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World Heritage Convention

Decision 39 COM 7A.6
Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 136)

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.39 adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Expresses its utmost concern about the renewed poaching crisis which erupted in April 2014 and which led to the poaching of at least 164 elephants and three Congo giraffes and expresses its most sincere condolences to the family of the guard killed in operations for the protection of the property;
  4. Notes with great concern that the probable extinction of the Northern White Rhino in the property and the continued erosion of the populations of other wildlife species, in particular the loss of more than 90% of the elephant population and the continued decline of the relict population of Congolese giraffe, if not halted soon, could lead to an irreversible loss of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  5. Requests the State Party to cooperate with other States Parties and international technical organizations, such as IUCN, to outline a population recovery plan and call for support of the international community in addressing the loss of endangered species;
  6. Commends the State Party, in particular the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN) and the African Parks Foundation, for their efforts to strengthen anti-poaching efforts to address this crisis, by reorganizing anti-poaching operations, bringing in additional field equipment and a helicopter to enable better aerial support for anti-poaching activities and urges the State Party to give the utmost priority to halting the poaching crisis;
  7. Welcomes the increased cooperation with the Congolese Army (FARDC), United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) to restore security in the region, control the armed groups, stop cross-border incursions and address the poaching crisis;
  8. Also expresses its utmost concern about continued reports of the use of helicopters and the alleged involvement of elements of the army in elephant poaching in the property;
  9. Invites the Director-General of UNESCO to call on the State Party as well as neighbouring States, in particular Uganda and South Sudan, to ensure that military operations in the region do not impact on the OUV of the property and to organize in cooperation with MONUSCO a high-level meeting between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and South Sudan and other potential stakeholders on how to improve security in the region and address the poaching issue;
  10. Further expresses its concern about the increased pressure on the hunting areas adjacent to the property, in particular from artisanal mining, and reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a conservation strategy for the hunting areas so that they can act as buffer zones, given their importance for the conservation of the OUV of the property, including the conditions of integrity;
  11. Also urges the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures to rehabilitate the OUV of the property;
  12. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to re-asses its state of conservation, to update the corrective measures and establish a new timeframe for their implementation and to finalize the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  13. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  14. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism of the property;
  15. Also decides to retain the Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
39 COM 7A.6
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2015 Garamba National Park
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015)
Context of Decision