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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.39
Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 718)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.41, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Expresses its most sincere condolences to the family of the guard killed in operations for the protection of the property;
  4. Welcomes the cancellation of one of the mining permits awarded to KiloGold Society inside the property and urges the State Party to provide information on the remaining mining permits overlapping with the property and to ensure their cancellation;
  5. Takes note of the actions taken by the Congolese Institute for Conservation of Nature (ICCN) and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) to close some artisanal mines and reiterates its request to the State Party to evacuate and close all illegal artisanal mines within the property;
  6. Expresses its concern at the continued deterioration of the security situation in the property, increased poaching and the reopening of artisanal mining sites encouraged by rebel groups;
  7. Notes with appreciation the development of a roadmap towards the signing of an agreement between ICCN and the four communities in the Mambasa Territory in order to establish an integral conservation zone in the property, and the steps taken to inform the zoning plan for forest areas adjacent to the property;
  8. Acknowledges the addition of 50 trained guards for the ongoing surveillance of the property, but notes with concern that the reported surveillance coverage is significantly lower than what was reported to the Committee at its 39th session and therefore, also reiterates its request to the State Party to prioritize efforts to further expand the patrol coverage and regain control of the site to halt poaching and the deterioration of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including through the recruitment of additional guards and the adequate provision of financial and material resources;
  9. Also notes with concern the significant increase in the number of inhabitants in the five villages along the RN4 which questions the effectiveness of the system established to control immigration into the property, and requests the State Party to evaluate and improve this system in order to make it more effective, and to evaluate the impacts of the increased population on land use around the villages;
  10. Also urges the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures and to resume operations suspended due to a lack of security, and reiterates its call upon donors to provide necessary financial and technical support for these efforts;
  11. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  12. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  13. Also decides to retain the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.39
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Okapi Wildlife Reserve
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision