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Decision 42 COM 7B.96
Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania) (N 156)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.7, 38 COM 7B.94 and 40 COM 7B.83 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 38th (Doha, 2014) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), respectively,
  3. Commends the State Party on its anti-poaching efforts, contributing to further reduced elephant poaching and maintaining zero poaching of rhinos in the property;
  4. Notes with utmost concern that a series of dams have been proposed upstream of the property in Kenya, which could have a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Serengeti National Park and Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley World Heritage properties, and requests the State Party of Kenya to submit to the World Heritage Centre, without delay, all available preliminary and full Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) to the World Heritage Centre for review;
  5. Reiterates its request to the States Parties of Tanzania and Kenya to develop and implement a joint management plan for the Mara River basin to sustainably manage water resources, and also requests the State Party of Tanzania to inform the World Heritage Centre on the status of updating the 2006-2016 General Management Plan;
  6. Appreciates that the State Party is undertaking a feasibility study and a preliminary design for two options for the Serengeti Southern Bypass route, and further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre for review as soon as available:
    1. The Route Option Selection Report and the feasibility study and preliminary design, including a map of the proposed alignments, upon completion by the end of September 2018,
    2. The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the Comprehensive Transport and Trade System Development Master Plan;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to reaffirm its commitments to maintain the northern road traversing the property as a gravel road under Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) management and reserved mainly for tourism and administrative purposes (Decision 35 COM 7B.7) and to abandon the construction of the proposed northern highway (Decision 38 COM 7B.94);
  8. Considers that the Belabela Lodge proposed within the ‘low-use zone’ of the property close to a wildebeest migration route could pose a potential threat to the property’s OUV, and requests moreover the State Party to undertake an EIA of the proposed lodge, including a specific assessment of potential impacts on OUV in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review;
  9. Welcomes the proposal to include the ecologically important Speke Gulf into the property, which would require a request for boundary modification in line with the appropriate provisions in the Operational Guidelines, and encourages the State Party to ensure compensation for affected communities that were legally residing in the proposed area, and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed;
  10. Notes that based on the submitted EIA the proposed upgrade of the Mugumu airport has been significantly downsized from the initial plans to construct an international airport, also considers that it will no longer pose a significant threat to the property’s OUV, but requests in addition the State Party to monitor and mitigate any potential indirect impacts should the project move forward;
  11. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, which should also meet with representatives of the State Party of Kenya, to assess threats posed by the dams proposed upstream of the property in Kenya, and any other developments that may impact the property’s OUV;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, a progress report and, by 1 December 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 44th session in 2020.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.96
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Year
2018
State of conservation reports
2018 Serengeti National Park
Documents
WHC/18/42.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision
WHC-18/42.COM/7B
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