Decision : CONF 202 IV.B.31
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)
The Bureau noted that IUCN has received a report on 'Aerial Survey of the Destruction of Mt. Kenya, Imenti and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserves, February-June 1999' prepared by the Kenya Wildlife Service and dated August 1999. The results of the survey, which have been substantiated by other sources, have established that the whole of Mt. Kenya and the Imenti Forests are heavily impacted by illegal activities leading to serious destruction below the bamboo/bamboo-podocarpus belt. Results from this survey have noted severe impacts associated with: illegal, unsustainable logging of indigenous tree species; past and on-going extensive charcoal production; expansion of human settlements and associated crop cultivation, which have restricted elephant migration from the mountains; cultivation of marijuana extending over more than 200 hectares; illegal hunting; and increased incidence of fire associated with encroachment of human settlements.
These factors are contributing towards significant negative long-term impacts, such as: disruption of wildlife habitat; loss of biodiversity; and deterioration of watershed services provided by the Mountain. All these impacts impair tourism development, retard poverty alleviation efforts and lead to increasing human/wildlife conflicts.
The Bureau further noted that discussions on improving the management of the site are in progress following the receipt by the Secretariat of a letter dated 29 May 2000 from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, in which the State Party proposes to extend Mount Kenya World Heritage site to include the current National Park, entire natural forest and the plantation areas.
The Bureau noted with concern the reported impacts on this site, and requested the State Party to provide to the next Committee session a plan of actions to alleviate the threats identified in the August 1999 report of the Kenya Wildlife Services. The Bureau also recommended that the State Party consider inviting a UNESCO/IUCN mission to consider whether this site needs to be included in the List of World Heritage in Danger.