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World Heritage Convention

Decision 36 COM 7A.36
World Heritage properties of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.35, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3. Expresses its concern that signature of the January 2011 Kinshasa Declaration has not yet resulted in a concerted action between the different Ministries, the army and different technical agencies which is necessary to resolve some urgent conservation issues in the sites and create the conditions for their rehabilitation;

4. Notes with concern the consistent reports from different properties about continued involvement of elements of the Congolese Army in illegal exploitation of the natural resources;

5. Considers that the recent permit which has been granted to the international oil and gas company SOCO to start oil exploration activities in Virunga National Park is not in conformity with commitments made by the State Party in the Kinshasa Declaration;

6. Urges the State Party to ensure a full implementation of the commitments made in the Kinshasa Declaration and ensure the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan and in particular to urgently set up the inter-ministerial committee to ensure that specific activities of the action plan which need political decisions or the cooperation and commitment from other Ministries and state entities are implemented;

7. Welcomes the continued support from donor countries for the conservation of the five properties of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the on-going efforts to set up a sustainable financing mechanism;

8. Requests the State Party in close cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to organize an evaluation of the implementation of the action plan, identify obstacles to its implementation and ways to address these with the concerned Ministries and present a report on this evaluation to the World Heritage Centre, for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012)
Context of Decision