Kahuzi-Biéga National Park

Democratic Republic of the Congo
Inscribed in
1980
Criterion
(x)

A vast area of primary tropical forest dominated by two spectacular extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi and Biega, the park has a diverse and abundant fauna. One of the last groups of eastern lowland (graueri) gorillas (consisting of only some 250 individuals) lives at between 2,100 and 2,400 m above sea-level.
© UNESCO

Summary

2017 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
09 Nov 2017
Critical
The values of the park remain, although they are under significant pressure. Gorillas have been severely reduced in lower altitude sector and forest elephants nearly disappeared through poaching for ivory and the bushmeat trade, and illegal mining and agriculture is causing significant levels of habitat degradation and loss, particularly in the ecological corridor linking the low altitude and high altitude sectors. Four key issues need to be resolved in order for park management to have a chance of halting these trends: 1) armed militia and army groups must be totally removed from the park; 2) following, a comprehensive and effective anti-poaching strategy should be implemented; 3) a coherent zoning plan, in which the legal status of the villages in the park is clarified, must be adopted; and 4) the illegal farms in the ecological corridor must be removed. However the strong political leadership that is essential for these issues to be resolved rapidly is not currently forthcoming so park management, whose effectiveness has certainly improved in recent years, will continue to struggle to hold these threats in check.

Current state and trend of VALUES

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The main forest types and biotopes of the low altitude sector of PNKB are mainly intact despite some habitat destruction due to mining and subsistence farming in occupied villages. However the habitat continuum between the low altitude sector and the high altitude sector has been virtually severed because of illegal farms.
All large mammal species have been seriously affected by poaching for bushmeat and ivory. Grauer’s gorilla populations have been seriously reduced in lower altitude but could possibly recover if protection levels can be increased in the low altitude sector. Gorilla population is stable in the high altitude sector and will remain so if current levels of protection are maintained. The same applies for elephants and chimpanzees. However this can only happen if the armed groups are totally removed from the park.

Overall THREATS

Very High Threat
The presence of armed militia/FARDC in and around the park is the most important threat affecting the site and has a direct influence on the level of all the other threats. The presence of militia is the main reason why illegal mining is so widespread in the park, with its associated activities of bushmeat hunting and forest clearance for agriculture. Situation was largely improved from 2015 with the implication of the Army (FARDC) authorizing ICCN to deploy guards over one half of the Park.
The illegally obtained titles for 30 farms in the ecological corridor are going to be resolved. There no longer exists a continuum of natural habitat (primary vegetation) between the high altitude and low altitude sectors of the park and natural recovery of the vegetation (by secondary vegetation) in this sector becomes increasingly unlikely the longer the farms are allowed to remain there. Until this issue is resolved and the on-going socio-economic stuy completed, it will not be possible to start dealing with the issue of the villages in the low altitude sector of the park which existed before the creation of the park and which have remained occupied.
There is still uncertainty about whether funding will be secured re-route the RN3 around the north of the park. In the event that funding is not forthcoming the rehabilitation of the RN3 through the high altitude sector will place huge environmental pressures on the park.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Some Concern
As long as rebels remain active in the low altitude sector and the ecological corridor the park’s values will continue to be seriously threatened. This is a national security problem that park management has little capacity to influence. However, due to an Army intervention in 2015 half of the park is secured and can be patrolled by ICCN guards. Progress is also being made to remove the illegal farms from the ecological corridor and prevent further illegal concessions being attributed, following the “National Forum on Governance and Enhancement of the Property” of April 2015. Surveillance effort (man days, geographical coverage of patrols) has largely improved in 2015 and 2016 due to the improving security in Nzovu East and Kasese sectors and due to the recruitment and training of 120 new guards. The Law Enforcement Monitoring (LEM) system (MIST/SMART) is operational. However significant areas of the low altitude sector remain unpatrolled (50%) and data are deficient to assess the effectiveness of patrols. Strong political leadership is required to deal with the threats of illegal mining and agriculture in the park. The development of a zoning plan to resolve the issue of the villages in the park has been slowed down due to lack of funding and results of the current socio-economic study eagerly awaited. However the park has dedicated long term financial and technical partners and park management structures and effectiveness are improving despite the enormous challenges.

