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Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Financial resources
  • Human resources
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Mining;
  • Influx of refugees;
  • Agricultural encroachment;
  • Deforestation;
  • Poaching;
  • Weak management capacity;
  • Lack of resources;
  • Lack of trans-boundary cooperation.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Iron-ore mining concession inside the property in Guinea
  • Arrival of large numbers of refugees from Liberia to areas in and around the Reserve
  • Insufficient institutional structure 
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted:  USD 25,282 from the Rapid Response Facility in January 2012 (see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/news/830/)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 20 (from 1981-2014)
Total amount approved : 485,588 USD
2014 Protection de la biodiversité de la Réserve naturelle ... (Approved)   20,366 USD
2010 Atelier international bipartite sur la gestion durable ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
2002 Mount Nimba Biodiversity Conservation project (Approved)   30,000 USD
2001 Training workshop for awarenes raising on the Mount ... (Approved)   10,000 USD
2001 Réunion tripartite Guinée-Côte d'Ivoire-Libéria sur les ... (Approved)   20,000 USD
2000 Evaluation mission to mount Nimba World Heritage site ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
1997 Purchase of hydrological and meteorological equipment ... (Approved)   19,840 USD
1995 Establishment of an administrative centre for Mount ... (Approved)   18,000 USD
1993 Equipment and experts service for Mount Nimba (Approved)   45,000 USD
1993 Financial contribution for consultancies and other ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
1993 Consultancies and other services necessary for setting ... (Approved)   30,000 USD
1992 Organization of an interdisciplinary mission to ... (Approved)   35,000 USD
1992 Organization of a technical meeting for authorities of ... (Approved)   19,500 USD
1989 Purchase of an all terrain vehicle for Mount Nimba (Approved)   20,000 USD
1988 Consultancy mission and meeting for preparing ... (Approved)   15,000 USD
1986 Equipment for Mount Nimba Reserve (Approved)   6,500 USD
1983 Financial contribution to a seminar/workshop on the ... (Approved)   22,000 USD
1983 Consultant services to prepare requests for technical ... (Approved)   6,082 USD
1982 Financial contribution to a tripartite meeting (Guinea, ... (Approved)   8,000 USD
1981 Equipment for Mount Nimba (Approved)   70,300 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

October/November 1988: World Heritage Centre mission; 1993: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission; 1994: IUCN mission; 2000: World Heritage Centre mission; 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to Guinea; 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission to Côte d’Ivoire; 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN mission. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 26 January 2014 the Ivorian State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents. It also made a request for international assistance to implement trans-boundary surveillance of the property. The Guinean State Party submitted its report on 11 April 2014. The report of the Ivorian State Party focused on the following points:

The participatory materialization of the litigious boundaries of the property over 26 km adjacent to the village of Gbapleu was carried out with the destruction of 7 ha of the illegally cultivated cacao plantation. The establishment of a buffer zone around the property consisted in the creation of four forest communities each of an area of 15 ha, immediately adjacent to the property. The management capacity was strengthened through the acquisition of technical and transportation equipment and the appointment of an additional surveillance agent. The creation of a mobile brigade to assist in the surveillance of the protected areas in the western zone is foreseen this year.

The report of the Guinean State Party highlighted geo-referencing, the correction and concretization of the boundaries of the property currently underway, the strengthening of management capacities with the recruitment of 100 new ecoguards and the reinforcement of patrols thanks to this additional staff, as well as the preparation of the preliminary version of the management plan that was submitted to the programme steering committee. The report indicates the reestablishment of the autonomous management structure for Mount Nimba (CEGENS) as being responsible for the management of the property.

With regard to monitoring the evolution of the mining projects around the property by the Guinean Office for Environmental Assessment, the mining companies will now be obliged to carry out Strategic Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (SEA) to take into account accumulated impacts.

The two State Parties evoked insufficient logistical, financial and human resources as being the principal difficulty in the implementation of the corrective measures. The preparation of a management plan and the establishment of a sustainable financial mechanism for the entire property are priorities in the trans-boundary management dynamic between Guinea and the Côte d’Ivoire. Efforts have also been made to organize patrols border between Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. Unfortunately, the activity was unable to be implemented due to lack of resources. It is foreseen in the framework of the proposed international assistance.

No updated plan of the geo-referenced boundaries of the property has been submitted by the State Parties.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

The Ivorian and Guinean State Parties have employed important efforts in the implementation of the corrective measures. The concretization of the disputed boundaries in Côte d’Ivoire, the recuperation of land planted with cacao and the creation of a buffer zone are important actions in restoring the integrity of the property. Important efforts have also been deployed to reinforce the management capacity of the property.

Nevertheless, the impact of these corrective measures is still far from responding to the numerous aggressions being faced by the property. In fact, the management of the property must be further strengthened through the reinforcement of human, financial and logistical means. The management difficulties are more evident in the Ivorian part where there is no support project for the management of the property following the damage caused during the sociopolitical crisis that affected the Côte d’Ivoire of a period of ten years.

Surveillance capacities, ecological monitoring and the materialization of the physical boundaries of the property have been reinforced in the Guinean part, with the support of the UNDP/GEF Programme (Global Environmental Facility) for the conservation of the biodiversity of Mount Nimba. However, the Guinean State Party does not appear to have established a strategy to prolong the accomplishments of this programme, foreseen to end in June 2014.

