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Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley

Kenya
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Renewable energy facilities (issue resolved)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

Total amount granted: USD 17,283 from UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa (2015-2016)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 1999-2006)
Total amount approved : 45,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 31 January 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/documents/, which addresses previous Committee decisions as follows:

  • The Kabarnet Declaration adopted in 2014 continues to be in effect;
  • Confirmation that no geothermal prospecting has been conducted on the boundaries of the property to date;
  • A revised Management Plan to address ecological and developmental issues around Lake Elementaita is being finalized in collaboration with various stakeholders, including local communities, and will be submitted upon completion;
  • Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary boundary modification exercise has been conducted through UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa funding, by undertaking ecological assessments of lake riparian and ecologically sensitive areas to inform conservation needs. This will not affect the property’s boundaries.

On 13 March 2017, the State Party informed the World Heritage Centre that the Attorney General’s office is considering the African Court’s judgment on the Endorois land, including the restitution of Lake Bogoria to the community.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The state of conservation report submitted by the State Party regrettably provides limited details on progress made to address the Committee’s previous decisions. Extensive details however are provided on Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary boundary modification project, which aims to address encroachment, clearance of natural riparian vegetation and tourist development, in the areas adjoining the lake.

Recalling Decision 35 COM 8B.6, in which the Committee encouraged the State Party to “upgrade the protection of Lake Elementaita through strengthened legal protection and prohibition of cattle grazing”, the above-mentioned project is a welcome initiative as it will expand the protected area to provide enhanced protection to the ecologically sensitive areas, and increase the role of local communities in its management. However, details of measures taken by the State Party to remove existing illegal developments, to restore affected areas, and to develop and implement strict and clear regulations to prohibit developments in close proximity to fragile habitats and in the critical buffer zone to the property, as requested by the Committee (Decision 39 COM 7B.5), have not been reported. In addition, none of the maps within the phase I project report appear to illustrate the new proposed boundaries.

The revision of Lake Elementaita Management Plan, in collaboration with local communities and other stakeholders, is also appreciated. In 2011, the Committee also encouraged the State Party to reinforce the link between the conservation of the three components of the property, including the area between Lakes Nakuru and Elementaita. The State Party may therefore also consider incorporating into the next phase of this project proposals to strengthen the protection of areas between the lakes.

It is noted that the Attorney General’s office is considering the African Court’s judgment on the Endorois land, including restitution of Lake Bogoria to the community. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7B.91 and 39 COM 7B.5, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue to report on progress made to implement the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Endorois decision to ensure the full and effective participation of the Endorois in the management and decision-making of Lake Bogoria. The Committee is also encouraged to reiterate its request (Decision 39 COM 7B.5) to the State Party to provide information on the current status of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs) for geothermal prospecting adjacent to the property.

On 27 April 2015, the State Party of Tanzania informed the World Heritage Centre that the National Development Corporation is investigating a soda ash deposit at Lake Natron. In Decision 39 COM 7B.5, the Committee acknowledged the State Party of Tanzania’s confirmation that it would not proceed with any activities until an EIA has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre. Recalling the Committee’s encouragement to the States Parties of Kenya and Tanzania and other relevant States Parties to consider potential transboundary serial extensions to the property (Decisions 35 COM 8B and 38 COM 7B.91), and in view of the critical importance of Lake Natron, located in Tanzania, for the conservation of lesser flamingo within the property, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party of Tanzania to report on these developments as soon as any information is available and before taking any decisions that may be difficult to reverse.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.21
Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya) (N 1060rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 8B.6, 38 COM 7B.91 and 39 COM 7B.5, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 38th (Doha, 2014) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Taking note of the progress of the Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary boundary modification project, which aims to address encroachment and clearance of natural riparian vegetation in the areas adjoining the property by expanding the protected area, requests the State Party to submit a map of the new proposed boundaries, and encourages the State Party to incorporate into the next phase of the project proposals to strengthen the protection of the areas between Lakes Nakuru and Elementaita ;
  4. Notes the reported collaboration between the State Party and the local communities in revising the Lake Elementaita Management Plan, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, upon completion;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to report on:
    1. The current status of potential geothermal prospecting activities undertaken adjacent to the property, including the status of any Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Progress made to implement the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Endorois ruling to ensure the full and effective participation of the Endorois in the management and decision-making of Lake Bogoria,
    3. Actions taken to ensure the removal of any existing illegal developments, to carry out the ecological restoration of affected areas, and to develop and implement strict and clear regulations to prohibit developments in close proximity to fragile habitats and in the critical buffer zone to the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Tanzania to report on the soda ash deposit investigation at Lake Natron as soon as any information is available, and before taking any decisions that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.21

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 8B.6, 38 COM 7B.91 and 39 COM 7B.5, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 38th (Doha, 2014) and 39th (Bonn, 2015) sessions respectively,
  3. Taking note of the progress of the Lake Elementaita Wildlife Sanctuary boundary modification project, which aims to address encroachment and clearance of natural riparian vegetation in the areas adjoining the property by expanding the protected area, requests the State Party to submit a map of the new proposed boundaries, and encourages the State Party to incorporate into the next phase of the project proposals to strengthen the protection of the areas between Lakes Nakuru and Elementaita ;
  4. Notes the reported collaboration between the State Party and the local communities in revising the Lake Elementaita Management Plan, which will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, upon completion;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to report on:
    1. The current status of potential geothermal prospecting activities undertaken adjacent to the property, including the status of any Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Progress made to implement the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Endorois ruling to ensure the full and effective participation of the Endorois in the management and decision-making of Lake Bogoria,
    3. Actions taken to ensure the removal of any existing illegal developments, to carry out the ecological restoration of affected areas, and to develop and implement strict and clear regulations to prohibit developments in close proximity to fragile habitats and in the critical buffer zone to the property;
  6. Also requests the State Party of Tanzania to report on the soda ash deposit investigation at Lake Natron as soon as any information is available, and before taking any decisions that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2018, 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 43rd session in 2019.
Report year: 2017
Kenya
Date of Inscription: 2011
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
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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