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Rwenzori Mountains National Park

Uganda
Factors affecting the property in 2001*
  • Civil unrest
  • Financial resources
  • Human resources
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Unsustainable resource use practices

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • lack of resources, 
  • suspension of projects,
  • serious security issues at the Park due to the conflict in the region,
  • a greater part of the Park is not monitored by Park staff.
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2001
Requests approved: 3 (from 1995-2001)
Total amount approved : 96,749 USD
Missions to the property until 2001**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee – paragraph VIII.14
Twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau - paragraph IV.13

New information: The Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority transmitted on 15 April 2001 an update on the state of conservation of this site.

In the Mbuta, Kibwa and Musandama areas encroachment has been curtailed but requires constant surveillance. Illegal pit-sawing in Bundibugyo District is on the increase; poaching by some Local Defence Units and individuals belonging to the Special Police, of monkeys and other small mammals is rampant. Chimpanzee poaching and trafficking are very common. The Park area has been increased by a donation of land by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, and an additional 60 acres purchased by Ecotrust Uganda. The former land parcel needs to be surveyed and the payment for the latter finalized. The Park has no infrastructure such as Headquarters and outposts for Park monitoring.

Security has been improving since the beginning of 2000 through the efforts of the Uganda Police Department Force (UPDF). With some improvement in security and reassurance from the UPDF, all the security threats could be brought under control and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UAW) plans to re-open the site for tourism in July 2001. The Central Tourist Circuit has been opened and maintained from March 2000, and the re-opening of the Park for tourists will require:

  • a VHF Radio System or other communication network
  • repair of the Kurt shafer Bridge
  • Construction of a Ranger Base at Nyabitaba
  • Securing of field equipment and gear, warm clothing and rescue equipment.

The Park authorities envisage undertaking new policies for Community Protected Area Institutions and for revenue sharing, and to focus on collaborative institutions to fill the vacuum created by the departure, more than three years ago, of foreign NGOs and inaction of the local ones. The Park plans to conduct an assessment on the effect of war on wildlife and on the ecosystem.

Action Required
The Bureau notes with satisfaction that security conditions may be improving and the site may be opened for tourism in the latter half of 2001. But the Bureau expresses concerns about the situation of the site with regard to poaching on small mammals and chimpanzees and encroachment. The Bureau requests IUCN and the Centre to assist the State Party in its assessment of the effects of war on wildlife and the ecosystem and explore ways and means to facilitate the State Party’s efforts to rehabilitate the Park.  The report of the mission will be presented at the time of the Bureau session. The Bureau requests that the Centre and IUCN report on the outcome of their consultations with the State Party to the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee in December 2001.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Principal issues:

Insecurity due to war and armed conflict in regions bordering neighbouring DRC; illegal pit sawing, poaching and wildlife trafficking. Need for community support activities.

New information:

At its twenty-fifth session in June 2001, the Bureau was pleased to learn that security conditions in the Park have improved and that the Park would be re-opened to visitors in July 2001. Based on an identification of the Park’s needs with regard to purchase of equipment and materials (see paragraph V.57 in document WHC-01/CONF.208/3), the Bureau approved a sum of US$ 64,000 as emergency assistance to the site. The UNESCO Division for Equipment Procurement is in the process of purchasing communication and other equipment requested urgently by the site management. The Centre expects to undertake a mission to Uganda in November 2001 and obtain up-to-date information on the security conditions and the revival of tourist visitation to the Park. Information on other support measures needed to further strengthen conservation of the Park with a view to enable its early removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger will also be obtained. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001
25 BUR V.57-59
Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda)

V.57       The Bureau was pleased to learn that security conditions in the Park have improved and that this Park will be re-opened to visitors in July 2001. Security has been improving since the beginning of 2000 through the efforts of the Uganda Police Department Force (UPDF). The Central Tourist Circuit has been opened and maintained as of March 2000. In preparing the Park for renewed visitation, the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UAW) intends to (a) equip the site with a VHF Radio System or other communication network; (b) repair the Kurt Shafer Bridge; (c) construct a Ranger Base at Nyabitaba; and (d) secure field equipment and gear, warm clothing and rescue equipment. The Bureau noted that the State Party has submitted an emergency assistance request for financing the purchase of this equipment and the proposed construction and repair work and that the request will be reviewed by the Bureau under agenda item 7.

V.58       Based on a report submitted on 15 April 2001, by the Executive Director of UAW, the Bureau noted that encroachment in the Mbuta, Kibwa and Musandama areas has been curtailed but requires constant surveillance. Illegal pit-sawing in the Bundibugyo District is on the increase; poaching by some Local Defence Units and individuals belonging to the Special Police, of monkeys and other small mammals is rampant. Chimpanzee poaching and trafficking is very common. The Park plans to conduct an assessment on the effect of war on wildlife and on the ecosystem. The Bureau expressed its concerns about the situation with regard to poaching on small mammals and chimpanzees and encroachment and requested IUCN and the Centre to continue to explore ways and means to assist the State Party in its assessment of the effects of war on wildlife and the ecosystem and efforts to rehabilitate the Park.

V.59       The Bureau noted that the Park area has been increased by a donation of land by the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, and an additional 60 acres purchased by Ecotrust Uganda. The former land parcel needs to be surveyed and the payment for the latter finalized. The Park has no infrastructure such as Headquarters and outposts for Park monitoring. The Park authorities envisage undertaking new policies for Community Protected Area Institutions and for revenue sharing, and to focus on collaborative institutions to fill the vacuum created by the departure, more than three years ago, of foreign NGOs and inaction of the local ones.

25 BUR VII.35
Requests for International Assistance - Emergency Assistance - Natural - Uganda

(iv) Emergency Assistance

Natural

Uganda - "Emergency Assistance for Rwenzori Mountains National Park"

VII.35 The Bureau approved this request for US$64,500 as Emergency Assistance on an exceptional basis and recommended that the Centre and IUCN co-operate with the State Party to obtain necessary information to ensure rapid and effective implementation of the project.

The Bureau noted that should the State Party find that the US$ 64,500 is insufficient to purchase the necessary equipment and undertake the construction and repair activities foreseen, the State Party may consider requesting supplementary funds for consideration by the twenty-fifth session of the Committee.

25 COM VIII.56
Rwenzori Mountains National Park (Uganda)

VIII.56 The Committee noted with satisfaction that security conditions in the Park have improved and that the Park was re-opened to visitors in July 2001 and that the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau, based on an identification of the Park's needs with regard to purchase of equipment and materials had approved a sum of US$64,000 as emergency assistance to the site. The UNESCO Division for Equipment Procurement is assisting the Centre and the State Party to purchase essential communication and other equipment requested urgently by the site management. The Committee urged the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party to assess other needs that the site may require in order to fully recover its integrity and regain its role as an important visitor destination within the Ugandan network of protected areas. The Committee proposed that the Centre and IUCN discuss with the State Party to field a mission to the site in 2002 with a view to providing a detailed report on the state of conservation of the site, including an assessment of the feasibility of its early removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger to the twenty-seventh session of the World Heritage Committee in 2003.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

The Committee, based on new information to be provided at the time of its session, may take appropriate decisions and make recommednations for the consideration of the State Party, IUCN, Centre and other stakeholders as required.

Report year: 2001
Uganda
Date of Inscription: 1994
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1999-2004
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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