Full assessment

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Finalised on
09 Nov 2017

Description of values

Mid altitude and montane tropical forests representative of the Albertine Rift, a zone of exceptional biodiversity and endemism.

Criterion
(x)
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is the second most important site (after the Virunga National Park) on the Albertine Rift in terms of biodiversity, endemism and presence of threatened species. Of note are 14 species of primate, including the endemic sub-species Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla gorilla graueri), the red face chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurtii) and 2 extremely rare species of genets: the aquatic genet Osbornictis piscivora and the giant genet Genetta victoriae). The park lies within an important Endemic Bird Area, with 349 species, including 42 endemics. It also lies within a centre of endemism for plants, with 1.178 species recorded from the park (only the Virunga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest have more plant species) (SoOUV).
The park is also one of the rare sites in sub-Saharan Africa which includes a continuum of the different vegetation types within the altitudinal range of 600m to 3.308m including rare habitats such as high altitude peat bogs and afro-alpine formations. (ICCN, 2011).

Presence of emblematic and endangered mammal species.

Criterion
(x)
The park’s most important emblematic species is Grauer’s gorilla. Although, for security reasons, gathering up to date information from the lowland sector of Kahuzi-Biega has been delayed to 2017, the park is thought to contain one of only 4 remaining significant populations of Grauer’s gorilla (JGI, 2012), of which the total population throughout its range is estimated at between 3.100 and 7.000 individuals (Plumptre,2015), a very significant decrease from population estimates made in 1999 (Hall et al. 1999). High levels of poaching of gorillas for the bushmeat trade occurred during the wars, including several of the habituated gorilla families used for tourism in the high altitude sector. Forest elephants Loxodonta africana cyclotis occur here, but are highly threatened by the ivory trade (ICCN, 2009) especially in the low altitude sector (WCS,2016).
Endemic flora
Impatiens erecticornis, irangiensis, iteberoensis, paucidentata, masisiensis, warburgiana, spp, Dicranolepis incisa, Momanthotaxis sp, Peddiea kivuensis, Phyllobotryum lebruni, Polyscias kivuensis, Poalystachya babyloni, Rinorea spp, Schefflera kivuensis, Selaginella auquieri, Senecio johnstoni spp. Kajuzicus, Swertia macrosepala, from the Kahuzi-Biega National Park or surrounding area.

