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Decision : 37 COM 7B.4
Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) (N 801bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add.Corr,

2.  Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.3 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.  Noting the statement made by the State Party of Ethiopia during the 36th session of the Committee (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) to express its concern regarding the decision by the Committee requesting Ethiopia to halt construction of the dam,

4.  Regrets that the State Party of Ethiopia has not submitted a progress report on the implementation of the actions requested in its Decision 36 COM 7B.3 , including inviting a joint reactive monitoring mission to Ethiopia;

5.  Also regrets that construction of Gibe III and associated projects have continued without ensuring that a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) has been accomplished and reiterates its utmost concern about the potential and ascertained cumulative impacts of the Gibe III dam on Lake Turkana, and the related on-going and planned irrigation projects in the Lower Omo valley and the planned Gibe IV and Gibe V projects, which present a clear threat to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 180 (b) of the Operational Guidelines ;

6.  Reiterates its request to the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to address this issue on a bilateral basis and conduct a SEA to assess the cumulative impacts of all developments impacting on the Lake Turkana basin in order to identify appropriate corrective measures to ensure that the water level in Lake Turkana, as well as a level of seasonal variation be maintained, which is sufficient to maintain the OUV of the property;

7.  Welcomes the confirmation by the State Party of Kenya that no oil exploration will take place within the property but notes that oil exploration or exploitation in the immediate vicinity of the property, in particular in the areas of the lake not included within its boundaries, could represent an important risk to its OUV and would need to be carefully assessed through an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

8.  Reiterates its call upon Tullow Oil to subscribe to the “No-go” commitment already supported by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and Shell not to explore or exploit oil or minerals inside World Heritage properties;

9.  Requests the State Party of Kenya to implement the recommendations of the 2012 World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission to address the significant impacts of poaching, fishing and livestock grazing on the property;

10. Also reiterates its request to the State Party of Ethiopia to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to review the impacts of the Gibe III dam and other hydro-electric developments and associated large-scale irrigation in the Omo region on the OUV of Lake Turkana;

11. Urges the States Parties to allow for the completion of the on-going bilateral discussions on the impact of GIBE Dam on the Lake Turkana Property;

12.  Also requests the State Party of Kenya, in consultation with the State Party of Ethiopia, to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 , a progress report for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014, and a state of conservation report by 1 February 2015 for examination at its 39th session in 2015

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation, Outstanding Universal Value
States Parties: Kenya
Year: 2013
Decision Code: 37 COM 7B.4