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Decision 38 COM 7B.48
Lower Omo Valley (Ethiopia) (C 17)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.39, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) on the potential impacts of the Ethiopian Sugar Development Corporation Project (Kuraz project) on the Lower Omo Valley;
  4. Notes that this HIA indicates the potential for massive adverse impacts on the property from the irrigation and excavations associated with the development of sugar plantations, settlements and access routes, and also notes that there is conflicting information on the precise extent and location of the Kuraz project;
  5. Strongly urges the State Party to provide as soon as possible clear documentation on the scope and extent of the project and its precise location with regards to the property, in order to clarify whether it is within the property or its buffer zone; and requests clear information on the impact on pastoral communities with regards to resettlement schemes;
  6. Also recalls its request to the State Party to submit the final report of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out in 2011 to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also requests the State Party to improve the HIA with a detailed cultural heritage assessment based on the precise details of the Kuraz project and the precise attributes of the property and to submit these to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any irreversible decisions are made;
  8. Further notes that the State Party has obtained funding from the European Union Development Project, which will enable the boundary delineation and management plan to be developed in 2014/2015;
  9. Encourages the State Party to carry out an assessment of fossil-bearing sediments, as recommended by the HIA, in order to more clearly define areas of potential archaeological importance;
  10. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property to consider the above issues and the potential impact of the Kuraz project;
  11. Recognizes the high “Paleo-tourism” potential of the site noted in the HIA, and recommends that the State Party seek funding to test new tourism management tools, which have been developed recently through the World Heritage Sustainable Tourism Programme;
  12. Acknowledges the State Party’s urgent wish for international assistance for the site management plan and a possible extension of the property, and also encourages the submission of an International Assistance request to the World Heritage Fund before the next annual deadline of 31 October 2014;
  13. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Decision Code
38 COM 7B.48
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Year
2014
Keywords
HIA
State of conservation reports
2014 Lower Valley of the Omo
Documents
WHC-14/38.COM/16
Report of the Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014)
Context of Decision
WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add
Other Documents (1)
Report on the joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission to Lower Valley of The Omo World Heritage Property, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, 13 - 19 April 2015
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