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Dja Faunal Reserve

Cameroon
Factors affecting the property in 2011*
  • Commercial hunting
  • Crop production
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of entire approval and implementation of management plan

b) Mining exploitation project close to the property

c) Industrial agriculture in the buffer zone

d) Threats exerted by bushmeat and deforestation around the park

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2011

Total amount provided to the property: USD 60.000, UNESCO FIT Netherlands. USD 193.275 and USD 118.725, respectively in 2008 and 2009, in the frame of the Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initiative (CAWHFI) for the south-west region of Cameroon.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2011
Requests approved: 4 (from 1987-1997)
Total amount approved : 84,700 USD
Missions to the property until 2011**

March 1998 : UNESCO monitoring mission ; June 2006 and December 2009: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring missions. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 1 February 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party. The report consists of a logical framework for conservation activities in the property, but it is unclear if this logical framework was developed as an emergency plan, which was requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Decision 34 COM 7B.1). It provides information on measures taken to define a zoning system and develop ecotourism activities, in order to support the development of local communities as well as on measures put in place to establish a monitoring system for the property, and develop research in order to assist its management, installing a surveillance system. It also provides information on the development of partnerships between the managers of the larger transboundary forest landscape called TRIDOM protected areas (covering Dja, Boumba Bek, and Nki protected areas in Cameroun, Odzala National Park in Congo and Minkébé/Ivindo National Parks in Gabon as well as their forested interzones), as a part of the WWF Tri-National Dja-Odzala-Minkebe Project, to support the development of an environmental monitoring system and research necessary for the management of the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the State Party’s efforts to implement these measures. The report does not provide information on the current status of the major threats to the property, in particular the mining project and poaching.

a) Mining activities by the GEOVIC Company on the periphery of the property

The mining concession for the cobalt mining company GEOVIC Cameroon PLC covers an area of more than 150,000 ha, some 40 km east of the property. The 2009 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission concluded that the mining project could result in negative direct impacts on the Oustanding Universal Value (OUV) and therefore the Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010) urged the State Party to suspend the implementation work for the GEOVIC mining activities until the conclusion of a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), and to inform the World Heritage Centre prior to 1 December 2010. No new ESIA was transmitted to the World Heritage Centre but the State Party report notes that a document on the potential impacts of the mine on biodiversity has been completed and validated.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are concerned about reports which state the mining preparation activities appear to continue in spite of the fact that no new ESIA was submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review and reiterate that all mining activities should be immediately halted until a new ESIA documents the potential impact on the OUV and integrity of the property and define the mitigation measures that should be taken.

b) Poaching to supply the bushmeat and ivory markets

The State Party notes that an anti-poaching strategy has been developed and is supported by supplementary patrols of surveillance inside the property. The State Party reports that 95% of the area of the property has been covered during 4 campaigns and that collection of biological data for ape’s, bongo and bat populations are either completed or ongoing. The report notes that analysis of these data suggest that the current populations densities of flagship species are comparable to population densities at the time of property’s inscription, but does not provide any data to support this statement. The 2009 joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission noted that there were many indications of an important decline in wildlife populations and a significant increase in bushmeat and ivory trade. They also recall that the 2009 mission noted poaching would probably further increase as a result of the human population explosion following the installation of the GEOVIC mine.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN therefore consider that there is no sufficient detailed information for accurate comparison with the time of inscription. They welcome the introduction of a biological monitoring system and the realization of surveys and consider the State Party should provide detailed information on the results of these surveys, on the design of the monitoring system implemented, including relevant wildlife indicators to be used. An International Assistance request was submitted by the State Party on 5 April 2001. The request proposes the reinforcement of institutional stakeholders and civil society capacities (local NGOs) in the co-management of fauna and flora resources protection in the North and the East of the reserve. The main objective of this International Assistance is to maintain the density of the reserve flagship species by increasing the control and the repression in areas highly subjected to poaching activities. The main proposed activities are to maintain the density of Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Elephants, to harmonize the level of information on methodology and procedures of anti-poaching activities, to establish co-management anti-poaching platforms and conduct anti-poaching patrols, to realize maps of pressures on natural resources, and to improve the biological knowledge of the reserve fauna.

 

c) Industrial agriculture and forestry exploitation in the periphery of the property

The State Party notes that the boundaries of the property will be demarcated through the implementation of signs in areas for which natural features cannot be used. The formalization and effective control and patrolling of the property’s limits is an important step to monitor and prevent agricultural encroachment and illegal logging in the property.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2011

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN take note of the logical framework submitted as the State Party report. They welcome that certain activities target some of the issues requested by the Committee in its Decision 34 COM 7B.1 but note that many other important issues are not reflected. They reiterate the need for an emergency plan, which addresses all issues highlighted in the above mentioned decision.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also take note that a request for International Assistance has been submitted by the Sate Party for the reinforcement of institutional stakeholders and civil society capacities (local NGOs) in the co-management of fauna and flora resources protection in the North and the East of the reserve.  

