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Salonga National Park

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • 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
  • Threat of oil exploitation
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
Proposed in the 2012 mission report. However, core indicators of the results of the inventory of flagship species still needs to be quantified in view of the adoption of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) by the Committee
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2019

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 2019
Requests approved: 9 (from 1985-2000)
Total amount approved : 149,900 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 15 March 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/136/documents/, providing the following information:

  • In 2018, the security of the property and the strengthening of the technical and operational capacities of the surveillance teams was made a priority by the managers of the property. Thus, 199 patrols were carried out, covering 63.4% of the property compared to 56.2% in 2017. With its partners, the State Party also proceeded with the redefinition of the surveillance sectors (increase in the number of sectors from six to eight and the creation of two operational zones);
  • A judicial cell has been established and 20 police officers have been sworn in;
  • Several meetings of the Site Coordination Committee (Cocosi) have facilitated continued consultation process between the park managers, the politico-military-administrative authorities, as well as the technical and financial partners. The third session of the Salonga National Park Pilot Committee was held in Kinshasa in September 2018. However, a revitalization of the permanent consultation framework between the authorities of the provinces concerned by the property was difficult due to the establishment of new provinces;
  • An ecological inventory has now covered the entire property as well as the corridor. The data resulting from this inventory has enabled the estimation of the bonobo population in the property and its corridor at 14,998 individuals and that of the elephants at 1,562 individuals. Also, a monitoring/surveillance strategy based on the use of photographic traps, linear transect technique and the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool was developed;
  • Several local development Committees (283), and farmers’ organizations (124) have been restructured and supported by several partners through sedentary and sustainable agriculture at the farmer level;
  • A total number of nine dossiers, creating 186,000 ha communal forests were submitted for approval to the concerned authorities and this step has also been initiated in the southern zone of the corridor to facilitate the creation of the ecological continuum;
  • The global synthesis score of the IMET (Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool) increased from 56.6% (2017) to 61% (2018) showing an improvement in management efficiency of the property. The State Party identifies the demographic explosion in the corridor of the Park and the petroleum blocks as possible threats impacting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. No additional information is provided on the petroleum exploitation project. Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The State Party and its partners continue to deploy important efforts in the implementation of the corrective measures, improvement in the efficiency of property management and strengthening the involvement of stakeholders concerned with decisional processes. These efforts, supported by surveillance patrols within the property, are favourably welcomed. However, no information is provided on the voluntary resettlement outside the Park of the Yaelima communities, as mentioned in the last report. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue its efforts to find a sustainable solution to settle the land conflicts, the autonomisation of the local communities, and the reinforcement of the process of community ownership of community forests in the buffer zone of the Park and the corridor.

The results of the biological inventories and the establishment of an integrated ecological monitoring plan are warmly welcomed. These results are encouraging and appear to show that the viable populations of the different flagship species are maintained, even if the elephant population (1,562) remains very low given the capacity of the Park, estimated at 14,000 individuals. It is recommended that the detailed reports of the different inventories be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as the analyses are completed.

The State Party is encouraged to develop a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) with appropriate indicators based on the data resulting from these studies, and to submit the DSOCR to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN.

Although mentioned in the report as a threat likely to impact the OUV of the property, it is regrettable that the State Party has not provided fuller clarification concerning the attribution of petroleum blocks overlapping the property. According to information received by the World Heritage Centre and transmitted to the State Party on 12 April 2019, a production sharing contract production with the “Compagnie Minière Congolaise (CoMiCo) was signed by the outgoing President on 13 December 2018 for petroleum blocks overlapping the property boundaries. No response has been received at the time of preparation of this report. In its Decision 42 COM 7A.50 (Manama 2018), the Committee reminded the State Party that petroleum exploration and/or exploitation was incompatible with World Heritage status. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its position on the fact that petroleum and gas exploration or exploitation is incompatible with World Heritage status and it requests the State Party to immediately cancel these licenses. The Committee may also remind the State Party that all proposals to modify the boundaries of World Heritage properties regarding the extractive industries must be made in compliance with the procedure applicable for important modifications of boundaries, detailed in Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines, given the potential impact of such projects on the OUV.

Due to the political situation, the State Party did not invite the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, in conformity with Decision 42 COM 7A.50, to assess the state of conservation of the property, update the corrective measures and establish a timetable for their implementation. It is recommended that the Committee reiterates this request to the State Party and maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.   