Assessment information

Very High Threat
The presence of armed militia/FARDC in and around the park is the most important threat affecting the site and has a direct influence on the level of all the other threats. The presence of armed militia is the main reason why illegal mining is so widespread in the park, with its associated activities of bushmeat hunting and forest clearance for agriculture. The State currently appears to be incapable of resolving this security issue. The current M23 rebellion has further heightened the insecurity issues.
The illegally obtained titles for 30 farms in the ecological corridor are going to be resolved. There no longer exists a continuum of natural habitat between the high altitude and low altitude sectors of the park and natural recovery of the vegetation in this sector becomes increasingly unlikely the longer the farms are allowed to remain there. Until this issue is resolved it will not be possible to start dealing with the issue of the villages in the low altitude sector of the park which existed before the creation of the park and which have remained occupied.
War, Civil Unrest/ Military Exercises
High Threat
Inside site
, Widespread(15-50%)
Outside site
Armed militia are involved in hunting, mining and farming inside the park. All sectors were affected but evacuation was performed by Army from 2015 and as a result Kasese and Nzovu-East sectors have been freed of rebel groups (ICCN, 2017). Their activities have affected and still affect locally the animal biodiversity and endemism values. Habitats are also negatively impacted by the mining activities and the cultivation that occurs around the mining camps and occupied former villages. Miners also practice hunting. The insecurity created by their presence has made large areas of the park no-go areas for ICCN as shown by anti-poaching coverage (less than one half of the park area).
Mining/ Quarrying
High Threat
Inside site
, Scattered(5-15%)
Outside site
In 2011 it was estimated that there were 918 mining sites, of which 405 had armed groups present (Hollestelle, 2012). The influence of armed groups in mining activities is considerable - charging taxes, providing “security” for the miners, and even digging for gold themselves. Since the operation led by official Army (FARDC) most rebel groups have gone and known active mining sites have decreased to 14 in 2016 and 2 in 2017 (ICCN, 2017). Many sites are still active in the near vicinity of the park which can led to damage to habitats and wildlife.
Hunting (commercial/subsistence)
Very High Threat
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Outside site
Bushmeat commerce, involving almost all vertebrate species, is very intense and thus affects the biodiversity values of the park.
Forest elephants are under intense pressure from ivory poachers with probably only few individuals left in high altitude. Many players are involved including rebel militia (FDLR, Raya Mutomboki, Maï-maï) and uncontrolled elements of the Congolese army (FARDC). Elephants are now extremely rare in the low altitude sector. In 1994 the population was estimated at 3.720, but in surveys between 2000 and 2008 no traces were found in low altitude (Amsini, 2008) while in 2015 traces were seen in the extreme North-western part only (WSC, 2015). Gorillas were heavily poached during the wars (mainly for bushmeat) and probably continue to be hunted in the low altitude sector. The population in low altitude sector was estimated to be less than 1000 in 2015 (Plimptre, 2015), a decrease by over 90% since 1994 (Plimptre, 2015). They are also victims of metallic cables traps (used for antelope hunting) in the high altitude. The high altitude population was halved during the wars. Surveillance of the high altitude sector is currently much improved and hunting of gorillas here has been virtually eliminated. The population is now estimated to be close to 200 (Plumptre, 2015).
Logging/ Wood Harvesting
Very High Threat
Inside site
, Widespread(15-50%)
Outside site
10% of the low altitude sector, and 24% of the corridor and high altitude sectors are affected by deforestation (SOC report, 2009).
The illegal creation of farms (cattle, crops) by wealthy/influential “landowners” in the Nindja ecological corridor constitutes a very serious threat to mid-altitude and montane tropical forests since the continuum of primary habitat types from low altitude to high altitude has been completely severed (SOC report, 2009). This issue needs to be rapidly resolved, otherwise the ecological connection will be lost forever because the milieu will have been so extensively transformed that there will be no possibility of recovery (secondary vegetation instead of primary vegetation).
Furthermore, as long as the issue of the farms in the ecological corridor has not been definitively resolved it will not be possible to deal with the issue of the many occupied villages in the low altitude sector which existed before the creation of the park and which have always remained occupied. A socio-economic study is on-going to specify the current situation of these villages. The extent of the occupations in the ecological corridor threatens the geographical integrity of the site. The "National Forum on Governance and Enhancement of the Property" was launched in April 2015 and a special commission oversees the follow-up of activities. Some improvements are noted regarding title deeds and delimitation of the National Park (ICCN, 2017).
High Threat
Until funding is secured for a new alignment of the RN3 around the north of the park there is a danger that the current road through the high altitude sector of the park will be asphalted and open to high levels of heavy traffic.
Roads/ Railroads
High Threat
Inside site
, Localised(<5%)
Outside site
For the past 20 years or more the RN3 highway from Kisangani to Bukavu, which passes through the high altitude sector of the park has been virtually impassable and so there has been very little traffic on it. During 2016, ICCN controlled on the road 15700 cars/trucks/motorbikes showing that traffic i already significant. This will be worst if the section through the high altitude sector will become a major asphalted highway with thousands of vehicles passing through the park every week.
The presence of armed militia/FARDC in and around the park is the most important threat affecting the site and has a direct influence on the level of all the other threats. The presence of militia is the main reason why illegal mining is so widespread in the park, with its associated activities of bushmeat hunting and forest clearance for agriculture. Situation was largely improved from 2015 with the implication of the Army (FARDC) authorizing ICCN to deploy guards over one half of the Park.
The illegally obtained titles for 30 farms in the ecological corridor are going to be resolved. There no longer exists a continuum of natural habitat (primary vegetation) between the high altitude and low altitude sectors of the park and natural recovery of the vegetation (by secondary vegetation) in this sector becomes increasingly unlikely the longer the farms are allowed to remain there. Until this issue is resolved and the on-going socio-economic stuy completed, it will not be possible to start dealing with the issue of the villages in the low altitude sector of the park which existed before the creation of the park and which have remained occupied.
There is still uncertainty about whether funding will be secured re-route the RN3 around the north of the park. In the event that funding is not forthcoming the rehabilitation of the RN3 through the high altitude sector will place huge environmental pressures on the park.
Relationships with local people
Some Concern
Given the very high population pressure and the intense competition for agricultural land, relations with local people are often strained since the park is the source of many of the natural resources that local people want but that no longer exist outside the park (agricultural land, wildlife, wood, bamboo, medicinal plants, and other non-timber forest products). Considerable efforts have been made using conflict resolution techniques to improve relations with local populations, but the challenges remain considerable.
