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Salonga National Park

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Housing
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 8 (from 1985-1999)
Total amount approved : 144,500 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: This is the only one of the five sites of this country that has not been included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The site is located in the more central parts of the country and hence is relatively less impacted by on-going armed conflicts in the eastern parts of the country. (Please refer to document WHC-99/CONF.204/4 for state of conservation reports on those four World Heritage Sites in Danger located in the eastern parts of DRC).

New information: IUCN has received a report (February 1999) on this site from the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). The status of the habitats and abundance of elephants and the Bonobo chimpanzees seem satisfactory. Human activity within the Park, however, is a concern and poaching and human settlements threaten the integrity of the site. There are too few guards and they are ill equipped to effectively deal with poachers. The dire need for boats to better control the waterways, which are the main arteries for the transport of weapons and poached wildlife products has been stressed and crackdown on arms-traffic within the Park has been called for. IUCN has commended ICCN for its comprehensive report and supports the following recommendations made by ICCN:

  • the need to encourage active participation and education of local populations;
  • improvement of infrastructure and communications;
  • development of sustainable tourism around the Bonobo; and
  • improved management of scientific research.

Lack of vehicular transport, funds and monitoring equipment, and limited communications facilities are inadequacies that need urgent attention.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to recommend that the State Party submit a detailed list of equipment and other assistance required to strengthen site management to the Centre before 1 September 1999. The Bureau may request the Centre and IUCN to determine the costs of meeting the needs of site management and propose, to the twenty-third session of the Committee, a plan to finance the costs and identify priority activities that could be supported by contributions from World Heritage Fund.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV.30

New information: The Chairperson approved in September 1999 a technical co-operation grant of US$ 20,000 to : (a) launch special anti-poaching programmes including providing living and motivational allowances to personnel ; (b) expand Park units from two to six in order to enhance patrolling and surveillance efficiency ; (c) organise a programme of awareness building among all stakeholders and design and implement small-scale projects benefiting local populations ; and (d) purchase of uniforms, tents and communications equipment essential for basic patrolling and surveillance operations. The heightened levels of threats due to poaching and illegal encroachments continue to prevail and the conditions which led the Bureau to recommend that the Committee inscribe this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger remain unchanged. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.B.30
Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))

The Centre informed the Bureau that Salonga National Park is the only one of the five sites of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that has not been included in the List of World Heritage in Danger and that the site is located in the more central part of the country and hence is relatively less impacted by on-going armed conflicts in the eastern part of the country.  However, the Centre proposed to the Bureau that Salonga National Park should be included with the other four sites of DRC in the List of World Heritage in Danger.  In this way, Salonga would be part of all efforts to be undertaken by the Task Force at the Naivasha Seminar, Kenya, (see Chapter VII, page 53) to support conservation of World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Bureau was informed that IUCN received a report (February 1999) on this site from the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). The status of the habitats and abundance of elephants and the Bonobo chimpanzees seem satisfactory. Human activity within the Park, however, is a concern and poaching and human settlements threaten the integrity of the site. There are too few guards and they are ill equipped to deal effectively with poachers. The dire need for boats to better control the waterways, which are the main arteries for the transport of weapons and poached wildlife products, has been stressed and crackdown on arms traffic within the Park has been called for. IUCN commended ICCN for its comprehensive report and supported the following recommendations made by ICCN:

(i) the need to encourage active participation and education of local populations;

(ii) improvement of infrastructure and communications;

(iii) development of sustainable tourism around the Bonobo; and

(iv) improved management of scientific research.

Lack of vehicular transport, funds and monitoring equipment, and limited communication facilities are also issues requiring urgent attention.

The Bureau took note of the information provided and recommended that the State Party submit to the Centre before 1 September 1999, a detailed list of equipment and other assistance required to strengthen site management. The Bureau further requested the Centre and IUCN to determine the costs of equipment and other site management needs and propose, to the twenty-third session of the Committee, a plan to finance the costs and identify priority activities that could be supported by contributions from World Heritage Fund. The Bureau recommended that the Committee consider including this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

23 COM VIII.1-2
New Inscriptions on the World Heritage List in Danger

VIII.1 Following the review of the state of conservation reports and at the recommendation of the Bureau, the Committee decided to inscribe the following natural and cultural properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda)
  • Iguaçu National Park (Brazil)
  • Hampi (India)

VIII.2 The Committee did not recommend the deletion of properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

23 COM X.B.21
SOC: Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))

X.21 Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))

The Committee noted that the heightened levels of threats due to poaching and illegal encroachments as well as the conditions which led the Bureau at its July session to recommend that the Committee inscribe this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger still prevail.

The Committee requested the Centre and IUCN to extend to Salonga the co-operation with the conservation NGOs, ICCN and other partners, targeted to raise international awareness and support for four other World Heritage sites in Danger in the DRC (Garamba, Virunga and Kahuzi Biega National Parks and the Okapi Faunal Reserve). They should also explore ways and means to strengthen the conservation and management of Salonga National Park. The Committee decided to inscribe Salonga National Park in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau may wish to transmit the above report to the Committee for examination and recommends the following for adoption:

“The Bureau reiterates its recommendation, made at its July 1999 session, that the Committee include this site in the List of World Heritage in Danger. In addition the Bureau may request the Centre and IUCN to expand its co-operation with the conservation NGOs, ICCN and other partners, targeted to raise international awareness and support for four other World Heritage sites in Danger in the DRC, namely Garamba, Virunga and Kahuzi Biega National Parks and the Okapi Faunal Reserve, to address the needs of this site too, and explore ways and means to strengthen the conservation and management of Salonga National Park.”

Report year: 1999
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)
Danger List (dates): 1999-2021
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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