Decision : CONF 204 IV.B.30
Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))
The Centre informed the Bureau that Salonga National Park is the only one of the five sites of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has not been included in the List of World Heritage in Danger and that the site is located in the more central part of the country and hence is relatively less impacted by on-going armed conflicts in the eastern part of the country. However, the Centre proposed to the Bureau that Salonga National Park should be included with the other four sites of DRC in the List of World Heritage in Danger. In this way, Salonga would be part of all efforts to be undertaken by the Task Force at the Naivasha Seminar, Kenya, (see Chapter VII, page 53) to support conservation of World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Bureau was informed that IUCN received a report (February 1999) on this site from the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). The status of the habitats and abundance of elephants and the Bonobo chimpanzees seem satisfactory. Human activity within the Park, however, is a concern and poaching and human settlements threaten the integrity of the site. There are too few guards and they are ill equipped to deal effectively with poachers. The dire need for boats to better control the waterways, which are the main arteries for the transport of weapons and poached wildlife products, has been stressed and crackdown on arms traffic within the Park has been called for. IUCN commended ICCN for its comprehensive report and supported the following recommendations made by ICCN:
(i) the need to encourage active participation and education of local populations;
(ii) improvement of infrastructure and communications;
(iii) development of sustainable tourism around the Bonobo; and
(iv) improved management of scientific research.
Lack of vehicular transport, funds and monitoring equipment, and limited communication facilities are also issues requiring urgent attention.
The Bureau took note of the information provided and recommended that the State Party submit to the Centre before 1 September 1999, a detailed list of equipment and other assistance required to strengthen site management. The Bureau further requested the Centre and IUCN to determine the costs of equipment and other site management needs and propose, to the twenty-third session of the Committee, a plan to finance the costs and identify priority activities that could be supported by contributions from World Heritage Fund. The Bureau recommended that the Committee consider including this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.