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Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve

Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • 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 
Corrective Measures for the property

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

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet established
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

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 2015
Requests approved: 21 (from 1981-2015)
Total amount approved : 512,588 USD
2015 Appui à la capitalisation des acquis du programme de ... (Approved)   27,000 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 2015**

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 2015

On 28 January 2015 and 20 March 2015, both the States Parties of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea respectively submitted reports on the state of conservation of the property, which are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents/ and address the following:

  • The implementation of the corrective measures was compromised by the Ebola outbreak in the region, causing all field activities in Guinea to be suspended for 9 months. The Ebola crisis was used to educate local communities on the danger of consuming bush meat. The management plan for the component in Guinea was finalized and is awaiting approval. The evaluation of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funded Nimba project was postponed to 2015, but the management authority started working on a proposal for a follow up phase, which would focus on the transboundary management of the property.
  • The 6th tri-national workshop (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia), planned in Côte d’Ivoire end 2014, was also postponed, and therefore no progress was made on the development of an overall management plan, a harmonized ecological monitoring system and a permanent funding system for the entire property.

The report submitted by Côte d‘Ivoire notes the following progress:

  • The surveillance in the property was further stepped up. A patrol truck and several motorbikes were acquired and monthly patrols were organized, resulting in the destruction of snares and the confiscation of fishing material;
  • The parks agency received an International Assistance grant to support the organization of transboundary surveillance patrols, but these could not yet be organized as a result of the crisis due to the epidemic;
  • Work with the communities was strengthened, in particular efforts to intensify agriculture outside the property but also alternative revenue generating activities;
  • Two further community forest reserves were established as part of a buffer zone around the property.

Both reports note that the management authorities continue to lack sufficient funding and equipment.

In relation to the mining projects, Guinea notes in its report that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) are on-going. Despite the ESIA of the project of the Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée (SMFG) being well advanced, the project was delayed due to the Ebola crisis and a major change in ownership of the Company. West Africa Exploration (WAE), however, organized information sessions on the results of its ESIA. The ESIA was submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review on 2 April 2015. The mission, which was planned to ensure that there is no overlap between the SAMA exploration concession and the property, had to be postponed because of the Ebola crisis, but the report of Guinea notes that no exploration is planned in the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The impacts of the Ebola crisis have seriously affected the implementation of the corrective measures since the previous session of the Committee. Activities in the Guinea part of the property were virtually halted and the implementation of important transboundary activities, in particular the development of an overall management plan, a joint ecological monitoring system and a trust fund for the property, as well as the start of joint patrolling between the two components, which had been decided at the tri-national meeting in Liberia in 2013, could not be implemented. The impacts of the Ebola crisis are likely to present important additional challenges for the management authority, CEGENS, in Guinea, which has limited capacity and needs technical and financial support.

In Côte d’Ivoire, significant efforts have been undertaken since the end of the conflict to re-assert the OIPR’s (Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves) authority over the property and re-build its management capacity. The on-going work to restore the integrity of the property, develop community forests to act as a buffer zone and intensify the cooperation with the local communities should be welcomed.

So far, no progress was made in mobilizing additional funding from the GEF to consolidate the results of the first phase of the Nimba project and to enlarge its scope to the entire property. It is hoped that the humanitarian crisis, which was caused by Ebola, will not prevent further investment in the conservation of the property and the sustainable development of its neighboring communities. It will be important that the project evaluation, which was postponed to 2015, identifies which activities are most effective in safeguarding the integrity of the property and takes into account the adopted corrective measures.

In terms of mining activities, at the request of the Guinean authorities, a meeting was organized on 4 September 2013, at the World Heritage Centre, to discuss the feasibility study developed by WAE. At the meeting, it became clear that the feasibility study did not include detailed baseline studies which would allow a proper ESIA, in accordance with the highest international standards, as was requested by the Committee at its 37th session (Decision 37 COM 7A.3). It was also pointed out that given the proximity of the SMFG and WAE proposed projects, it would be crucial to carefully evaluate the cumulative impacts of both projects. In September 2014, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN were approached by a consultant company engaged by WAE to do a “Rapid Cumulative Impact Assessment”. IUCN pointed out that a rapid assessment is not appropriate in the context of a World Heritage Site, where potential impacts, including cumulative impacts, of proposed developments on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) require thorough assessment. The ESIA, which was submitted in April 2015, is currently being reviewed by IUCN and World Heritage Centre. However, a preliminary review indicates that no additional baseline studies were conducted and that no specific review on the impact of the proposed project on the OUV of the property is included. The ESIA also looks at the WAE project in isolation and there is no consideration of possible cumulative impacts, as mentioned above. It is recommended that the Committee express its concern that the preliminary review indicates that the ESIA has not been conducted in accordance with the highest international standards and reiterate its previous position on the need to develop a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to allow for the cumulative impacts of the different projects to be fully considered, and also urge the State Party not to take any decision before the SEA has been reviewed by IUCN and World Heritage Centre and discussed by the Committee.

It is further noted that the State Party of Guinea’s report confirms that no exploration activities are foreseen inside the property in the SAMA Resources exploration permit but recommends that it reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the boundaries of the permit do not overlap with the property.

Based on the above, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.3
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d’Ivoire/Guinea) (N 155 bis)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.38, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes that the impacts of the Ebola crisis have seriously affected the implementation of the corrective measures in the Guinean part of the property and have suspended the implementation of important transboundary activities, and expresses its concern that the impacts of the crisis could present important additional challenges for the management authority, CEGENS, in Guinea, which has limited capacity and needs technical and financial support;
  4. Welcomes the important efforts, which have been undertaken since the end of the conflict by the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire, in particular the management authority, OIPR, to re-assert its authority over the property and re-build its management capacity as well as the on-going work to restore the integrity of the property, develop community forests to act as a buffer zone and intensify the cooperation with the local communities;
  5. Urges the States Parties to continue their efforts to implement the corrective measures approved by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7A.3;
  6. Requests the States Parties to work with UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility to develop a second phase of the Nimba project, covering the components in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, and possibly part of the Nimba mountains in Liberia, to assist with the implementation of the corrective measures in order to safeguard the integrity of the property;
  7. Expresses its utmost concern that the preliminary review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), which was completed for the exploration concession granted to West Africa Exploration, indicates that the ESIA seems not to have been carried out in accordance with international standards, as was requested by the Committee in Decision 37 COM 7A.3;
  8. Reiterates its request for a thorough Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), in accordance with international standards, which must qualify and quantify all potential impacts of the different planned mining projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with the recommendations of the 2013 monitoring mission to the property and the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessments, and to submit the results to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, prior to any decision on these projects, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to revise the boundaries of the exploration permit granted to SAMA resources in order to ensure that they do not overlap with the property;
  10. Also requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated joint report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  11. Decides to retain the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.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 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.3

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.38, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes that the impacts of the Ebola crisis have seriously affected the implementation of the corrective measures in the Guinean part of the property and have suspended the implementation of important transboundary activities, and expresses its concern that the impacts of the crisis could present important additional challenges for the management authority, CEGENS, in Guinea, which has limited capacity and needs technical and financial support;
  4. Welcomes the important efforts, which have been undertaken since the end of the conflict by the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire, in particular the management authority, OIPR, to re-assert its authority over the property and re-build its management capacity as well as the on-going work to restore the integrity of the property, develop community forests to act as a buffer zone and intensify the cooperation with the local communities;
  5. Urges the States Parties to continue their efforts to implement the corrective measures approved by the Committee in its Decision 37 COM 7A.3;
  6. Requests the States Parties to work with UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility to develop a second phase of the Nimba project, covering the components in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire, and possibly part of the Nimba mountains in Liberia, to assist with the implementation of the corrective measures in order to safeguard the integrity of the property;
  7. Expresses its utmost concern that the preliminary review of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), which was completed for the exploration concession granted to West Africa Exploration, indicates that the ESIA seems not to have been carried out in accordance with international standards, as was requested by the Committee in Decision 37 COM 7A.3;
  8. Reiterates its request for a thorough Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), in accordance with international standards, which must qualify and quantify all potential impacts of the different planned mining projects on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with the recommendations of the 2013 monitoring mission to the property and the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessments, and to submit the results to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, prior to any decision on these projects, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to revise the boundaries of the exploration permit granted to SAMA resources in order to ensure that they do not overlap with the property;
  10. Also requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated joint report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  11. Decides to retain the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
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 (2015) .pdf
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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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