The park, with support from GIZ and since June 2012 KfW, has for very many years undertaken a wide variety of activities in favour of local populations aimed at reducing pressures on the park’s natural resources and providing alternative sources of revenue. As is the case with all protected areas in central Africa these efforts have met with widely varying degrees of success. Within the framework of its Community Conservation activities the park management plan defines two strategic axes: infrastructures (schools, access roads, bridges, health centres, water sources, micro hydroelectric installations etc) and agro-forestery. A socio-economic study of the villages located inside the park is currently carried out and should pave the way for a zoning and management plan of these villages (ICCN, 2017).
Legal framework
Serious Concern
The legal framework (National Park) is inadequate because the villages in the low altitude sector of the park were never consulted about the extension of the park to this area. Many occupants continue to contest this decision and have remained in their villages. A fully participative process to elaborate a zoning plan (involving possibly a change of status for some areas) is on-going if a permanent and mutually acceptable solution is to be found. This is a planned activity of the Management Plan, but due to the situation in the region the process has slowed down and results of the preliminary socio-economic study are not yet available.
Enforcement
Serious Concern
ICCN manages the site with technical and financial support from three longstanding partners (GIZ, since 1984 and from 2012 KfW succeeding GIZ, WWF and WCS). Law enforcement is challenging given the vast area of forest that must be patrolled and the insecurity caused by rebel activities actively involved in poaching and mining. Half of the low altitude sector of the park is still a no-go area. Joint patrols with the Congolese army have been regularly deployed in the low altitude sector and in the Nindja ecological corridor over the past years. The surveillance coverage of the Park was 34% in 2015 and 52% in 2016, although no data were available for the efficiency of these patrols. in 2015 new guards were recruited and 120 of them were trained during 2016 and deployed between all guard posts. Guard housing is under development since 2016 with guard houses built in Lemera, Itebero and Tshivanga. More will be built in Lulingu and Nzovu in 2017. An operational law enforcement monitoring system, based on MIST and now on SMART, is in place (ICCN, 2017). However the very low security level in eastern Congo is making law enforcement by ICCN challenging (Mission report, 2009; UNESCO, 2010; communication with UN staff).
Integration into regional and national planning systems
Some Concern
Wherever possible the park’s strategy for support for community development takes into consideration the concerns of local “Collectivités” . Development initiatives must be compatible with the conservation objectives of the park. However the park community development initiatives must be viewed in the context of the enormous development needs of this province, very weak regional planning capacities, widespread poverty demanding profitable activities, and the general absence or weakness of functioning State structures (communications, schooling, health care, justice, etc…). Kahuzi Biega is included inside the Maiko, Tayna, Kahuzi Biega Landscape (MTKB) for which a management plan was developed by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International together with Conservation International under CARPE II. A landscape wide assessment of priority conservation areas in this landscape was performed in the highland and lowland areas of Kahuzi Biega NP are mentioned as key conservation areas inside the landscape (WCS, 2015).
Management system
Some Concern
The park management plan was officially approved in 2012 and is being implemented within the constraints of the security situation and current funding levels (ICCN, 2017). The implementation of the first phase (2009-2011) of the Management Plan was evaluated using the “Enhancing our Heritage” methodology. The evaluation concluded that while there had been some encouraging results, the global implementation of the work plan of the first three years had been poor, partly because of security problems but also because of insufficient staff numbers and capacity (SOC Report 2013). An assessment of the management Plan has been performed in December 2014, together with the development of an action plan for the last phase, as the current Management Plan will end by 2017 (ICCN, 2017).
Management effectiveness
Some Concern
The park receives strong financial and technical support from GIZ and KfW and considerable efforts are being made to improve management effectiveness despite the difficult security, social and political context.
Nevertheless, significant areas (half of the park) of the low altitude sector are not managed in 2017 by ICCN because of the security situation, although MIST/SMART data shows that surveillance coverage of the low altitude sector has increased to 51.7% by 2016 however not covering sensible zones and data are deficient to assess the effectiveness of the patrols. The high altitude sector, where the highly lucrative tourism activities are based (gorilla viewing), is relatively well managed and regularly patrolled. Corruption at the local government level is proving to be a major constraint to the resolution of the illegal farms issue, although progress has been made.
An MIST/SMART monitoring system is operational (ICCN, 2017).
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Some Concern
Most of the Committee decisions that require action from the park management structure are being addressed, although certain with limited success given the current social, political and security context. These are:
• Undertake a wildlife survey of indicator species. The survey is performed by WCS since 2015 and 4 of the 7 sectors have been completed. It is anticipated that all the park will be covered by mid-2017.
• Remove the armed groups from the park and extend the surveillance coverage. This aspect has seen an important improvement since 2015 with help of FARDC (Army) and half of the park is now covered by ICCN patrols (Nzovu East, Kasese).
• Stop all illegal mining in the park. With the removal of armed groups from half the park, illegal mines supported by these groups have largely decreased. Only 2 illigal mines were still active in 2016, but data are deficient to assess the situation in the part of the park not patrolled by ICCN Guards.
• Evacuate the ecological corridor by removing the illegal farms. Support has been gained from civil society groups and the Governor’s and Environment Ministry’s office to identify all farming concessions that encroach on the park. The case is now being discussed following the "National Forum on Governance and Enhancement of the Property" of April 2015 and ad-hoc follow-up committee. Some progress is noted regarding illegal title deeds and Park demarcation.
• Develop a fully participative zoning plan to resolve the issues of villages in the low altitude sector. This is in progress, but the prelimminary socio-economic study is still not completed.
• Limit traffic on the road through the park to local traffic only. In the event of rehabilitation of the RN3 highway to Kisangani ensure that a deviation to the north of the park is made. The principal of a deviation to the north of the park has been accepted, but funding is still to be secured. The park is a member of the social and environmental monitoring committee for the new alignment of the RN3. Meantime controls on the circulation of vehicles through the park are in place.

