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Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest

Kenya
Factors affecting the property in 2001*
  • Avalanche/ landslide
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Livestock farming / grazing of domesticated animals
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Illegal activities leading to serious destruction of canopy and a decrease of the overall forest area
  • Livestock grazing in the site
  • Fire
  • Landslides
  • Cannabis cultivation
  • Lack of implementation of the Management Plan

 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2001
Requests approved: 1 (from 2000-2000)
Total amount approved : 25,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2001**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations: 
Twenty-third session of the Committee - page 90 of Annex VII
Twenty-fourth session of the Bureau – paragraph IV.31
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee – paragraph VIII.25 / Annex X page 114.

Main IssuesTransition of management, deforestation and rehabilitation;

New informationThe Centre received an e-mail letter dated 12 April 2001 from the Director of the Kenya National Parks in which he informed the Centre that the State Party has had some delay in preparing a management plan from the international assistance (US$25,000) approved by the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau. IUCN is concerned about the ongoing illegal activities in the Mt. Kenya Forest, despite the Kenya Wildlife Service taking over responsibility last year for a larger part of the Mt. Kenya Forest. Forest land excisions still take place on the ground, in particular in the Mt. Hombe and Ragati blocks of Mt Kenya Forest, outside the World Heritage site. In February 2001, the Environment Minister gave 28-days notice of intent to allocate 68,000 hectares of forest land, including locations around Mt. Kenya, for settlement, and there are reports that surveyors are working in the Hombe and Ragati blocks in an attempt to start land demarcation before the implementation of the Forest Bill. However, on 16 March, 2001 it was reported that the Kenyan High Court granted an injunction to prevent authorities allowing forests to be cleared.  These forests will now remain state property until a case filed against the Minister for the Environment is heard.  Cannabis plantations continue to pose a threat to conservation of the Mt. Kenya. Plantations  range in size from 2 to 3 acres and are located on the Embu and Meru South slopes of Mt. Kenya . When plantations are destroyed by anti-narcotics police growers simply move deeper into the forest.  Despite the arrest of some plantations guards, the authorities have not been able to identify plantation owners. The police and Kenya Wildlife Service do not currently have adequate resources to eliminate the plantations.

IUCN recommends that the Bureau invite the State Party to provide further information by 15 September 2001 on its actions to combat deforestation in the vicinity of Mount Kenya. IUCN urges the State Party to invite a monitoring mission to this site as suggested by the World Heritage Bureau in November 2000.

Action Required
The Bureau welcomes the recommendations of IUCN, and requests the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party with a view to undertake a monitoring mission to the site to ascertain its state of conservation. The Bureau further requests the State Party to co-operate with the Centre and IUCN in order to complete the management plan and a programme for the rehabilitation of the site and to provide information on its actions to combat deforestation  to be submitted to the Centre by 15 September  2001 for consideration by the twenty-fifth session of the Bureau.
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

The Centre and IUCN received a letter from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) noting that IUCN had ‘requested KWS nominate Mt Kenya World Heritage Site for inclusion in the List of World Heritage in Danger’, and expressing opposition to the ‘proposed de-listing of Mt Kenya World Heritage site.   The letter noted that the management of the site had recently been transferred from the Forest Department to the KWS with the aim of enhancing management and enforcement.  The KWS reported that it had extended the boundaries of the site to include the natural forest, and was in the process of preparing an integrated management plan. IUCN has responded to the State Party by:  clarifying its role as an Advisory Body; outlining the process involved in listing sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger;  explaining the implications of inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and outlining the purpose of monitoring missions and the need for such missions to be approved by the State Party.  The Centre and IUCN note that the delay in receiving an invitation from the Kenyan State Party for a monitoring mission appears to be related to a misunderstanding on what was requested by the Bureau in June 2001.  The KWS was of the understanding that the request for a mission with the view to considering whether the site should be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger constituted automatic inclusion in this List, as well as subsequent removal from the World Heritage List.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001
25 BUR V.91-92
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)

V.91       The Bureau noted that the State Party has had some delay in preparing a management plan from the international assistance approved by the twenty-fourth session of the Bureau. IUCN was concerned about the ongoing illegal activities in the Mt. Kenya Forest, despite the Kenya Wildlife Service taking over responsibility last year for a larger part of the Mt. Kenya Forest. Forest excisions still take place on the ground, in particular in the Mt. Hombe and Ragati blocks of Mt Kenya Forest, outside the World Heritage site. In February 2001, the Environment Minister gave a 28-day notice of intent to allocate 68,000 hectares of forest land, including locations around Mt. Kenya, for settlement, and there are reports that surveyors are working in the Hombe and Ragati blocks in an attempt to start land demarcation before the implementation of the Forest Bill. However, on 16 March 2001 it was reported that the Kenyan High Court granted an injunction to prevent authorities allowing forests to be cleared.  These forests will now remain state property until a case filed against the Minister for the Environment is heard.  Cannabis plantations continue to pose a threat to conservation of the Mt. Kenya. Plantations range in size from 2 to 3 acres and are located on the Embu and Meru South slopes of Mt. Kenya. When plantations are destroyed by anti-narcotics police, growers simply move deeper into the forest.  Despite the arrest of some plantation guards, the authorities have not been able to identify plantation owners. The police and Kenya Wildlife Service do not currently have adequate resources to eliminate the plantations.

V.92       The Bureau welcomed the IUCN recommendations and requested the Centre and IUCN to co-operate with the State Party with a view to undertaking a monitoring mission to the site to ascertain its state of conservation. The Bureau further requested the State Party to co-operate with the Centre and IUCN in order to complete the management plan and a programme for the rehabilitation of the site and to provide information on its actions to combat deforestation, to be submitted to the Centre by 15 September 2001 for consideration by the twenty-fifth extraordinary session of the Bureau.

25 COM VIII.88
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya)

VIII.88 The Committee requested the State Party to invite a mission to the site as soon as possible to enable an independent assessment of the state of conservation of the World Heritage site.

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following for transmission to the Committee:

"The Committee requests the State Party to invite a mission to the site as soon as possible to enable an independent assessment of the state of conservation of the World Heritage site."

Report year: 2001
Kenya
Date of Inscription: 1997
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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