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Decision 36 COM 7B.3
Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) (N 801bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Takes note of the results of the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission undertaken to Kenya to assess the state of conservation of the property and in particular the impact of the GIBE III dam project and related developments;

4.   Reiterates its utmost concern about the potential and ascertained cumulative impacts on Lake Turkana of the GIBE III dam, the related on-going and planned irrigation projects as well as the planned Gibe IV and V dams, and considers that these developments represent a clear potential threat to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in accordance with Paragraph 180 (b) of the Operational Guidelines;

5.   Urges the State Party of Ethiopia to invite the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to review the impacts of the GIBE III dam on the Outstanding Universal Value of Lake Turkana, as was done by the State Party of Kenya;

6.   Also urges the State Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to address this issue on a bilateral basis and conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment (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 Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7.   Further reiterates its request to the State Party of Ethiopia to immediately halt all construction on the GIBE III dam and related irrigation projects until the SEA is completed and appropriate corrective measures have been identified and implemented;

8.   Takes note that oil exploration licences have been granted for exploration blocks which cover part of the property, but that so far no oil exploration activities have been carried out or are planned within the property, and requests the State Party of Kenya to clarify the provision already included within the oil exploration licence on the protection of the World Heritage property, to ensure that no exploration can take place within the property;

9.   Calls on 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;

10.  Notes the significant impacts of poaching, fishing and livestock grazing on the property reported by the World Heritage Centre / IUCN monitoring mission, and requests the State Party to implement the recommendations of the mission to address these and other management issues, in particular:

a)  Conduct a detailed census of key wildlife species to establish their status and develop a baseline to monitor their recovery,

b)  Strengthen the efficiency of law enforcement and surveillance based on the results of the MIST monitoring system which is being introduced in the property,

c)  Establish a permanent presence of Kenya Wildlife Servive staff in the northern part of Sibiloi National Park as well as on Central and South Island National Parks,

d)  Develop in close consultation with representatives of the local pastoralist communities a strategy to diminish grazing pressure in the property, including by identifying grazing areas outside the property and provide them with access to water,

e)  Assess the feasibility of reintroducing  flagship species which have disappeared from the property such as reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra;

11.  Also requests Kenya Wildlife Service and National Museums of Kenya to ensure that the new management plan addresses all three components of the property and covers both the biodiversity and paleontological values;

12.  Further requests the State Party of Kenya in cooperation with the State Party of Ethiopia to develop based on the corrective measures identified through the SEA, a timeframe and costed action plan for their implementation as well as a draft Desired state of conservation;

13.  Requests furthermore the States Parties of Ethiopia and Kenya to submit to the World Heritage Centre, 1 February 2013, information on the negotiations between Ethiopia and Kenya and a progress report on the implementation of the above mentioned requested actions for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

14.  Decides not to inscribe Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger before the completion of a mission by the Advisory Bodies to the State Party of Ethiopia as recommended in paragraph 5.

Decision Code
36 COM 7B.3
Conservation, Outstanding Universal Value, Reinforced Monitoring
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2012 Lake Turkana National Parks
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012)
Context of Decision
Other Documents (1)
Reactive Monitoring Mission to Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya), 14 – 22 March 2012