• Strengthen the surveillance activities and recover full control of the park. Half of the low altitude sector remains out of the control of ICC and data are deficient to assess the effectiveness of patrols.
• Finalise the management plan. The current management plan was finalized in 2011, approved in 2012 and will end in 2017. No mention of the development of the next one is available.
Boundaries
Serious Concern
Most of the parks boundaries are “artificial “ i.e. do not follow natural features. According to the management plan only about 64km, out of a total of 640km of park boundary, are officially marked. A participatory boundary marking exercise is in progress but will take many years to complete, and will require significant funding (ICCN, 2009). In the corridor one border segment has been recovered from illegal occupants (ICCN, 2017).
Sustainable finance
Some Concern
The park has received substantial, and uninterrupted, financial and technical support from the German government, through GIZ and KfW, since the early 80s. KfW is now the main financial partner. WWF and WCS have also mobilised significant technical and financial support over the years (UNESCO, 2010).
As with all protected areas in DRC for the foreseeable future the park will be dependent on external partners.
Sustainable funding is making progress and the national trust fund for protected areas (Okapi) has received funds (15 million €) from Germany specifically for Kahuzi Biega and Garamba while the current funding is over 42 million US$ (ICCN, 2017)
Staff training and development
Some Concern
Investments in staff training and development are ongoing, with support from park’s partners. Notable achievements are recruitment and training of 120 new guards and the develpment of guard housing in several posts (to be continued in 2017) (ICCN, 2017).
Sustainable use
Some Concern
The only legal sustainable use activity allowed in the park is tourism. Gorilla viewing in the high altitude sector has always been an important revenue earner. Gorilla tourism generates USD 150.000 a year (ICCN PNKB Data, 2012).
Education and interpretation programs
Some Concern
Efforts are made doing public awareness activities. These are essentially conducted through the community conservation programme using the community dialogue structures established (Management Council for Community Conservation; Community Conservation Committees). Considerable efforts are also made lobbying at the provincial government level (ICCN, 2009; Mission report, 2010; UNESCO, 2010).
Tourism and visitation management
Some Concern
Gorilla tourism is in considerable demand from the local and international market (as seen in Rwanda where the daily permit was lately doubed to 1500 US$ per day per visitor, Rwanda Development Board May 2017) and has great potential to generate significant revenues (see sustainable use above). The current political and security situation is a constraint to the full development of this activity (Mission report, 2010).
Monitoring
Some Concern
The last time a full wildlife census of the park was done was in 1994. Since then the security situation has prevented a repetition of this. The gorillas and few remaining elephants in the high altitude sector are regularly monitored. In the low altitude sector a new census was launched by WCS in 2015 and up to now 4 of the 7 sectors have been completed, showing a large derease of gorillas and elephants in the low altitude sector (Plumptre, 2015). Survey should be completed by mid-2017 and results available from August 2017 (SoC, 2017).
Research
Some Concern
Very little conservation related research has been conducted over the past 25 years.
As long as rebels remain active in the low altitude sector and the ecological corridor the park’s values will continue to be seriously threatened. This is a national security problem that park management has little capacity to influence. However, due to an Army intervention in 2015 half of the park is secured and can be patrolled by ICCN guards. Progress is also being made to remove the illegal farms from the ecological corridor and prevent further illegal concessions being attributed, following the “National Forum on Governance and Enhancement of the Property” of April 2015. Surveillance effort (man days, geographical coverage of patrols) has largely improved in 2015 and 2016 due to the improving security in Nzovu East and Kasese sectors and due to the recruitment and training of 120 new guards. The Law Enforcement Monitoring (LEM) system (MIST/SMART) is operational. However significant areas of the low altitude sector remain unpatrolled (50%) and data are deficient to assess the effectiveness of patrols. Strong political leadership is required to deal with the threats of illegal mining and agriculture in the park. The development of a zoning plan to resolve the issue of the villages in the park has been slowed down due to lack of funding and results of the current socio-economic study eagerly awaited. However the park has dedicated long term financial and technical partners and park management structures and effectiveness are improving despite the enormous challenges.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Some Concern
As long as rebels remain active in the low altitude sector and the ecological corridor the park’s values will continue to be seriously threatened. This is a national security problem that park management has little capacity to influence. However, due to an Army intervention in 2015 half of the park is secured and can be patrolled by ICCN guards. Progress is also being made to remove the illegal farms from the ecological corridor and prevent further illegal concessions being attributed, following the “National Forum on Governance and Enhancement of the Property” of April 2015.
Best practice examples
A recent meeting between KBNP, ICCN GD, Governor, Environment Minister, farmers, civil society concluded by a document signed by all the participants is a great step to the ending of the present situation.
World Heritage values

Mid altitude and montane tropical forests representative of the Albertine Rift, a zone of exceptional biodiversity and endemism.

High Concern
Trend
Improving
An estimated 10% of the low altitude sector and 24% of the ecological corridor are affected by forest clearance as a result of villages, mining camps and illegal farms. Given the size of the low altitude sector significant areas of intact mid-altitude forest therefore remain essentially intact. The situation is much more serious in the ecological corridor since forest clearance for illegal farms has virtually severed the habitat continuum between the low altitude sector and the high altitude sector. Furthermore this is a poorly represented altitudinal range outside protected areas in the rest of central Africa as it has mostly been cleared for agriculture.

Presence of emblematic and endangered mammal species.

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The current wildlife survey started in 2015 is the first one done in the park since the 1994 census. However, on the basis of the limited results and opportunistic surveys that have been conducted since it is clear that there has been a dramatic decline in populations of Grauer’s gorilla and forest elephant as a result of poaching (Plumptre, 2015). Gorilla populations in the low altitude sector are thought to have declined by over 94% and by 37% in the high altitude sector (ICCN Management Plan, 2012) and partial results confirm this decline in low altitude while the high altitude Gorilla population seems stable, being reasonably well protected. Elephant numbers have been reduced to very low levels indeed in the low altitude sector (confined to the North-eastern tip). Chimpanzee levels are thought to have declined by about 60-70%.
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The main forest types and biotopes of the low altitude sector of PNKB are mainly intact despite some habitat destruction due to mining and subsistence farming in occupied villages. However the habitat continuum between the low altitude sector and the high altitude sector has been virtually severed because of illegal farms.
All large mammal species have been seriously affected by poaching for bushmeat and ivory. Grauer’s gorilla populations have been seriously reduced in lower altitude but could possibly recover if protection levels can be increased in the low altitude sector. Gorilla population is stable in the high altitude sector and will remain so if current levels of protection are maintained. The same applies for elephants and chimpanzees. However this can only happen if the armed groups are totally removed from the park.

Additional information

Carbon sequestration,
Soil stabilisation,
Flood prevention,
Water provision (importance for water quantity and quality)
Several large rivers start in the park. The vast area of forest through which they flow ensures regulation of downstream flows. The high altitude sector is an essential water reserve for the farming land around. This is a very mountainous area so the forest covered slopes in the park help reduce erosion of the surrounding agricultural land.
Outdoor recreation and tourism
The park generates annually > USD 150.000 (KBNP data, 2012) with 1551 visitors during 2014 (OFAC, 2015).
The national and global benefits in terms of nature conservation (central African humid forest biodiversity and endemism) and environmental services (water, carbon) are exceptionally important. However these benefits are all at risk because of the inability to resolve the crisis that has a direct influence on the level of all the threats (mining, poaching, agriculture).
Organization/ individuals Project duration Brief description of Active Projects
1 Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation in DRC, ICCN -
2 German cooperation: KfW in the park and GIZ around. German cooperation (GIZ and now KfW) has provided uninterrupted support to Park since 1983. The current KfW and GIZ-funded Programme Biodiversité et Forêts supports a wide range of park management related activities including surveillance, capacity building and training, alternative livelihoods, and community assistance.
Site need title Brief description of potential site needs Support needed for following years
1 . As for all parks in the DRC all park management activities require sustained funding for many years to come.

References

References
1 Basabose A.K., Inoue E., Kamungu S., Murhabale B., Akomo-Okoue E.-F., and Yamagiwa J. (2015) ‘Estimation of Chimpanzee Community Size and Genetic Diversity in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo’. American Journal of Primatology 77:1015–1025 (2015) DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22435 Published online 26 June 2015 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com).
2 Debonnet, G & Vié J-C. 2010. Mission de monitoring de l’Etat de Conservation du Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega. République démocratique du Congo (RDC). 28 Novembre – 6 Décembre 2009
3 Doumenge C., Palla F., Scholte P., Hiol Hiol F. & Larzillière A. (Eds.), (2015). Aires protégées d’Afrique centrale – État 2015. OFAC, Kinshasa, République Démocratique du Congo et Yaoundé, Cameroun : 256 p. http://www.observatoire-comifac.net/docs/edAP2015/FR/EdAP_2…
4 F. Amsini, O. Ilambu, I.Liengola, D.Kujirakwinja, J.Hart, F.Grossman and A.J.Plumptre (2008). The impact of civil war on the Kahuzi-Biega National Park : Results of surveys between 2000 – 2008. Report published by ICCN and Wildlife Conservation Society.
5 Hall, J.S., White, L.J.T., Inogwabini, B.I., Omari, I., Morland, H.S., Williamson, E.A., Saltonstall, K., Walsh, P.,Sikubwabo, C., Bonny, D., Kiswele, K.P., Vedder A., Freeman, K. (1998) Survey of Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla gorilla graueri) and eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi ) in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park lowland sector and adjacent forest in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. International Journal of Primatology 19 (2): 207–235.;
6 ICCN, 2009. Plan Général de Gestion du Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega.
7 ICCN, 2012. Rapports intermédiaire et final d’activités de la phase III du projet « Protéger la biodiversité en zone de conflits armés » de l’UNESCO.
8 ICCN, 2017. Rapport sur l’état de conservation des biens de la RDC inscrits surla liste du Patrimoine Mondial en péril. Exercice 2016. Kinshasa, RDC.
9 JGI, 2012. Plan d’Action pour la Conservation des Grands Singes dans l’Est de la République Démocratique du Congo (Landscape de Maiko, Tayna, Kahuzi-Biega, Itombwe)
10 Kahuzi-Biega National Park Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (SoOUV)
11 M. Hollestelle, Asher Smith, K. Hund. 2012 . When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers; Artisanal Mining & Conservation in the DRC DRAFT ABCG Discussion Paper WWF, July 2012
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14 SOC Report 2017
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