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Support the development and implementation of corrective measures and desired state of conservation for the removal of Lake Turkana National Parks from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Geographical focus
Africa
© Doron

The property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2018 due to the potentially irreversible loss of the property’s OUV caused by the impacts of various development projects (Kuraz irrigation project, Gibe III dam) on the water flow.

The 2020 Reactive Monitoring mission confirms the potential danger to the property’s OUV from large-scale development projects in the Lake Turkana Basin but also noted that the State of Conservation of the site had further degraded since the previous mission as a result of the pressures from poaching, livestock encroachment and illegal fishing. The State Party’s efforts to manage under difficult circumstances such as the prevailing socio-economic situation and the remoteness of the property are acknowledged. The completion of the 2018-2028 Management Plan is positive, however its implementation is a major concern due to financial and human resource constraints. The development of corrective measures and a DSCOR will integrate the new Management Plan and serve as an opportunity to better focus the management of the property on the OUV.

Objectives

The  future of the property depends on the success of intra- and inter-governmental cooperation to manage regional development pressure, but at the same time, there is an urgent need to strengthen the management of the site to address the threats from poaching, livestock encroachment and illegal fishing.  The 2020 Reactive Monitoring mission report proposed several corrective measures to identify and reinforce the required management responses to the various threats and challenges facing the property.

Main activities

  • To achieve these objectives, we will work with the State Party to develop the DSCOR and implement a series of priority activities based on the recommendations of the 2020 Reactive Monitoring mission report to address the urgent threats identified above.

Partners

State Party of Kenya and a technical partner [to be identified]

This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of
the Norwegian government.

World Heritage Properties (1)
States parties (1)
Geographical focus
Africa
Dates
Date Start: Saturday, 1 May 2021
Date end: Monday, 1 May 2023
Decisions / Resolutions (1)
Code: 43COM 7A.12

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.4, 40 COM 7B.80 and 42 COM 7B.92, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Acknowledges the State Party of Kenya’s efforts to implement the newly approved Management Plan for 2018-2028, and requests the State Party to submit it and the Action Plans, to the World Heritage Centre, together with details of its implementation;
  4. Deeply regrets the continued lack of a consolidated response by the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to the Committee’s past requests, and reiterates its request to the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to provide a consolidated response on their progress to address the outstanding 2012 and 2015 mission recommendations as well as an update on the current status of the impounding of the Gibe III reservoir, and any mitigation measures being implemented;
  5. Also deeply regrets that the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the cumulative impacts of the multiple developments in the Lake Turkana Basin on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the affected properties, continues to be delayed;
  6. Welcomes the reported proposal by UN Environment to assist with the development of the overdue SEA, strongly urges the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to cooperate in this process, and also requests the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia, with the collaboration of UN Environment, to undertake the SEA in conformity with the Committee’s past decisions and the IUCN and ICOMOS guidance on impact assessments, to report on the projected timeline and progress in undertaking the SEA, and to submit the draft SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as it is available;
  7. Notes the ongoing revision of the SEA for Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project (LAPSSET), the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Lamu-Lokichar Crude Oil pipeline from Turkana county to Lamu and the proposed development of the geothermal power station at the Barrier Volcanic Complex south of the property, and further requests the State Party of Kenya, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, to submit all related impact assessments of projects, which may have potential impacts on the property, to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, before taking any decision that may be difficult to reverse;
  8. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.92 Paragraph 6, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018), welcomes the commitment of the State Party of Ethiopia to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the Kuraz Sugar Development Project, including a comprehensive assessment of potential downstream impacts on the OUV of the property, and requests the EIA to be submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies by 31 December 2019;
  9. Whilst noting the State Party of Kenya’s request to postpone the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property until 2020 once the SEA is at more advanced stage, considers that the mission should be undertaken as soon as possible to provide an up-to-date assessment on the state of conservation of the property under potential severe threat;
  10. Reiterates its request to the State Party of Kenya to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the property’s state of conservation, to review the impacts of the development projects in Ethiopia and Kenya on the property and the progress made to implement the past mission recommendations, and to develop, in consultation with the State Party of Ethiopia, a proposed set of corrective measures and a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 44th session in 2020;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 44th session in 2020;
  12. Decides to retain Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

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