1.         Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya) (N 1060rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2011

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1999-2006)
Total amount approved: USD 45,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 17,283 from UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa (2015-2016)

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 1 February 2019, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/documents/. Annexed to the report, the State Party submitted the draft Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary Ecosystem Management Plan 2017-2027 and an update of the 2016 Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary Boundary Survey Report. The UNESCO Office in Nairobi has provided co-funding to both reports.

The State Party informs that the Survey of Kenya has requested the boundary survey to be repeated to reflect the flooding situation, whereas the draft Management Plan already includes a map with the boundaries and proposed zoning scheme, including a buffer zone.

The State Party also reports the following:

On 15 February 2019, the World Heritage Centre requested from the State Party further details on the state of conservation report, and on 28 February 2019, requested the State Party’s comments on the concerns expressed by a member of the Endorois Welfare Council over the state and governance of the property in relation to the Endorois community. No response has been received yet at the time of writing this report.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

Similar to the 2017 report, the State Party regrettably provides very limited updated information on implementation of the Committee’s past decisions and the property’s state of conservation.

The State Party provides no response to the Committee’s requests to strengthen the protection of the areas between Lakes Nakuru and Elementaita, to ensure the removal of any existing illegal developments, to carry out the ecological restoration of affected areas, and to develop and implement strict and clear regulations to prohibit developments in close proximity to fragile habitats and in the critical buffer zone of the property (Decisions 39 COM 7B.5 and 41 COM 7B.21). No information is available on the progress or proposed timing of the boundary re-survey of the Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary following the 2016 survey.

However, the draft Management Plan of Lake Elementaita offers a good basis to manage this component of the property and its buffer zone, rightly confirming the importance of securing the lake’s riparian area. Nevertheless, the results of the boundary re-survey and regulations on encroachment and construction should be further reflected in the Management Plan, including as part of the proposed boundary configuration and zonation scheme. The currently available maps are not detailed enough to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement. In order to formalise any changes to the property’s boundaries and its buffer zone, it is recommended that the State Party submit a proposal for minor boundary modification in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines for the Committee’s approval as soon as the re-survey and consultations are complete. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are prepared to provide advice as needed.

While the State Party informs that no plan exists for geothermal exploration in Lake Elementaita and Lake Bogoria, no information is provided on the status of potential projects in the third component, Lake Nakuru National Park.

It is positive that the Endorois Welfare Council and the Baringo County Government are collaborating to develop a joint integrated Management Plan for the Lake Bogoria National Reserve ecosystem. This process is an opportunity to ensure the full and effective participation of the Endorois in the management and decision-making of Lake Bogoria, in accordance with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Endorois ruling. Additionally, as indicated in the scoping meeting report of March 2016, this is also an opportunity to model access and benefit-sharing in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol (https://www.cbd.int/abs/). However, the State Party has provided no information on the development of the Management Plan since the March 2016 meeting, at which the completion date was set for December 2016.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 7B.33

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.5 and 41 COM 7B.21, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 41st (Krakow, 2017) sessions respectively,
  3. Regrets that the State Party provided only limited updated information on the implementation of the Committee’s past decisions, and reiterates its request to the State Party to address and report on the strengthening of the protection of the areas between Lakes Nakuru and Elementaita to ensure that the 2011 boundaries of the property are clearly identified to enable the State Party to deal with illegal developments, to develop and implement strict and clear regulations to prohibit developments in close proximity to fragile habitats and in the critical buffer zone of the property, including by integrating such provisions in the draft Management Plans;
  4. Notes the planned boundary re-survey of the Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary, and requests the State Party to integrate the survey results and regulations on encroachment and construction into the draft Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary Ecosystem Management Plan 2017-2027, by developing and submitting a detailed map of the boundaries and the proposed zonation scheme to the World Heritage Centre for review, and to submit a proposal for a minor boundary modification in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines to formalize any changes to the boundary and the buffer zone;
  5. Welcomes the progress of the State Party in addressing the ruling of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Endorois ruling through the development of a joint integrated Management Plan for the Lake Bogoria National Reserve ecosystem by the Endorois Welfare Council and the Baringo County Government and urges the State Party to: (1) expedite the development of this overdue plan and benefit sharing arrangements, (2) submit the final draft of the plan to the World Heritage Centre for review, and (3) continue its efforts to implement the above-ruling of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
  6. Also notes that no current plan exists for geothermal exploration in Lake Elementaita and Lake Bogoria components of the property, and also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course of any planned geothermal exploration or other major developments in the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, a progress report, and by 1 December 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 45th session in 2021.