1.         Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire,Guinea) (N 155bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1992-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see pages https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1266 https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1575 and https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4982 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet established

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-2014)
Total amount approved: USD 455,588
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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

Previous monitoring missions

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. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/

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 Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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.

Decision Adopted: 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 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.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 8C.2

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: