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Decision 43 COM 7B.107
Lamu Old Town (Kenya) (C 1055)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 27 COM 7B.31, 33 COM 7B.44, 34 COM 7B.46, 40 COM 7B.12, 41 COM 7B.69, and 42 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 27th (UNESCO, 2003), 33rd (Seville, 2009), 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016), 41st (Krakow, 2017) and 42nd (Manama, 2018) sessions respectively,
  3. Regrets that the State Party provides only limited information on the state of conservation of the property, and reiterates its requests to the State Party, as a matter of urgency, to submit to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies:
    1. An updated clearly delineated map of the property and its enlarged buffer zone, which should be formalized through a request for minor boundary modification in line with Paragraph 164 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Full details of the overall scope of the Lamu Port−South Sudan−Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project, including the Lamu resort city, and clarification of fishing plans, mangrove planting, and surveys of coastal morphology,
    3. The requested Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Manda airport extension,
    4. The LAPSSET Planning and Investment Framework,
    5. The Action Plan for the Lamu Old Town Cultural Heritage Committee with strict deadlines for all components defined therein,
    6. The revised Management Plan for Lamu Island;
  4. Requests the State Party to submit an assessment of the condition of the built fabric of Lamu Old Town, including, as far as possible, an overview of how this has developed since inscription of the property on the World Heritage List;
  5. Urges the State Party to complete the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the LAPSSET Agency, to ensure this MOU grants the NMK a seat in the LAPSSET Agency Board and to submit the MOU to the World Heritage Centre once completed;
  6. Also requests the State Party to undertake a review of all government and independent environmental and heritage impact assessments of the LAPSSET project and the Lamu Coal Plan, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, and by 1 February 2020;
  7. Further requests the State Party to revise the draft Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the LAPSSET project by:
    1. Assessing the individual and cumulative impacts of the project on cultural and natural heritage, including the impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of Lamu Old Town and the ecological services that support the wider community of the property, and by proposing mitigation measures,
    2. Urgently implementing the decisions of the National Environmental Tribunal of 26 June 2019, No. NET 196[1] of 2016, in respect to the development of Lamu Coal Project, that requires the State Party to conduct a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment,
    3. Aligning, as appropriate, the SEA for the LAPSSET project and the SEA for the developments in the Lake Turkana Basin, with a view to assessing all potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the development projects on the OUV of all affected World Heritage properties;
  8. Requests furthermore that the State Party submit a revised LAPSSET SEA, a Heritage Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment of the proposal for the Lamu Coal Project that considers the impacts on the OUV of Lamu Old Town, and other requested documents above, to the World Heritage Centre for review, before proceeding with the Lamu Coal Project;
  9. Following the security clearance by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), requests moreover the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to review the process and conclusions of the various environmental and heritage impact assessments, the stakeholder engagement processes and the state of conservation of the property;
  10. Encourages the State Party, as needed, to request technical and/or financial support from the World Heritage Fund, other States Parties to the World Heritage Convention or other potential donors or partners in finalizing the Management Plan, the delineation of the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone, and assessing the state of conservation of the built fabric of the property;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to OUV, and in line with Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

[1] See http://kenyalaw.org/caselaw/cases/view/176697/

Decision Code
43 COM 7B.107
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2019 Lamu Old Town
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision