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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.40
Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 280)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.7, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s ongoing efforts, to implement the corrective measures, with the substantial financial and technical support from various partners, but notes the importance of sustaining this financial support over a longer timeframe in order to adequately manage the property and increase operational capacity and restore its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4. Also welcomes the increased patrols of the property by park staff covering 50% of the area, and the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) approach for data collection;
  5. Appreciates the establishment of the design of the ecological corridor through consultation with local communities to link the two components of the property, including the identification of six multiple use zones, requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre on the implementation of the management plans, and urges it to consider further options to improve connectivity between the “sustainable conservation zones” and the southern component of the property;
  6. Notes with concern that disputes over land are continuing within the property, concerning in particular the Kitawala and Yaelima communities, and also requests the State Party to establish an effective dialogue with these communities to identify a possible way forward, in compliance with the corrective measures adopted by the Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012);
  7. Also notes that the inventory of flagship species has been conducted in two of the sectors within the property and further requests the State Party to submit the full findings of the inventories for all flagship species assessed to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as they become available and, based on the results, to also submit an updated Desired state of conservation for the removal of a property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) which quantifies the indicators, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
  8. Deeply regrets that the State Party has still not provided any information on the status of oil exploration and exploitation projects (Decisions 36 COM 7A.7, 37 COM 7A.7, 38 COM 7A.40, 39 COM 7A.7), and strongly urges the State Party to submit this information as a matter of urgency, and reiterates its position that oil and gas exploration or exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the commitments made by industry leaders such as Shell and Total not to undertake such activities within World Heritage properties;
  9. Requests furthermore 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 above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  10. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to the property;
  11. Also decides to retain the Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.40
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Salonga National Park
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision