nominated site; and

j)  Ensure that human and financial resources are sufficient to maintain the integrity of the property and the long-term preservation of its Outstanding Universal Value; in particular raise sufficient financial resources for the trust fund project (the “Fondation Bioguinée”), and take all measures to ensure that an adequate proportion of this fund is earmarked for the proposed site;

3. Recommends that the State Party move forward plans to designate either the National Parks, or possibly the entire Biosphere Reserve, as a Ramsar site, to strengthen national and local protection and management and international recognition;

4. Commends the State Party and its partner organisations for its committed and innovative work in participatory community management in this important protected area;

5. Considers that the evaluation of any revised nomination would need to include an expert mission to the site;

6. Encourages the State Party, under the principles of the Upstream Process, with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to seek advice on the potential of the site to satisfy cultural criteria and on reframing the nomination for natural criteria to address the concerns above.

Decision Code
37 COM 8B.17
Inscriptions on the World Heritage List, Outstanding Universal Value
States Parties 1
Decisions Adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th Session (Phnom Penh, 2013)
Context of Decision