Decision : 37 COM 7B.5
Lake Malawi National Park (Malawi) (N 289)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.  Expresses its concern about oil exploration activities in Lake Malawi, and considers that oil drilling poses a potentially severe risk to the integrity of the entire lake ecosystem, including the aquatic zone and shoreline of the property and reiterates that mining, oil and gas exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status;

3.  Urges the State Party of Malawi to ensure that no oil exploration or exploitation is carried out in Lake Malawi until a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been carried out;

4. Requests the State Party to provide full details of the proposed oil exploration activities, including a map of the concession area and details of the activities, operations and environmental safeguards envisaged as well as copies of the ESIA mentioned above, for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines ;

5. Commends the State Party of Mozambique for recently declaring its portion of the lake as a reserve, with designated zones providing total protection of species in some areas;

6. Encourages the States Parties of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania to initiate a technical study/studies to ascertain the most significant localities throughout the lake for endemic fish species, other biodiversity and evolutionary processes, with a view to protecting these localities and possibly incorporating them into an extended trans-national World Heritage property;

7. Also requests the State Party of Malawi to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to review the state of conservation of the property, in particular the potential impacts of oil exploration on the Outstanding Universal Value of Lake Malawi, other potential threats and concerns related to the integrity of the property;

8. Further requests the State Party of Malawi to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including the requested information on the oil exploration activities, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Malawi
Year: 2013
Decision Code: 37 COM 7B.5