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Decision 21 BUR IV.A.4
Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Since the twentieth session of the Committee, the eastern part Democratic Republic of the Congo has become further destabilized and military action has spread to other parts of the country. Reports received indicate that in both these sites, infrastructure had been destroyed and wildlife populations decimated. The Bureau noted that IUCN and the Centre will continue to maintain contacts with UNHCR and conservation NGOs and provide up-to-date reports on both Virunga and Garamba, at the time of the twenty-first session of the Committee. 

The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to contact relevant authorities of the new Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to arrange for a high-level mission to meet with senior officials to remind them of their responsibilities under the World Heritage Convention and to discuss restoration and rehabilitation of the country's five World Heritage sites. This mission should initiate project proposals in consultation with the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Implementation of some of the projects may be financed by emergency assistance from the World Heritage Fund. A long-term policy and strategic vision for World Heritage conservation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the main need at the moment. The Centre should co-ordinate its activities with those of other UN agencies and conservation NGOs active in the country. The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to provide detailed reports on both sites, at the twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau to be held on 28 and 29 November 1997, in Naples, Italy.

Context of Decision