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Salonga National Park

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Civil unrest
  • Illegal activities
  • Indigenous hunting, gathering and collecting
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Oil and gas
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Armed conflict, lack of security and political instability;
  • Poaching by the army and armed groups;
  • Conflicts with local communities concerning Park boundaries;
  • Impact of villages located within the property.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Impact due to conflict
  • Increased poaching and illegal encroachment affecting the integrity of the site
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/280/documents/. However, core indicators of the results of the inventory of flagship species still needs to be quantified.

Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: USD 320,000 from the United Nations Foundation and the Governments of Italy and Belgium 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 9 (from 1985-2000)
Total amount approved : 149,900 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 1 February 2014, the State Party transmitted the state of conservation report of the property, available (pages 29 to 40) at the following address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/280/documents.

The report notes a distinct improvement in security within and around the property through the establishment of mixed ICCN (Congolese Institute for Nature Preservation) and FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) patrols. The report indicates that these patrols have reduced professional poaching and notes signs of increase in the elephant population, as well as an increased number of bonobo nests. However, the report indicates that there remain pockets of resistance and new incursions. A renewal of systematic inventories of wildlife is foreseen in 2014.

The State Party also provides information concerning the implementation of other corrective measures, in particular:

  • Recovery of the remaining zones under the control of rebels and poachers: destruction of camps, seizure of arms and game;
  • Establishment of patrol posts, rehabilitation of infrastructures, in the two blocks of the property;
  • Installation of the SMART monitoring software and training of twenty guards in this tool as well as for MIST;
  • Pursuit of the process for the participative demarcation of the boundaries of the Park (30 km) and establishment of a co-management mechanism with the fishermen association;
  • Deployment of patrols in the new sectors of the Park.

The report makes mention of the difficulties encountered in the implementation of the corrective measures, notably:

  • distance from the principal chief towns, and the absence of financial means;
  • insufficient collaboration between the political, legal and administrative institutions; and
  • conflicts between ICCN and local populations concerning the demarcation of the boundaries of the property and the management of fishery resources.

Finally, in 2014, the State Party envisages the extension of activities of fishermen in other territories of the property and to carry out socio-economic studies to evaluate the ecological impact of the communities established within the property.

The report gives no indication as to the oil exploration and exploitation projects in the central basin that could encroach upon the property.

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

The efforts of the State Party to sustain the security of the property and reduce professional poaching, notably elephants, deserves recognition. The efforts of the patrols and the anti-poaching measures are concentrated in the trouble spots of the property but the financial and human resources remain limited to ensure an effective management of the property and a more important surveillance for a park of this size. Although submitted several years ago, the Management Plan for the Salonga National Park has not yet been validated by the Direction General of ICCN, whereas the present conditions of security would allow the management authority to begin its implementation.

Positive indications of an increase in the elephant population have been reported but these analyses remain limited given the area observed, because they do not provide general data concerning the state of the wildlife. This is why it is important to carry out a new inventory of key species in order to quantify the state of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and to quantify the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and establish a realistic timetable.

The difficulties encountered are noted, especially concerning the demarcation of the boundaries of the Park and participatory management. Indeed, it is important to implement a community conservation strategy that involves all the stakeholders concerned for both the demarcation of the boundaries of the Park and the management of fishery resources. Moreover, it is recommended that the State Party rapidly undertake studies concerning the communities installed in the Park and formalize the statute for the protection of the ecological corridor between the two sectors of the Park.

In the absence of information regarding oil exploration and exploitation projects in the central basin of the property, it is recommended that the World Heritage Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to provide information on these projects in conformity with Decisions 36 COM 7A.7 and 37 COM 7A.7, adopted in 2012 and 2013.

The Committee is also recommended to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger and to continue with the application of the reinforced monitoring mechanism

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.40
Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 280)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.7 adopted during its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes with satisfaction the important efforts of the State Party to secure the property and the efforts of the patrols to reduce professional poaching of elephants, and encourages the State Party to continue these efforts and to reinforce them where pockets of resistance still remain;
  4. Takes note of the difficulties reported by the managers of the property concerning the participatory management of natural resources and their implication in the demarcation of the property and also encourages the State Party to establish a community conservation strategy;
  5. Urges the State Party to continue to implement the corrective measures, as updated by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission in 2012 to rehabilitate the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Launches an appeal to donors to provide the necessary financial and technical support to the site manager for the implementation of the corrective measures;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake inventories of flagship species to quantify the state of the OUV of the property and the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger as well to establish a realistic timetable;
  8. Regrets that the State Party has not provided detailed information regarding the oil exploration and exploitation projects in the central basin that risk encroaching into the property, as requested by the Committee at its 36th and 37th sessions and urges the State Party to provide this information;
  9. Recalls its position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) international position statement of not undertaking such activities within World Heritage properties;
  10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the points mentioned above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  11. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring mechanism;
  12. Also decides to retain Salonga 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.40

The World Heritage Committee,

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

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

3.  Welcomes with satisfaction the important efforts of the State Party to secure the property and the efforts of the patrols to reduce professional poaching of elephants, and encourages the State Party to continue these efforts and to reinforce them where pockets of resistance still remain;

4.  Takes note of the difficulties reported by the managers of the property concerning the participatory management of natural resources and their implication in the demarcation of the property and also encourages the State Party to establish a community conservation strategy;

5.  Urges the State Party to continue to implement the corrective measures, as updated by the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission in 2012 to rehabilitate the Outstanding universal value (OUV) of the property;

6.  Launches an appeal to donors to provide the necessary financial and technical support to the site manager for the implementation of the corrective measures;

7.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake inventories of flagship species to quantify the state of the OUV of the property and the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger as well to establish a realistic timetable;

8.  Regrets that the State Party has not provided detailed information regarding the oil exploration and exploitation projects in the central basin that risk encroaching into the property, as requested by the Committee at its 36th and 37th sessions and urges the State Party to provide this information;

9.  Recalls its position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) international position statement of not undertaking such activities within World Heritage properties;

10.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the points mentioned above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

11.  Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring mechanism;

12.  Also decides to retain Salonga 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: 1984
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)
Danger List (dates): 1999-2021
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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