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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.37
Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (N 136)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.8, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Commends the efforts of the staff of the property who continue their actions for the conservation of the property, often at great risk, and expresses its most sincere condolences to the families of the guards and soldiers killed in operations for the protection of the property;
  4. Expresses its deepest concern over continuing insecurity around the property and ongoing poaching pressure, particularly targeted at elephants and driven by international ivory trafficking;
  5. Reiterates its great concern that the northern white rhino is now considered to be extinct in the property and in the wild, that populations of elephants and other key species have continued to decline and Congolese giraffe are now reaching critically low numbers, and as a result the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property could be lost if urgent action to reverse the downward population trends is not taken;
  6. Also commends the State Party, particularly the Congolese Nature Conservation Institute (ICCN) and its partner, African Parks Network for their continuous efforts to further strengthen law enforcement operations by extending aerial and ground surveillance to cover the entire property as well as adjacent Hunting Areas that serve as important buffer zones for the property;
  7. Requests the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the corrective measures, updated by the 2016 mission, as follows:
    1. Further strengthen anti-poaching efforts through continued close collaboration with the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and development of highly skilled, motivated and properly equipped field personnel,
    2. Further enhance trans-boundary cooperation with South Sudan, particularly in relation to the management of adjacent Lantoto National Park, and efforts to curb poaching and illegal cross-border trade in wildlife products,
    3. Complete the establishment and deployment of a team of at least 200 operational guards incorporating carefully selected elements from FARDC,
    4. Maintain an effective year-round surveillance of the entire park and at least 50% of the surrounding Hunting Areas, increasing the extent and frequency of ground patrols whilst maintaining the existing levels of aerial surveillance,
    5. Establish a conservation strategy for the Hunting Areas and develop a recognized Buffer Zone for the World Heritage property which serves to strengthen the protection of the property’s OUV,
    6. Support and strengthen economic development activities for communities around the property to promote sustainable livelihoods, reduce dependence on park resources and ensure that neighbouring communities understand and support conservation efforts,
    7. Maintain close surveillance of the few remaining Congo giraffe and establish appropriate measures to ensure their protection,
    8. Further develop the park’s infrastructure, extending the road network, and installing additional radio repeater stations, observation posts and other installations to facilitate efficient and effective protection and management of the entire property, especially the northern sectors,
    9. Work towards sustainable financing of park management, identifying and developing a range of income sources, including trust funds, business and tourism opportunities;
  8. Takes notes of the revision proposed by the 2016 mission of the indicators of the draft Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, the final version of the DSOCR for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  9. Also takes note of the ongoing consultation carried out by UNESCO in view of convening a meeting on the security in the region, and reiterates its invitation to the Director-General of UNESCO to organize, in cooperation with United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), a high-level meeting between the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and South Sudan, as well as Central African Republic and other potential stakeholders on how to improve security in the region and address the poaching issue;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, 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 41st session in 2017;
  11. Decides to continue to apply the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism to the property;
  12. Also decides to retain Garamba National Park (Democratic Republic of the Congo) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.37
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Garamba National Park
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision