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Garamba National Park

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Civil unrest
  • Illegal activities
  • Management activities
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Armed conflict and political instability;
  • Poaching by nationals and transborder armed groups;
  • Unadapted management capabilities.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Increased poaching
  • Pressure linked to the civil war, thereby threatening the flagship species of the property
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

A draft was prepared during the 2010 reactive monitoring mission (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/136/documents/ ) but indicators need to be quantified on the basis of the results of the aerial surveys. 

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4082

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: USD 910,000 from the United Nations Foundation, the Governments of Italy, Belgium and Spain and the Rapid Response Facility.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 12 (from 1980-2000)
Total amount approved : 248,270 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 1 February 2014 the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/136/documents (pages 6 – 12).

The report notes a significant improvement of the security situation both in the park and the wider region, following a military operation by the Congolese army with support of the regional Taskforce set up to track down the rebels of Lord Resistance Army (LRA). The Taskforce includes the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic, Uganda and South Sudan and is backed by the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) and the African Union. This has allowed increased patrol coverage of the site to 70%; mainly thanks to some aerial patrolling of the northern sector of the park.

The report also provides information concerning the implementation of corrective measures, in particular:

  • Joint aerial and terrestrial patrols with the Congolese army and MONUSCO forces;
  • Supply of new arms and ammunitions for the eco-guard force;
  • Re-opening of surveillance tracks and rehabilitation of infrastructure in the areas previously out of control of the park staff;
  • 40 new eco-guards recruited, bringing the total number to 180;
  • Development of a conservation strategy for the hunting areas under preparation;
  • Efforts for community conservation projects have been increased, including environmental education activities and the development of social infrastructure;
  • Management plan is still awaiting final validation. Significant financial resources for its implementation have been mobilized by the European Commission, World Bank, Spain and also UNESCO.

The report includes the result of two aerial surveys done in 2013, which show a slight increase of the elephant population compared to the 2012 survey. The report also notes that poaching levels in 2013 have stabilized compared to 2012 levels.

The report notes that the timeframe for implementation of the corrective measures needs to be revised, but does not propose a new timeframe.

The State Party did not submit a finalized Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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

The improvement in the security situation as a result of the military operations to contain the LRA is welcome. However, improving the security situation is a key condition to halt poaching in the property and start the rehabilitation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Important efforts have been made by the management authority to extend the surveillance to 70% of the site but this coverage was reached mainly by resuming aerial patrolling in the northern sector. At the same time, the State Party reports that patrolling coverage of the surrounding hunting areas has decreased. An increase of the terrestrial patrol coverage of both the northern sector and the hunting areas now that the security situation is improving would be recommended, as well as the continuation of efforts to rehabilitate patrol roads and other patrol infrastructure in these areas. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also note that the hunting zones not only have an important function as buffer zone but also as dispersal areas for key wildlife species, including elephants, in certain seasons. The increasing pressure on the hunting areas by artisanal mining and the increasing human population are of concern; the importance of developing a conservation strategy addressed to these issues should be reiterated.

They also note the efforts to increase the number of guards for the property and to provide them with equipment. In this sense, the fact that new arms and ammunition were provided to the eco-guard staff is welcomed, responding to a long-standing request by the World Heritage Committee. The World Heritage Committee is therefore recommended to commend the different donors for their continued strong financial support for the property, despite the difficult security context.

Poaching levels, following several years of increase, are reported to be brought under control. The elephant population is also reported to be on a slight increase compared to the 2012 survey but, as no statistical error range is given, it is difficult to make any conclusion. The OUV of the property remains extremely threatened and the reduction in wildlife numbers, and in particular northern white rhino (whose presence has not been confirmed for several years and is feared extinct) and elephants (reduction of 85% compared to the number indicated at the time of inscription) remains dramatic. Significant time and effort will be needed to bring back wildlife numbers. It is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism.

While last year the State Party had reported that the management plan had been approved, the current report mentions it is awaiting validation. Given the improvement of the security situation and the fact that funding is available to allow for the implementation of the management plan, the basic conditions are met to again start the rehabilitation of the property. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to re-assess the state of conservation of the property, to update the corrective measures and establish a new timeframe for their implementation and to finalize the Desired state of conservation of the property for removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.39
Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 136)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.6 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the improvement in the security situation as a result of the military operations to contain the Lord Resistance Army and considers that it is a key condition to halt poaching in the property and start the rehabilitation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4. Commends the State Party for its efforts to strengthen the operational capacities of the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN), in particular by making available arms and ammunitions for surveillance activities, in line with the Kinshasa Declaration of January 2011, and also commends the management authority and its partners for their efforts to extend the surveillance area in the property and halt the poaching;
  5. Thanks the European Commission, the World Bank, the Government of Spain and other donors for their continued strong financial support for the property, despite the difficult security context;
  6. Reiterates its concern regarding the alarming reduction of the elephant population by 85% compared to the number present at the time of inscription of the site on the World Heritage List, and the fact that Northern White Rhinoceros is likely to be extinct;
  7. Urges the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures to rehabilitate the OUV of the property;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property to re-asses its state of conservation, to update the corrective measures and establish a new time frame for their implementation and to finalize the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  10. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  11. Also decides to retain Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
38 COM 7A.42
General Decision on the properties of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.9, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013) and reaffirming the need to implement the Kinshasa Declaration adopted in 2011,
  3. Notes that the security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has improved since the last session but that it still remains unstable and commends the courage of the staff of the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) and its efforts to protect the World Heritage properties;
  4. Urges the State Party to guarantee the implementation of the commitments undertaken in the Kinshasa Declaration and to ensure the execution of the Strategic Plan of Action and requests the State Party to approve the decree to officialise the creation of an inter-ministerial committee and allocate the necessary technical and financial means to ensure adequate monitoring in the implementation of the Kinshasa Declaration;
  5. Reiterates its utmost concern as regards the Hydrocarbons Code that could make possible oil exploitation activities in protected areas and also urges the State Party to ensure that the protection status of the World Heritage properties be maintained;
  6. Also requests the State Party to review the mining and oil exploration and exploitation titles to exclude the World Heritage properties and not to grant further titles within the boundaries of the properties of the DRC and recalls its position that mining and oil exploration is incompatible with World Heritage status;
  7. Congratulates the TOTAL Company for its commitment not to carry out oil or gas exploration and exploitation activities in properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, a principle to which the Shell Company has already subscribed;
  8. Takes note of the press statement of SOCO not to undertake or commission any exploratory or other drilling within Virunga National Park unless UNESCO and the DRC Government agree that such activities are not incompatible with its World Heritage status, not to conduct any operations in any other World Heritage site and to ensure that any current or future operations in buffer zones adjacent to World Heritage sites do not jeopardize the Outstanding Universal Value for which these sites are listed;
  9. Warmly welcomes the support of donor countries in the conservation of the five DRC properties, and calls on the international community to continue to provide support in the implementation of the corrective measures and the Strategic Action Plan to create the necessary conditions for the rehabilitation of the Outstanding Universal Value of the five DRC properties;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the implementation of the Kinshasa Declaration, the situation regarding mining and oil exploration and exploitation titles that encroach World Heritage properties, and the Hydrocarbons Code, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.
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.39

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.6 adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Welcomes the improvement in the security situation as a result of the military operations to contain the Lord Resistance Army and considers that it is a key condition to halt poaching in the property and start the rehabilitation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);

4.  Commends the State Party for its efforts to strengthen the operational capacities of the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN), in particular by making available arms and ammunitions for surveillance activities, in line with the Kinshasa Declaration of January 2011, and also commends the management authority and its partners for their efforts to extend the surveillance area in the property and halt the poaching;

5.  Thanks the European Commission, the World Bank, the Government of Spain and other donors for their continued strong financial support for the property, despite the difficult security context;

6.  Reiterates its concern regarding the alarming reduction of the elephant population by 85% compared to the number present at the time of inscription of the site on the World Heritage List, and the fact that Northern White Rhinoceros is likely to be extinct;

7.  Urges the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures to rehabilitate the OUV of the property;

8.  Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property to re-asses its state of conservation, to update the corrective measures and establish a new time frame for their implementation and to finalize the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

9.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

10.  Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;

11.  Also decides to retain Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2014
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Danger List (dates): 1984-1992, 1996-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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