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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7B.174
Sangha Trinational (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo) (N 1380rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.30, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the efforts made by the States Parties and their partners with a view to improving management efficiency through the consolidation of transboundary cooperation, the updating of the development plans for the components of the property, the harmonization of management and surveillance tools, capacity building of surveillance teams as well as monitoring of legal proceedings;
  4. Warmly welcomes the continuation of dialogue with indigenous and local populations, the training of personnel responsible for the application of the law in the issues of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples, the establishment of several legal and operational provisions. for the recognition of their rights as well as their involvement in the management of the property, and taking note of the concerns raised in the independent review of human rights issues launched by WWF International, requests the States Parties to ensure that any concerns are addressed in accordance with relevant international standards, the World Heritage and Sustainable Development Policy, and taking into account the recommendations of the independent review;
  5. Notes with concern the decrease in patrol efforts due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the persistence of illegal activities, including poaching, gold panning and illegal logging, and also requests the States Parties to continue current efforts to protect mammal species, to strengthen its actions to eliminate any illegal activity within the property and to ensure the ecological restoration of degraded sites;
  6. Further requests the States Parties to harmonize the census of animal populations in order to obtain, in accordance with the scale of the property, precise and comparable data over time on the characteristic species of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  7. Also welcomes the decision of the non-renewal of the three mining permits by the State Party of Cameroon in the buffer zone, expresses its concern with regard to the reported creation, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), of an artisanal mining area near the property in the Central African Republic, and while noting the clarification from the Embassy of the United States of America that the project is located outside the buffer zone of the property and aims to reduce the pressure on the protected areas, further requests the State Party of the Central African Republic to urgently clarify the potential impacts of this project on the OUV of the property;
  8. Recalls its established position on the fact that oil and gas exploration and / or exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, a policy supported by the commitments made by industry leaders, such as Shell and Total, not to undertake such activities at World Heritage properties, and also urges the State Party of Congo to immediately cancel any petroleum permits that would encroach on the property;
  9. Notes the status quo of the development project of the waterway for navigation on the Sangha and further requests the States Parties not to undertake this activity without a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) being carried out in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: Environmental Assessment, and submitted to the World Heritage Committee before any project approval;
  10. Regrets that the States Parties have not provided any information concerning the EIA of the Ouesso-Bangui road and the state of progress of the said project, and reiterates its request to the States Parties to ensure that the construction of the road does not begin until the EIA is completed and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  11. Also welcomes the commitment of the States Parties to define strategic guidelines to minimize the effects of forestry activities on ecological connectivity and encourages the States Parties to promote certification that minimizes the impacts on biodiversity of all forest concessions in the area;
  12. Reiterates its deep concern regarding the potential impacts on the OUV of the property by the two concessions in the buffer zone in the Central African Republic, and further requests the State Party of the Central African Republic to submit to the World Heritage Committee EIAs evaluating adequately the potential impacts of concessions for consideration, in accordance with IUCN World Heritage Advice Note: Environmental Assessment, and to prioritize certification of the two concessions;
  13. Also requests the States Parties to continue to implement all the recommendations of the 2016 reactive monitoring mission;
  14. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.174
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2021 Sangha Trinational
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision