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Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea
Factors affecting the property in 1997*
  • Financial resources
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of Management Plan;
  • Lack of funding;
  • Poaching;
  • New railway;
  • Mining;
  • Proposed reduction of the protected area;
  • Refugees from Liberia
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1997
Requests approved: 14 (from 1981-1997)
Total amount approved : 345,222 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

A Round Table on this site, jointly organized by the Ministry for Energy and Environment and the "Mission Francaise de Cooperation et d'Action Culturelle" (April 1996), recommended that UNESCO consider the establishment of a working group to create an "International Foundation for Mount Nimba". At its last session (Merida, 1996), the Committee noted the outcome of the preliminary discussions of the working group and the fact that UNESCO's Legal Affairs Unit was considering the group's proposals. Furthermore, in view of the uncertainties and shortcomings remaining with regard to the management of Mount Nimba, the Committee decided to retain the site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Legal Affairs Unit of UNESCO has advised the Centre that UNESCO cannot create an International Foundation but that such a Foundation may be established under the national legislation of a suitable State Party; e.g. the Swiss Foundation established for the conservation of Banc d'Arguin World Heritage Area (Mauritania). On the other hand, contributions earmarked for Mt. Nimba could be set aside under a special account of the World Heritage Fund (as per paragraph 118 of the Operational Guidelines),  or set up as a separate 'Funds-in-Trust', similar to the World Heritage Fund, within UNESCO. 

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to consider the pros and cons of the three alternatives for setting up a Foundation or a special Fund for Mt. Nimba and direct the Centre to contact potential donors who participated in the Round Table and seek their preferences among the three options available. In addition the Bureau may recommend that the Committee retain Mt. Nimba in the List of World Heritage in Danger in view of continuing uncertainties surrounding the management of the site.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

At the time of the last session of the Committee (Merida, 1996), UNESCO's Legal Affairs Office was considering a proposal for setting up an "International Foundation for Mount Nimba". The Bureau, at its twenty-first session in June, 1997, was informed that such a foundation cannot be created by UNESCO but could be set up under the national legislation of suitable a State Party, following the example of the Swiss Foundation established for Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania. Moreover, an earmarked contribution for Mount Nimba may be set aside under a special account of the World Heritage Fund or be set up as a separate 'Funds-in-Trust' similar to the World Heritage Fund. However, the Bureau noted that the mining companies expected to contribute to the Fund are not yet ready to launch the initiative and the Minister of Environment of Guinea had requested that Mount Nimba be retained in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1997
21 BUR IV.A.7
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Guinea/Côte d'Ivoire)

The Bureau recalled that at its twentieth session, the Committee noted the fact that UNESCO's Legal Affairs Office was considering the proposals made by a working group for setting up an "International Foundation for Mt. Nimba". The Bureau was informed that the Legal Affairs Office of UNESCO has advised the Centre that UNESCO cannot create an International Foundation but that such a Foundation may be established under the national legislation of a suitable State Party. The Swiss Foundation established for the conservation of Banc d'Arguin National Park, a World Heritage site in Mauritania, was considered a good example. Contributions earmarked for Mt. Nimba may also be set aside under a special account of the World Heritage Fund (as per paragraph 118 of the Operational Guidelines), or set up as a separate 'Funds-in-Trust', similar to the World Heritage Fund, within UNESCO.

The Bureau, while recognizing these options for setting up a Foundation or a Special Fund for Mt. Nimba, noted that the mining companies are not yet ready to contribute funds to launch the initiative. Furthermore, the Bureau took note of the fact that the Minister of Environment of Guinea acknowledged the threats to Mount Nimba, reiterated the commitment of his Government to the protection of the site and requested that the site be retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

The Bureau requested the Centre to transmit information concerning the options for setting up a Foundation or a Special Fund for Mt. Nimba to the authorities of Guinea and recommended that the Committee retain Mt. Nimba on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

21 COM VII.B.17/19
SOC: Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Guinea/Côte d'Ivoire)

VII.17 Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Guinea/Côte d'Ivoire)

The Committee recalled that at the time of its last session (Merida, 1996), UNESCO's Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs Office was considering a proposal for setting up an "International Foundation for Mount Nimba". The Bureau, at its twenty-first session in June, 1997, was informed that such a foundation cannot be created by UNESCO but could be set up under the national legislation of a suitable State Party, following the example of the Foundation established for the Banc d'Arguin, (Mauritania) in Switzerland. However, the Bureau noted that the mining companies expected to contribute to the Fund are not yet ready to launch the initiative and the Minister of Environment of Guinea had requested that Mount Nimba be retained in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee furthermore noted that technical assistance for an amount of US$ 20,000 was provided to the site in 1997.

The Committee decided to retain Mount Nimba in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested the State Party and the Centre to contact relevant mining companies to know more details of their interest and willingness to set up an international foundation.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

"The Committee decides to retain Mount Nimba in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requests the State Party and the Centre to contact relevant mining companies to know more details of their interest and willingness to set up an international foundation."

Report year: 1997
Côte d'Ivoire Guinea
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-present
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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