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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.12
Lamu Old Town (Kenya) (C 1055)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 34 COM 7B.46, 35 COM 7B.39, 36 COM 7B.43, 37 COM 7B.40, 38 COM 7B.49, and 39 COM 7B.40, adopted at its 34th (Brasilia, 2010), 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012), 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013), 38th (Doha, 2014), and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the assurance of the State Party that the Lamu-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project will exclude the Lamu archipelago; but notes that the project will cause strong related development pressures for the entire region including the archipelago;
  4. Expresses its concern that ongoing work on the LAPSSET project, including the completion of the first two buildings on the Lamu mainland, along with the construction of Manda airport, are progressing, without the development of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), as requested by the Committee,
  5. Urges the State Party to undertake, as a matter of priority, the already requested SEA of the overall LAPSSET project, as a basis for identifying ways to strengthen the protection, development control and management of the property, including a reconsideration of the buffer zone, and to ensure that the Port project and its associated infrastructure and development do not have a major negative impact on the property and its setting; and requests the submission of the SEA to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, by 1 February 2017;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as possible in advance of the SEA being undertaken, and by 1 October 2016, for review by the Advisory Bodies, full details of the overall scope of the LAPSSET project, including the Lamu resort city, and clarification of fishing plans, mangrove planting, and surveys of coastal morphology;
  7. Regrets that details of the project for Manda airport, including the construction of a new terminal building and the lengthening of the runway, was not submitted to the World Heritage Centre with a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), as requested, before the project was approved, and also requests the State Party to provide details of this project to the World Heritage Centre;
  8. Also regrets that no progress has been reported on the revision of the management plan to include a new chapter covering the LAPSSET development project on how the impacts identified within the 2014 HIA on the first phase would be mitigated, how recommendations from the HIA will be implemented, and how the wider setting of the property will be protected, whether by an enlarged buffer zone or other means;
  9. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to take into account the recommendations of both the 2014 HIA and the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission as it continues to develop the LAPSSET project and to strengthen the integration of the LAPSSET project with the Lamu City Council and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK), including, in particular, by appointing an NMK representative on the LAPSSET Board, and to widen and strengthen community engagement;
  10. Considers that in the absence of adequate detailed information and impact assessments on the overall major LAPSSET project, and any detailed understanding as to how the already identified negative impacts from the first phase will be mitigated, that the property is under potential danger from the acknowledged development pressures associated with the port project;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 41st session in 2017.
Decision Code
40 COM 7B.12
Conservation, Reports
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Lamu Old Town
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision