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Decision 41 COM 7B.37
Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda (Gabon) (C/N 1147rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.32, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Welcomes the State Party's decision to deflect the project for the Lastourville / Mikouyi road towards the north of the property, but requests the State Party, prior to the resumption of the project, to ensure that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) includes a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the historic complexes of the property to allow for a rigorous review of the proposed options, and to submit the results of this assessment to the World Heritage Centre for consideration by the Advisory Bodies;
  4. Takes note of the completion of the optical fibre work under the supervision of the Gabon's National Parks Agency (ANPN) and in accordance with the ESIA validated by the ANPN;
  5. Commends the State Party for the progress made in the conservation and management of the property in accordance with the recommendations of the 2015 Reactive Monitoring Mission, and encourages it to continue their implementation;
  6. Notes with satisfaction the financial support of the European Union through the Central African World Heritage Forests Initiative (CAWHFI) project, which has made it possible to recruit an agent in charge of cultural heritage to conduct activities for the protection and enhancement of the historical and archaeological complexes, as well as new guards to reinforce the management of the property;
  7. Also encourages the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for consideration by the Advisory Bodies, the plans for the development of the historical complexes when they become available;
  8. Also takes note that poaching remains relatively low and that the State Party stresses the resolution of the "human-wildlife" conflict and also requests the State Party to monitor closely the impacts of electric fencing around fields to ensure that the ecological connectivity of the property with the surrounding forests is maintained;
  9. Further requests the State Party to update wildlife monitoring data in order to assess the populations and trends of key species and to better monitor and respond to the impacts of poaching, and to transmit them as soon as possible to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by IUCN;
  10. Further encourages the State Party to continue its efforts to ensure the conservation of the property and reminds it of the need to inform the World Heritage Centre in good time of any major development projects that could threaten the OUV of the property, before any irreversible decision is taken, in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
Decisions adopted during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee (Krakow, 2017)
Context of Decision