1.         Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya) (N 800bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1997

Criteria  (vii)(ix)

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/800/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2000-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 25,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/800/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2003: joint UNESCO / IUCN monitoring mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Illegal Forest resource extraction;

b) Community-wildlife conflict;

c) Poaching;

d) Excisions from the property. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/800/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

IUCN, through its World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN WCPA) received reports in October 2007 of fencing encroaching on the boundaries of the World Heritage property. Further investigation suggests that the fence would create a barrier through a portion of the property, estimated between 3,000 and 20,000 ha. The fence is understood to be unofficial and possibly illegal, and threatens the integrity of the property through the reduction in habitat and obstructing migration of wildlife. The fence also divides mature natural forest from the property, threatens the current watershed protection services as landuse changes to agriculture would become possible. The hydrology of this property is an integral part of its landscape and ecosystem processes for which it has been inscribed on the World Heritage List. The new fence would also reduce elephant’s access to ‘salt licks’ (mineral deposits) which could impact on elephant population health and growth as these areas provide essential minerals and would be outside the property.

Since the original reports of October 2007, IUCN has received further information suggesting that the construction of the fence has halted and remains incomplete. The current extent of the fence, and the reasons for the cessation of this work are unknown. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recognise that a fence can play an important role in reducing human-wildlife conflict but that it should be planned carefully through an independent environmental impact assessment (EIA). The EIA should be conducted to assess the risks of the fence to the outstanding universal value of the property and the recommendations of the EIA should support the objectives of the property’s management plan. The State Party should also verify the location of the fence in relation to the official boundaries of the property, and recover any areas of the property that have been lost due to incorrect placement of the fence.

Reports were also received, indicating that the Hombe forest forms part of an area excised from the property in 2001 for settlements. However, it is learnt that the Hombe forest was never settled and could now be included once again as part of the property, under the provisions of the new Forests Act of 2005.

In its Decision 28 COM 15B.4, the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to finalize the Mount Kenya National Park management plan and indicate the timeframe for the completion, adoption and implementation of the plan. In its report submitted to the World Heritage Centre in 2006, the State Party stated that the integrated management plan was in its final stages. No finalised plan has been received by the World Heritage Centre and reports received by IUCN indicate that the plan has not yet been finalised, adopted or implemented. The State Party is encouraged to complete the document and implement the plan as soon as possible. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN encourage the State Party to review the recommendations of the 2003 joint UNESCO / IUCN mission to assist the finalisation of the management plan. The State Party should also ensure that the relevant stakeholders, including government agencies and community groups, are given an opportunity to participate in this process.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also note that, in its 2006 state of conservation report, the State Party had identified that it had insufficient fire-fighting equipment, and therefore encourages the State Party to conduct a risk reduction review for the property, in line with the World Heritage Strategy for Reducing Risks from Disasters. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also note that research points to the retreat of the glaciers of Mount Kenya and encourage the State Party to include adaptation to this trend in its management of the property.

In the state of conservation report presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004), The World Heritage Centre and IUCN reported on the challenges to maintaining wildlife migration corridors and managing human-wildlife conflict due to the free-hold land tenure system which the State Party was addressing through the land acquisition and negotiations with landowners. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN encourage the State Party to report on progress in managing these issues and its activities on forest restoration.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.1

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15B.4, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Regrets that a management plan has not been finalized and urges the State Party to prioritise this activity;

4.Requests the State Party to conduct a review of the threats facing the property, including the following:

a) fencing:

i) take the necessary measures to halt the current fence construction within and adjacent to the property;

ii) conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment study on existing and planned fences, including those under construction;

iii) ensure that any implementation of fencing respects the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment study, and does not compromise the values of the World Heritage Property, including the routes of migratory species;

iv) assess the protection status of the Hombe forest and its potential for re-inclusion as part of the property;

b) update, complete, adopt and implement the management plan;

c) assess the threat to the values of the property from encroachment, deforestation, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict;

5. Requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

6. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property during the long dry season between December 2008 and February 2009;

7.Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by                          1 February 2009, three printed and electronic copies of the finalised management plan and a state of conservation report including the impact of the fence on wildlife and any other threats to the values of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.