The reestablishment of the CEGENS is beneficial if this readiness to increase the management capacities of the property is accompanied by the availability of the necessary resources.

The mining exploitation projects adjacent to the project and their possible impact on the OUV of the property remain a concern. However, the initiative of Guinea to organize a meeting with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN as well as with the West Africa Exploration Company to discuss the characterization study of the mining project and the process for the Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIA) is commended. The affirmation by the State Party of Guinea that an SEA should be carried out, as recommended by the reactive monitoring mission of 2013 to identify the cumulative impacts, is favourably welcomed.

Unfortunately, the Guinean State Party has not yet confirmed whether the boundaries of the permit of the SAMA Resources Company have been reviewed to eliminate any encroachment on the property.

With regard to trans-boundary cooperation, the efforts to develop a common management plan for the Massif and establish a trust fund should be continued. It is also urgent to implement the agreement through common actions in the field, notably the establishment of a harmonized ecological monitoring system and trans-boundary surveillance. In order to support the trans-boundary dynamic it would be advisable to prepare and implement a large-scale trans-boundary project.

Given the challenges of protecting the integrity of the property, it is recommended that the property is retained on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.36
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire/Guinea) (N 155 bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.3, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the progress reported by the Ivorian and Guinean State Parties in the implementation of the corrective measures, notably the efforts to restore the integrity of the property and strengthen its management capacity;
  4. Notes with concern that the Guinean State Party does not appear to have established a strategy to prolong the accomplishments of the UNDP/GEF (Global Environmental Facility) Programme for conservation of the biodiversity of Mount Nimba that supports the implementation of the corrective measures, foreseen to end in June 2014;
  5. Comments the efforts in setting up transboundary cooperation on the Nimba Massif and requests the State Parties to continue efforts to develop a common management plan for the Massif and create a trust fund and implement the agreement through common actions in the field, notably the establishment of a harmonized ecological monitoring system and trans-boundary surveillance;
  6. Encourages the State Parties to work on the development of a trans-boundary project in cooperation with the GEF and other potential donors to better combine their efforts for the sustainable protection of the OUV of the property;
  7. Welcomes the fact that the Guinean Office for Environmental Assessment has confirmed that the mining companies are obliged to carry out a Strategic Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (SEA) to take account of cumulative impacts on the OUV, and also requests the Guinean State Party to finalize this SEA taking into account the IUCN World Heritage advice note on Environmental Impact Assessments and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for evaluation by IUCN prior to any decision for approval of their conclusions and recommendations, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;
  8. Reiterates its request to the Guinean State Party to revise the boundaries of the mining permit of the SAMA Resources Company to eliminate all encroachment on the property;
  9. Urges the State Parties to continue their efforts to implement the corrective measures, as approved by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7A.3;
  10. Further requests the State Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a joint updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  11. Decides to retain Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Guinea / Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
38 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 38 COM 7A.14)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 38 COM 7A.15)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 38 COM 7A.31)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 38 COM 7A.21)
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.32)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 38 COM 7A.1)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 38 COM 7A.16)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 38 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 38 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 38 COM 7A.2)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 38 COM 7A.3)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 38 COM 7A.4)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 38 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 38 COM 7A.24)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 38 COM 7A.25)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 38 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 38 COM 7A.5)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 38 COM 7A.20)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 38 COM 7A.22)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 38 COM 7A.18)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 38 COM 7A.29)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 38 COM 7A.26)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 38 COM 7A.19)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.30)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 38 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 38 COM 7A.13)

Draft Decision:  38 COM 7A.36

The World Heritage Committee,

  1.   Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,
  2.   Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.3, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3.   Welcomes the progress reported by the Ivorian and Guinean State Parties in the implementation of the corrective measures, notably the efforts to restore the integrity of the property and strengthen its management capacity;
  4.   Notes with concern that the Guinean State Party does not appear to have established a strategy to prolong the accomplishments of the UNDP/GEF (Global Environmental Facility) Programme for conservation of the biodiversity of Mount Nimba that supports the implementation of the corrective measures, foreseen to end in June 2014;
  5.   Comments the efforts in setting up trans-boundary cooperation on the Nimba Massif and requests the State Parties to continue efforts to develop a common management plan for the Massif and create a trust fund and implement the agreement through common actions in the field, notably the establishment of a harmonized ecological monitoring system and trans-boundary surveillance;
  6.   Encouragesthe State Parties to work on the development of a trans-boundary project in cooperation with the GEF and other potential donors to better combine their efforts for the sustainable protection of the OUV of the property;
  7.   Welcomes the fact that the Guinean Office for Environmental Assessment has confirmed that the mining companies are obliged to carry out a Strategic Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (SEA) to take account of cumulative impacts on the OUV, and also requests the Guinean State Party to finalize this SEA taking into account the IUCN World Heritage advice note on Environmental Impact Assessments and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for evaluation by IUCN prior to any decision for approval of their conclusions and recommendations, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8.   Reiterates its request to the Guinean State Party to revise the boundaries of the mining permit of the SAMA Resources Company to eliminate all encroachment on the property;
  9.   Urges the State Parties to continue their efforts to implement the corrective measures, as approved by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7A.3;
  10.   Further requests the State Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a joint updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  11.   Decides to retain Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Guinea / Côte d'Ivoire) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2014
Côte d'Ivoire Guinea
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1992-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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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