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World Heritage Convention

Decision 36 COM 7B.43
Lamu Old Town (Kenya) (C 1055)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.39, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Notes the general information provided by the State Party on the Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor, Lamu Port development, encroachment and uncontrolled development in the Shela sand dunes and Lamu Old Town;

4.   Expresses its strong concern that detailed information on the LAPSSET corridor and Lamu Port project, such as its scope, projected kinds of primary and secondary developments foreseen, projected economic and population data, has not been submitted by the State Party as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010) and 35th session (UNESCO, 2011);

5.   Notes with concern, that information made available by Kenyan government authorities to the public domain suggests a project of major scale, which may impact the social and cultural unity of Lamu Old Town, its environment and setting, in particular the coastline, tidal flows and the ecological balance of the water catchment area at the Shela sand dunes;

6.   Also expresses its concern about the likely negative impact of the LAPSSET corridor and the new Lamu Port and Metropolis, including secondary developments foreseen, on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7.   Requests the State Party to halt and prevent any further construction of the new Lamu Port and LAPSSET facilities at Lamu until:

a)  A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage Cultural Properties, to assess the project’s potential impact on the Outstanding Universal Value including its social, cultural and religious impacts, have been carried out by independent experts in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya (NMK),

b)  These EIA and HIA have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,

c)  Appropriate solutions to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is fully preserved, have been identified and agreed upon;

8.   Reiterates its request to the State Party to provide detailed information on the development of the LAPSSET corridor and new Lamu Port and Metropolis, and planned secondary developments, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, including but not limited to its scope, exact location of all developments, anticipated construction schedule as well as compensation procedures for traditional and legal land owners, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;

9.   Also reiterates its request to the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies:

a)  The requested maps showing the precise boundaries of the property and the buffer zones areas, indicating those gazetted at present as well as those planned to be gazetted in the near future,

b)  Three printed and electronic copies of the finalized draft Management Plan;

Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Decision Code
36 COM 7B.43
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2012 Lamu Old Town
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012)
Context of Decision