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
43 COM 7A.10
Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 280)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.50, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for the efforts undertaken with its partners in the implementation of the corrective measures and improvement in the management efficiency of the property, and encourages the State Party to reinforce its cooperation efforts with its partners;
  4. Launches an appeal to donors to continue their financial support in the implementation of the corrective measures and in security for the management of the property;
  5. Favourably welcomes the measures undertaken for the local communities and requests the State Party to continue its efforts for the autonomization of the local communities and the continuation of the community ownership process of the community forests in the buffer zone of the Park and the corridor between the two blocks of the Park;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the resettlement procedure outside of the Park of the Yaelima communities is voluntary and in accordance with the policies of the Convention and the relevant international standards, including the principles of free, prior and informed consent (CPLCC), fair compensation, access to social advantages and the preservation of cultural rights;
  7. Regrets that the report provided no information on the petroleum project, expresses its very keen concern as regards the granting of petroleum licenses within the property, and urges the State Party to cancel the current petroleum concessions and not to authorize the granting of new concessions in the property and its periphery that could have negative and irreversible effects on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  8. Reiterates its established position concerning the gas and petroleum exploitation and/or exploration being incompatible with World Heritage status, policy supported by the commitments undertaken by the leaders of the industry, such as Shell and Total, not to engage in such activities in World Heritage properties;
  9. Recalls that modifications concerning the boundaries of World Heritage properties in respect of extractive industries must be carried out in conformity with the procedure applicable to important boundary modifications, detailed in Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines, in view of the potential impact of such projects on the OUV, and also recalls that all proposals for the modification of the boundaries of World Heritage properties must be based on the strengthening of its OUV and must not be proposed with a view to facilitating extractive activities;
  10. Takes note of the positive results of the biological inventories and the setting up of an integrated ecological monitoring plan, and also requests the State Party to submit the results of the biological inventories to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as they are available, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), with appropriate indicators based on the data resulting from these inventories;
  11. Also reiterates its request to, the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, in compliance with Decision 42 COM 7A.50, to assess the state of conservation of the property, update the corrective measures and establish a timetable for their implementation;
  12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  13. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  14. Also decides to retain Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
43 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 43 COM 7A.41)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision43 COM 7A.42)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 43 COM 7A.45)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 43 COM 7A.48)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.5)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.8)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.9)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.10)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.11)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 43 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.4)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.1)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 43 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 43 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 43 COM 7A.22)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 43 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 43 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 43 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 43 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 43 COM 7A.26)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 43 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 43 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 43 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 43 COM 7A.54)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 43 COM 7A.55)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 43 COM 7A.43)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 43 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 43 COM 7A.30)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 43 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 43 COM 7A.50)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 43 COM 7A.51)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.15)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 43 COM 7A.46)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 43 COM 7A.2)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 43 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 43 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 43 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 43 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 43 COM 7A.35)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 43 COM 7A.36)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 43 COM 7A.56)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 43 COM 7A.47)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.16)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.3)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 43 COM 7A.44)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 43 COM 7A.52)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 43 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 43 COM 7A.39)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 43 COM 7A.40)
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.10

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.50, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for the efforts undertaken with its partners in the implementation of the corrective measures and improvement in the management efficiency of the property, and encourages the State Party to reinforce its cooperation efforts with its partners;
  4. Launches an appeal to donors to continue their financial support in the implementation of the corrective measures and in security for the management of the property;
  5. Favourably welcomes the measures undertaken for the local communities and requests the State Party to continue its efforts for the autonomization of the local communities and the continuation of the community ownership process of the community forests in the buffer zone of the Park and the corridor between the two blocks of the Park;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the resettlement procedure outside of the Park of the Yaelima communities is voluntary and in accordance with the policies of the Convention and the relevant international standards, including the principles of free, prior and informed consent (CPLCC), fair compensation, access to social advantages and the preservation of cultural rights;
  7. Regrets that the report provided no information on the petroleum project, expresses its very keen concern as regards the granting of petroleum licenses within the property, and urges the State Party to cancel the current petroleum concessions and not to authorize the granting of new concessions in the property and its periphery that could have negative and irreversible effects on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  8. Reiterates its established position concerning the gas and petroleum exploitation and/or exploration being incompatible with World Heritage status, policy supported by the commitments undertaken by the leaders of the industry, such as Shell and Total, not to engage in such activities in World Heritage properties;
  9. Recalls that modifications concerning the boundaries of World Heritage properties in respect of extractive industries must be carried out in conformity with the procedure applicable to important boundary modifications, detailed in Paragraph 165 of the Operational Guidelines, in view of the potential impact of such projects on the OUV, and also recalls that all proposals for the modification of the boundaries of World Heritage properties must be based on the strengthening of its OUV and must not be proposed with a view to facilitating extractive activities;
  10. Takes note of the positive results of the biological inventories and the setting up of an integrated ecological monitoring plan, and also requests the State Party to submit the results of the biological inventories to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as they are available, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), with appropriate indicators based on the data resulting from these inventories;
  11. Also reiterates its request to, the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission, in compliance with Decision 42 COM 7A.50, to assess the state of conservation of the property, update the corrective measures and establish a timetable for their implementation;
  12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  13. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  14. Also decides to retain Salonga National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2019
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 (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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