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Sangha Trinational (Cameroon,Central African Republic,Congo) (N 1380rev)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2012
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1380/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1380/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount granted: 250,000 Euros from 2008 to 2013 and 400 000 Euros from 2016 to 2018 through the Central African World Heritage Forest Initiative (CAWHFI) funded by the European Union
Previous monitoring missions
October 2016: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to Congo and Central African Republic component of the property
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Civil unrest
- Road and river transport project
- Optical fibre project in the vicinity of the property
- Forestry exploitation permits in the buffer zone
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1380/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017
From 15 to 25 October 2016, a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission visited the Central African and Congolese parts of the property. On 14 November 2016, the three States Parties submitted a joint report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1380/documents and providing the following information:
- Increased surveillance efforts, with technical and financial support from external partners, have resulted in an increase in anti-poaching missions of around 23% in 2015 compared to 2014, including cross-border patrols. In Cameroon, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministries of Forestry and Wildlife and Defense in September 2016 for the regular conduct of mixed patrols;
- In Congo, no mining exploration permits have been renewed since 2013. In the Central African Republic, the mining exploration license granted to Clima Dubai MW International in 2012 in the buffer zone of the property was repealed on 7 April 2015. In Cameroon, all exploration permits in Lobéké National Park have expired. Gold mining is also prohibited, but it persists in the buffer zone of the property, in Cameroon and the Central African Republic;
- The Ouesso-Bangui road project is in the consultation and awareness-raising of stakeholders phase. Work has not yet started;
- The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the optical fibre project has been completed;
- A system for monitoring and controlling the legality of logging by SINFOCAM (Central African Forestry and Industrial Development Corporation) and STBC (Wood Processing Company in the Central African Republic) was set up in the Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas (APDS). An Anti-poaching Unit has been operational since April 2016 in the exploitation zone of SINFOCAM, financed by the company and under the supervision of the managing authority for the APDS;
- Persistence of poaching, particularly of large mammals, in all sections of the property;
- Observance of illegal activities in the buffer zone of the property, including the advance of the agricultural frontier, harvesting of non-timber forest products and cutting down of timber in Cameroon, where an increase in the human-wildlife conflict is also observed;
- Update of the development plans for the various sections of the property. In Congo, measures have been taken to contribute to the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources, targeted particularly at women and indigenous peoples. In Cameroon, a three-year resource development programme aims, among other things, to secure the right of the Baka to exploit their resources in areas identified within the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
It is recommended that the Committee congratulate the States Parties on the intensification of their anti-poaching coordination efforts. However, the mission found that the natural resources of the property are under increasing pressure, including from poaching of large mammals, but also from hunting of small and medium-sized wildlife for bushmeat consumption. It is recommended that the Committee request the States Parties to further strengthen their efforts to combat environmental crime and for the seizure of weapons of war within the perimeter of the property, and to further awareness-raising among judicial authorities in this regard.
It is also recommended that the Committee welcome the fact that no mining license is now available in the buffer zone of the property. However, the persistence of gold panning is worrisome. It is therefore recommended that the Committee call upon the States Parties to strengthen their efforts to eradicate illegal mining activities in the property and its buffer zone and to implement a plan for the ecological restoration of sites degraded by illegal activities.
The implementation by the APDS of a system for monitoring logging is appreciated. It is recommended, however, that the Committee recall that the allocation of these concessions in the buffer zone of the property presents certain risks to the integrity of the property, and that it requests States Parties to require that all forest concessions in the buffer zone of the property be certified in order to minimize the seriousness of the potential threats they pose to the property.
The mission found that the optical fibre project was completed without significant impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. It was noted that the Ouesso-Bangui road project is in the consultation phase. It is imperative that any decision on the implementation of this project be based on a rigorous EIA including a specific study of the impacts of the project on the OUV of the property in accordance with the IUCN Advice Note on Environmental Assessments for World Heritage.
It should be recalled that when the property was inscribed, the Committee recognized that "the rights and traditional livelihoods of local and indigenous peoples, such as the Bakas, are a fundamental and increasingly recognized element [...] in the management of the property", and that "the inscription [of the property] presents a concrete opportunity for States Parties to translate a range of different commitments of the States Parties regarding the rights of local and indigenous people into action on the ground”. In this regard, the promotion in Congo of a sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources targeting women and indigenous peoples and, in Cameroon, the right of the Baka to exploit their resources in areas identified within the property are welcomed.
Finally, it is recommended that the Committee request the States Parties to implement all the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission.
Decision Adopted: 41 COM 7B.19
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decisions 36 COM 8B.8 and 39 COM 7B.2, adopted at its 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
- Commends the States Parties for intensifying their efforts to coordinate anti-poaching efforts, notes, however, that poaching of large mammals and consumption of bushmeat is on the increase, and requests the States Parties to further strengthen their efforts to combat environmental crime and for the seizure of weapons of war within the perimeter of the property, as well as the awareness-raising of judicial authorities in this field;
- Welcomes the efforts of the States Parties of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo respectively to secure the right of Baka to exploit their resource in areas identified within the property and to promote the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources, targeting in particular women and Indigenous peoples;
- Also welcomes the fact that no mining exploration license now exists in the buffer zone of the property, but notes with concern that gold-mining and other illegal activities, such as the advance of the agricultural frontier, harvesting of non-timber forest products and cutting down of timber are observed in the buffer zone of the property and also requests States Parties to:
- Strengthen their efforts to eradicate illegal mining activities in the territory of the property and in its buffer zone,
- Design and implement a plan for the ecological restoration of sites degraded by any illegal activity;
- Appreciates the establishment by the Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas (APDS) of a system for monitoring and controlling the legality of forestry operations of SINFOCAM (Central African Forestry and Industrial Development Corporation) and STBC (Wood Processing Company in Central African Republic), and recalling also that the allocation of these concessions in the buffer zone of the property presents certain risks to its integrity, further calls upon the States Parties to require that all forest concessions in the buffer zone of the property shall be certified in order to minimize the seriousness of the potential threats to the property;
- Reiterates its request to the States Parties concerned to carry out a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in order to identify potential impacts on the OUV of the property of the Bangui Road Project, in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage advice note on Environmental Assessments and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for examination by IUCN before approving the project;
- Further requests the States Parties to implement all the recommendations of the 2016 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission;
- Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, an 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 43rd session in 2019.