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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.92
Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) (N 801bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.4 and 40 COM 7B.80 adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes the collaboration between the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia towards establishing the Joint Ethiopia-Kenya Technical Experts Panel to oversee the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to assess the cumulative impacts of development projects in the Lake Turkana Basin;
  4. Deeply regrets that the SEA, which should have been completed by 1 February 2018, has still not been commissioned;
  5. Notes with utmost concern that the preliminary hydrological data for the Gibe III dam show that the seasonal fluctuation patterns of Lake Turkana have already been heavily disrupted, and urges the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to undertake the long- overdue SEA without further delay in order to assess the cumulative impacts of the multiple developments in the Lake Turkana Basin on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the affected properties, and to identify urgently needed mitigation measures;
  6. Also notes with utmost concern that the Kuraz Sugar Development Project is operational, and also urges the State Party of Ethiopia to halt all activities in relation to the project until an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), including a comprehensive assessment of potential downstream impacts on the OUV of the property, has been completed, and reviewed by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  7. In light of the transpiring impacts on water flow and the lake ecosystem, and continuation of works on the Gibe III dam and the Kuraz project in Ethiopia, without respecting the Committee’s request to undertake the necessary impact assessments prior to the works, including an SEA and implementation of mitigation measures, considers that the property’s OUV is increasingly subject to potential danger in conformity with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Notes with concern that the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Project may have potential impacts on the property’s OUV, and requests the State Party of Kenya to conduct Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Studies on specific projects of the LAPSSET clarifying how mitigation measures are implemented and monitored;
  9. Appreciates the progress made with the draft Management Plan 2018-2028 for the property, which includes a wildlife monitoring programme, feasibility assessment for the reintroduction of Grevy’s zebra and the involvement of local communities to address livestock grazing inside the property, and also requests the State Party of Kenya to finalize and implement the Management Plan without delay;
  10. Decides to inscribe Lake Turkana National Parks (Kenya) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  11. Also regrets that a comprehensive update on the implementation of the outstanding 2012 and 2015 mission recommendations has not been provided, and reiterates its request to the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia to provide a consolidated response as well as an update on the current status of the impounding of the Gibe III reservoir, and any mitigation measures being implemented;
  12. Further requests the State Party of Kenya to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the property’s state of conservation, and review the impacts of the development projects in Ethiopia and Kenya on the property and the progress made to implement the past mission recommendations, and to develop, in consultation with the States Parties of Kenya and Ethiopia, a proposed set of corrective measures and a Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), for examination by the Committee at its 43rd session in 2019;
  13. Requests furthermore the State Party of Kenya to ensure that all the mitigation measures proposed in the EIA for the Turkana Wind Farm project are implemented, and to provide a report on progress made to mitigate impacts on the property;
  14. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.92
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Lake Turkana National Parks
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision