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 page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4982

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

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

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-2015)
Total amount approved: USD 512,588
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 2016

On 9 February 2016, the State Party of Côte d'Ivoire submitted its report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/155/documents/. On 20 March 2016, the State Party of Guinea submitted a report on the activities carried out within the framework of the project for protection of the biodiversity of the property through integrated and participatory management financed by the World Heritage Fund.

The report of the State Party of Côte d'Ivoire indicated the following:

The report only describes the efforts made for surveillance of the property, the main results of which are as follows:

The report of the State Party of Guinea provides the following information:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The efforts made by the State Party of Côte d'Ivoire in monitoring as well as updating the property boundaries are welcomed. However, the reference to a decree of "redefinition" of boundaries seems to go beyond the materialization of the limits as recommended by the mission in 2013, which found that the demarcation on the ground had erroneously excluded a 500 to 750 hectares cleared parcel of the property containing a cacao plantation. More details are therefore needed on this decree to confirm that the limits are not redefined to exclude these degraded areas of the property.

However, the absence of a functioning ecological monitoring system at the two components of the property does not enable an evaluation of the impact of human pressure on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Poaching is the only human pressure recalled by the State Party of Côte d’Ivoire, whilst agricultural enchroachment and timber exploitation are also problematique. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterates its request to the States Parties of Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea to implement a joint system of monitoring the property to control all anthropogenic pressures.

The management difficulties experienced in both countries are more marked in the Guinean part where human and operational resources have decreased significantly since the end of the UNDP / GEF (Global Environment Facility) project in 2013. Although eight new cases of Ebola have been confirmed since February 2016 in the southern region of Guinea, the stabilization of the sanitary situation should enable the two States Parties to resume their efforts towards the implementation of corrective measures and to set a timetable for achieving them. Thus, it is recommended that the Committee also reiterates its request to both States Parties to partner with UNDP and GEF to develop the second phase of the Nimba project, which would concern the two components, to promote the implementation of corrective measures for safeguarding the integrity of the property.

The report provided by the State Party of Guinea allows of recognition of the progress made in several actions requested by the Committee, particularly in terms of awareness-raising of local communities, surveillance and the demarcation of the site. These different accomplishments reflect a positive trend that should be pursued and strengthened. The report, however, remains insufficient, as various information requested by the Committee is not reflected therein. Notably, no information is provided regarding the status of the mining projects of West Africa Exploration (WAE) and the Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée (SMFG), nor of environmental impact assessments (EIAs). Recalling the significant concern expressed by the Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015) regarding the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) of the operating concession granted to WAE and which was not conducted in accordance with international standards as initially requested in Decision 37 COM 7A.3 (Phnom Penh, 2013), it is recommended that the Committee reiterates this request to the State Party of Guinea. It is also recommended that the Committee also reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to develop a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of all mining projects being developed or planned in the environs of the property and to revise the boundaries of the exploration permit granted to the SAMA Resources Company to ensure that there is no overlapping with the property.

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

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7A.36

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.3, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Notes the efforts made by the State Party of Côte d'Ivoire to strengthen the monitoring and update the property boundaries with the participation of the local communities but requests the State Party of Côte d'Ivoire to provide details of the decree for the redefinition of the boundaries;
  4. Also notes the progress made by the State Party of Guinea in the implementation of the international assistance project for the protection of the biodiversity of the property by an integrated and participatory management, financed by the World Heritage Fund, encourages the State Party of Guinea to continue and strengthen the actions being carried out, but regrets that the report provided does not give information about several measures requested by the Committee;
  5. Further notes that the implementation of corrective measures continued to be affected by the health crisis caused by the Ebola epidemic, and considers however that the normalization of the health situation in the region should enable the States Parties to resume their efforts to implement the corrective measures;
  6. Reiterates its requests to both States Parties to implement a joint monitoring system of the property to control all anthropogenic pressures, and to partner with UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to develop the second phase of the Nimba Project, to concern the entire property, in order to promote the implementation of the corrective measures to safeguard the integrity of the property;
  7. Also requests the State Party of Guinea to strictly ensure the preparation of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the West Africa Exploration Company in accordance with international standards as requested in Decision 37 COM 7A.3 (Phnom Penh, 2013), and to submit this ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, before authorizing the project;
  8. Also reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to develop a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), in line with international standards, to qualify and quantity all the potential cumulative impacts of various mining projects planned on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, as recommended by the 2013 monitoring mission for the property and the IUCN World Heritage advice note on Environmental Assessment, and submit the results to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN, before any decision on these projects, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Further reiterates its request to the State Party of Guinea to revise the boundaries of the exploration permit granted to the SAMA Resources Company to ensure that there is no overlapping with the property;
  10. Further requests the States Parties of Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, a joint updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017 ;
  11. Decides to retain Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 40 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/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: