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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.81
Lake Malawi National Park (Malawi) (N 289)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.92, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Regrets that the information submitted by the State Party did not address the requests made by the Committee in its Decision 38 COM 7B.92;
  4. Reiterates its concern over oil exploration activities throughout the lake, noting that an accidental spill would pose a potentially severe risk to the entire lake ecosystem, including the aquatic zone and shoreline of the property, and urges the State Party to cancel the oil exploitation permit which overlaps with the property;
  5. Reiterates its position that oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, which is supported by the commitments made by industry leaders such as Shell and Total not to undertake such activities within World Heritage properties, and reiterates its call on Surestream and RAKGAS, that have been granted oil exploration concessions on the lake, to make a commitment to not exploit nor explore for oil or gas in World Heritage properties;
  6. Requests the State Party to ensure that any oil exploration activities outside of the property, as well as any other development that may impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including tourism developments, are subject to Environmental Impact Assessments in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the 2014 Reactive Monitoring mission;
  8. Also requests the State Party to complete the revision of the 2007-2011 management plan for the property and provide it for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, together with the approved sustainable tourism management strategy, in order to ensure that the revised management plan is aligned with the tourism plan and includes provisions for the implementation of the above-mentioned mission recommendations;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, a progress report and, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.
Decision Code
40 COM 7B.81
Conservation, Reports
State of conservation reports
2016 Lake Malawi National Park
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision