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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.75
Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda) (N 684)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.85 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Welcomes the continued implementation of the 2016-2026 General Management Plan (GMP) for the property, and requests the State Party to ensure that the attributes that constitute the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property are fully reflected in the next GMP;
  4. Notes with concern the results of the 2021 animal census for elephants which indicate only seven individuals as now remaining in the property, and urges again the State Party to assess the viability of the remaining elephant population within the property and to develop an action plan for its conservation, and also encourages the State Party to explore potential options to improve the connectivity between the property and the overall Greater Virunga ecosystem, including by further strengthening the transboundary cooperation with Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ;
  5. Welcomes the confirmation by the State Party that no plans to proceed with the proposed cable car project are reported and, also recalling that the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission considered this project would impact both the scenic value of the property, as well as its fragile ecosystems and biodiversity, and if approved, would constitute a clear case of ascertained danger to the OUV, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, requests again the State Party not to further pursue this project;
  6. Notes with appreciation the confirmation that hydropower projects in the vicinity of the property have undergone an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), mitigation measures are implemented, and no detrimental activities are reported, however recalls the increasing number of hydropower projects in the vicinity of the property, and reiterates its request for the State Party to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Rwenzori water catchment, including the property, to guide strategic level planning and to assess the indirect and cumulative impacts on the OUV arising from the existing and planned small scale run-of-river hydropower infrastructures and to ensure that EIAs for any future small scale hydropower development proposed in the catchment of the property, fully assess the potential impacts in relation to the OUV in line with the new Guidance and Toolkit on Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context;
  7. Takes note that the Kilembe mine remains closed since the 1970s and that 2021 water samples confirm low mineral levels in all three rivers flowing out of the property and requests the State Party to also report on the water quality of the groundwater;
  8. Further requests the State Party to continue to implement the recommendations of the 2019 mission, in particular to:
    1. Revise the Tourism Strategy for the property to ensure that it fully considers the protection of its OUV and prioritize low impact tourism activities that utilize existing infrastructures and facilities,
    2. Develop and implement a wildlife monitoring plan to ensure the regular monitoring of key wildlife species as recognized in the Statement of OUV for the property;
  9. Notes with appreciation the reconstruction of infrastructure following floods and landslides in 2020 and the finalisation of a Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Plan for the property and requests furthermore the State Party to implement the Plan to inform future disaster risk response, planning and management measures;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.
Decision Code
45 COM 7B.75
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2023 Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Context of Decision