Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2001
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 31,776
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount provided to the property: for a Heritage Impact Assessment in 2014: 85,000 USD: Netherlands Funds-in-Trust; for a workshop on Historic Urban Landscapes in 2011: 22,943 USD: Flanders Funds-in-Trust.
Previous monitoring missions
March 2004: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS monitoring mission; February 2005: World Heritage Centre advisory mission on water and sanitation assessments; May 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission.
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014
The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 1 February 2014, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/documents/. Issues stemming from previous Committee decisions include the implementation of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Lamu Port – South Sudan – Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor Development Authority project and halting work on the project until the results of the HIA are finalized, the development of a new section of the management plan to deal with impacts of the project, and the submission of new maps showing the extent of the boundary and buffer zone for the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
There is some concern that the work on the LAPSSET development project has not been halted as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its previous session, in order to wait until the HIA has been carried out and its results discussed by the Committee.
The State Party has undertaken great efforts to carry out the HIA. There has been however some delay in the finalization of the HIA in order to ensure that all necessary information is taken into account, including adequate stakeholder consultations. This document is a crucial tool in understanding the heritage impacts of the massive LAPSSET development project. While waiting for the final results of the HIA, however, there remains concern about the size and scope of the project and its potential impacts on the very delicate cultural and natural ecosystems of the Lamu Archipelago and the property. There is particular concern on the physical fabric of the inscribed area, its infrastructure, its cultural practices, and the livelihoods of its communities, which are all integral parts of the OUV of the property, as well as about the possible environmental impacts of the project, in particular in relation to the dredging of the port and the destruction of mangrove habitats, which may also have indirect negative impacts on the property.
The reports of lack of community involvement and input into the process should also be noted with concern. The mission to carry out the HIA found that residents’ concerns about the project were, at least in part, due to the lack of information and involvement in the process. For the LAPSSET development project to have as minimal an impact as possible on the property, it will be necessary for the people of Lamu, who are the embodiment of Swahili culture, to have as much input as possible in mitigation of the development pressures. There will be a need for strong, proactive measures to protect the buildings, infrastructure, and cultural practices of the Lamu Old Town in the face of the rapid changes to the built and social environment that the project will bring.
Work is underway on additions to the management plan, which will take into account this development project, and would require that the additional chapter of the management plan be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as it is finalized. However, it cannot be finalized until the HIA report is completed and validated, and mitigation measures are decided upon.
With regards to the provision of maps of the boundary and buffer zone of the property, this request has been made to the State Party every year since 2010. Progress has been reported, but the clarification of the property boundary would need to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible in accordance with the previous Committee decisions. With regards to the extension of the buffer zone reported by the State Party, it s recommended that the Committee request that this extension be submitted as a minor boundary modification as soon as possible for its approval.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.49
The World Heritage Committee,