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN remain concerned about the ongoing mining activities in the GEOVIC concession area and the fact that no new ESIA was submitted, including an assessment of the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the proposed mining activities on the property’s OUV. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the information provided in the report stating that populations of flagship species are comparable to the time of property’s inscription is in contradiction with the 2009 mission report which mentioned that large mammals species are severely threatened by poaching activities, also note that not enough detailed information has been provided to support this statement, and consider that the State Party should submit the data on which this affirmation is based. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that threats from mining and poaching could represent an ascertained danger to the property’s OUV, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines .and consider that the follow-up monitoring mission to be conducted in 2011, as requested by the Committee in Decision 34 COM 7B.1, should assess the current status of the threats mentioned above, and make a recommendation in regards to a possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2011
35 COM 7B.1
Dja Wildlife Reserve (Cameroon) (N 407)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.1, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Welcomes the development of activities which target some of the identified objectives by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), but regrets that many other important issues are not taken into account;

4. Takes note of the affirmation by the State Party that populations of flagship species have not declined since the time of the property's inscription and requests that the State Party should submit the supporting data for this statement before the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission;

5. Expresses its utmost concern about reports that mining preparation activities in the GEOVIC concession area appear to be ongoing and that no new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as requested at its 34th session in 2010;

6. Urges the State Party to immediately halt all mining activities until a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment including an assessment of the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the proposed mine on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is conducted and validated by all relevant stakeholders;

7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop an emergency plan based on the management plan, which addresses all objectives highlighted in Decision 34COM7B.1 in order to address the urgent threats to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

8. Requests the forthcoming joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission to assess the current status of threats from mining, poaching, industrial agriculture and forestry exploitation and evaluate the status of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1February2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including a copy of the new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the proposed GEOVIC mine, as well as on progress achieved in the definition and implementation of the emergency plan and available data on wildlife populations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

35 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Document WHC-11/35.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:

  • Afghanistan: Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam; Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley;
  • Bahrain: Qal'at al-Bahrain - Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun;
  • Benin: Royal Palaces of Abomey;
  • Botswana: Tsodilo;
  • Cameroon: Dja Faunal Reserve;
  • Central African Republic: Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park;
  • China: Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas;
  • Germany: Upper Middle Rhine Valley;
  • India: Manas Wildlife Sanctuary;
  • Kenya: Lake Turkana National Parks; Lamu Old Town;
  • Malawi: Chongoni Rock-Art Area;
  • Mali: Old Towns of Djenné;
  • Pakistan: Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore;
  • Peru: Chan Chan Archaeological Zone;
  • Philippines: Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras;
  • Senegal: Island of Saint-Louis;
  • South Africa: iSimangaliso Wetland Park; Robben Island; Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape; Cape Floral Region Protected Areas; Vredefort Dome;
  • Togo: Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba;
  • Turkey: Historic Areas of Istanbul;
  • Uganda: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Rwenzori Mountains National Park;
  • United Republic of Tanzania: Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara;
  • Yemen: Old Walled City of Shibam; Old City of Sana'a;
  • Zimbabwe: Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas;

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

  • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
  • World Heritage properties in Africa;
  • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
  • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America.
Draft Decision: 35 COM 7B.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.1, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Welcomes the development of activities which target some of the identified objectives by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), but regrets that many other important issues are not taken into account;

4. Takes note of the affirmation by the State Party that populations of flagship species have not declined since the time of property’s inscription and requests that the State Party should submit the supporting data for this statement before the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission;

5. Expresses its utmost concern about reports that mining preparation activities in the GEOVIC concession area appear to be ongoing and that no new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as requested at its 34th session in 2010 ;

6. Urges the State Party to immediately halt all mining activities until a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment including an assessment of the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the proposed mine on the outstanding universal value and integrity of the property is conducted and validated by all relevant stakeholders;

7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to develop an emergency plan based on the management plan, which addresses all objectives highlighted in Decision 34 COM 7B.1 in order to address the urgent threats to the outstanding universal value of the property;

8. Recalls that in the absence of urgent and decisive responses to these threats, the property could meet the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in accordance with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;

9. Requests the forthcoming joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission to assess the current status of threats from mining, poaching, industrial agriculture and forestry exploitation and evaluate the status of the outstanding universal value and integrity of the property;

10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including a copy of the new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the proposed GEOVIC mine, as well as progress achieved in the definition and implementation of the emergency plan as well as available data on wildlife populations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012, with a view, in the absence of substantial progress, to considering the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.  

Report year: 2011
Cameroon
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 35COM (2011)
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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