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Decision 43 COM 7A.5
Manovo Gounda St. Floris National Park (Central African Republic) (N 475)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.45, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Regrets that the State Party was unable to implement the corrective measures proposed by the 2009 mission due to insecurity problems in the region controlled by armed groups since 2012;
  4. Expresses its deepest concern as regards the conclusions of the 2019 mission according to which the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is highly questionable, indicating an almost total disappearance of large mammals, and that the integrity of the property is also questionable due to combined heavy pressure from poaching, regional transhumance, illegal fishing and artisanal mining exploitation, as well as a total lack of surveillance and management since 2012;
  5. Takes note of the conclusion of the mission that at this stage, it is not possible to affirm that the OUV is irreversibly lost and that additional studies are necessary to qualify and quantify the relic populations of wildlife in order to assess the perspectives for regeneration of the characteristics of the property justifying its OUV;
  6. Urges the State Party, with support from its technical and financial partners, to implement the following corrective measures, revised during the 2019 mission:
    a) Define a priority zone in the property based on the monitoring results of wildlife,
    b) Develop and implement before the next dry season an emergency security plan for this zone by reopening the surveillance bases, and the establishment of ground surveillance teams supported by an aerial surveillance system, as well as the establishment of legal procedures to halt all illicit exploitation of the natural resources in this zone, notably poaching, transhumance and illicit fishing and artisanal mining exploitation,
    c) Set up a robust bio-monitoring mechanism for the large and medium-sized wildlife associated with a monitoring device (SMART) for patrols to precisely assess the viability and the potential for regeneration of the mammalian wildlife,
    d) Implement, in cooperation with all the local, national and regional stakeholders, a management strategy for transhumance through the reopening of the legal transfer corridors outside the property,
    e) Implement the existing regional agreements with Cameroon and Chad on anti-poaching and other transboundary criminal activities, such as the Transboundary Tripartite Anti-poaching Agreement and the “Ndjaména Declaration”, and afterwards extend them to Sudan and South Sudan for increased efficacy and coherence;
  7. Congratulates the European Union for its continuous support in the conservation of the natural resources in the North-Eastern Protected Areas Complex and launches an appeal to the States Parties of the Convention and the public and private donors to support the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) agreement signed by the State Party with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) for the management of the property and the implementation of the emergency plan;
  8. Decides to grant a delay of 4 years to the State Party to see whether it is possible to restore the integrity of the property, collect additional data on the state of wildlife to assess whether a regeneration of the OUV is still possible, and requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission before its 48th session in 2024, to evaluate the results of both the implementation of the emergency plan and bio-monitoring;
  9. Notes with concern the petroleum exploration activities in the petroleum block A and requests the State Party to:
    a) Clarify the situation of the petroleum block A and the exploration blocks I, II and III and ensure that no license overlaps the property, in conformity with national legislation and the property’s World Heritage status,
    b) Analyze the direct and indirect impacts on its OUV of all envisaged petroleum projects in the vicinity of the property, with an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in line with international standards and to submit this EISA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before granting any exploitation license, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  10. Reiterates its established position regarding mining and petroleum exploration and exploitation being incompatible with World Heritage status, policy supported by the commitments undertaken by the leaders of the industry, such as Shell and Total, not to engage in such activities in World Heritage properties;
  11. Also requests the State Party to carry out the ESIA for the rehabilitation project of the National Road 8 Ndél -Birao to assess the direct and indirect impacts on the property, prioritizing the less prejudicial option for its integrity, with appropriate accompanying measures, and to submit the ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, before taking a final decision on the project, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  13. Also decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  14. Further decides to retain Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Documents
WHC/19/43.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision
WHC-19/43.COM/7A.Add
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