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World Heritage Convention

Decision 38 COM 7A.41
Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 718)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.8, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Expresses its deepest concern as regards the degradation of the security situation at the property, the loss of control of approximately 75% of the Reserve, the increase in poaching and the reopening of several artisanal mining works, and considers that this situation risks destroying, if it continues, all the progress achieved over five years;
  4. Notes with concern the results of the 2010/2011 inventories that demonstrate that the degradation of the Outstanding universal value (OUV) of the property has continued and that the impacts of the security situation risk to further exacerbate the situation;
  5. Commends the efforts of the staff of the property who, at great risk, continue its efforts for the conservation of the property, and notes that the guards continue to lack the necessary material support to combat poachers;
  6. Recalls the commitments undertaken by the Congolese Government in the Kinshasa Declaration, dated January 2011, notably regarding the security of World Heritage properties, and the strengthening of the operational capacities of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN), in particular the availability of equipment necessary for surveillance activities;
  7. Urges the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures, updated by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission of 2014, as well as preventive measures to halt and reverse the degradation of the OUV of the property:
    1. Continue the efforts to solve the problems linked to the presence of the military involved in illegal activities and obtain support of the military hierarchy to assist in respect of the laws,
    2. Close down all the artisanal mining quarries and cancel all the mining titles that encroach the property and which are granted illegally by the Mining Cadastre, especially those granted to the KiloGold Society,
    3. Undertake measures to mitigate the impacts linked to the increase in traffic within the property, and notably by mobilising the necessary technical and financial resources to contribute towards the functioning of the immigration control system, and by legalizing and increasing the scope of the pilot system to regulate and monitor immigration and traffic on the RN4, including the possibility of closing the RN4 to traffic at night and setting up a toll system,
    4. Finalize and approve the management plan for the property, with the creation of an integral conservation zone,
    5. Integrate the activities of the Committee for Visits and Passage (CSP) and the Local Committees for Monitoring and Conservation of Natural Resources (CLSCN) in the management activities of the livelihood zones (agricultural and hunting zones) for which management modalities remain to be defined in the management plan,
    6. Continue efforts to strengthen and revitalize the surveillance mechanism and render it more efficient,
    7. Prepare and implement a zoning plan of the forest areas adjacent to the property to act as protection against negative impacts of unsustainable exploitation of the forest,
    8. Strengthen communication and cooperation between all the stakeholders and the State services to increase the conservation of the natural resources of the property,
    9. Support the establishment and the active operation of the permanent consultation framework recommended by the Mambasa Round Table (11-12 May 2013) with all parties concerned to contribute in strengthening security at the property and the sustainable conservation of its natural resources;
  8. Also recalls the obligations of the Congolese Government linked to the protection of the values of the property and the other World Heritage properties on its territory, with regard to the illegal detention, transport, commerce and exportation of natural resources such as timber, minerals, plants and live wild animals or their products, like ivory;
  9. Requests the State Party to also implement the other recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission of 2014;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, with an update on progress accomplished in the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  11. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring mechanism to the property;
  12. Also decides to retain Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
38 COM 7A.41
List of World Heritage in Danger
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2014 Okapi Wildlife Reserve
Report of the Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014)
Context of Decision