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Lamu Old Town

Kenya
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • Air transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Marine transport infrastructure
  • Solid waste
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of dwellings

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/ management and conservation plan
  • Clarification of boundaries and buffer zone
  • Pressure from urban development
  • Marine transport infrastructure
  • Air transport infrastructure
  • Encroachment of the archaeological sites
  • Housing/ Deterioration of dwellings
  • Solid waste
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

Total amount provided: 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 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2017
Requests approved: 3 (from 2000-2010)
Total amount approved : 31,776 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

March 2004: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS monitoring mission; February 2005: World Heritage Centre Advisory mission on water and sanitation assessments; May 2010 and February 2015: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring missions

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2017

On 27 January 2017, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report along with a PowerPoint presentation (PPT) on the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Lamu Port−South Sudan−Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project, which are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1055/documents/ and report on the following issues:

  • The process for carrying out an SEA on the LAPSSET project was initiated in August 2015, and a summary of the tenders received was published in March 2016. Repcon Associates was selected as the consultant, and in June 2016 a stakeholder meeting was held on Lamu Island in cooperation with the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). The PPT used during the stakeholder meeting gives general background to the concept of an SEA, and provides the scope of the work to be carried out in Lamu including basic summary information on stakeholders to be consulted, general observations, existing concerns, and priority concerns and issues to be explored;
  • A new chapter of the Management Plan, taking into account the LAPSSET project, has been written and sent to the Lamu County government (along with the Heritage Impact Assessment –HIA – for the first three berths) for consideration and adoption. Concerning the airport at Manda Island, the project to upgrade the airport is not part of the LAPSSET project, but rather part of an effort to improve air transportation in the country. The project consisted of the construction of a new terminal building and the paving of the runway.  According to the report, the work carried out is not visible from the World Heritage property;
  • The NMK has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the LAPSSET Authority to cater for its heritage conservation interests.

The State Party also submitted the following documents to the World Heritage Centre:

  • The LAPSSET Feasibility Study and Master Plan (dated 2011) received on 23 December 2016;
  • A PPT on the LAPSSET Corridor Investment Framework for a workshop held in February 2017 received on 18 April 2017;
  • Brief on LAPSSET Corridor Programme in relation to Lamu Old Town (not dated) received on 18 April 2017; and
  • SEA for the LAPSSET project (dated January 2017) received on 2 May 2017.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

Owing to their late submission, the extensive PPT submitted on 18 April 2017 and the SEA submitted on 2 May could not be fully taken into account in this analysis. However, the SEA does not appear to deal adequately with the World Heritage status of the property, nor does the SEA reference the HIA carried out in 2014, as was requested by the Committee (Decision 39 COM 7B.40). Therefore, it is regrettable that the scoping study of the project was not submitted to the World Heritage Centre for comment by the Advisory Bodies before the SEA was undertaken, as requested by the Committee in Decision 40 COM 7B.12.

It is recommended that the Committee note the receipt of the SEA, but request the State Party to revise it in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies taking into account the World Heritage status of the property. It is also recommended that the Committee recall that the 2012 Reactive Monitoring mission to Lake Turkana National Parks World Heritage property considered that the cumulative impacts of the LAPSSET project could also affect Lake Turkana, and recommended that the SEA take into account Lake Turkana and other potentially impacted World Heritage properties. As requested by the Committee in Decision 40 COM 7B.12, the SEA should serve as a basis for ensuring that the project and its associated infrastructure and development do not have a major negative impact on the properties and their settings and thus on their OUV.

The LAPSSET Feasibility Study and Master Plan (dated 2011) submitted by the State Party in December 2016 does not contain any updated information with regard to the 2014 HIA or changes in timelines. Initially, the resort city associated with the LAPSSET project was foreseen to be finished in 2017. In Decision 40 COM 7B.12, the Committee noted the State Party’s assurance that the project would exclude the Lamu Archipelago, but this remains unclear. The ambiguities surrounding the LAPSSET project make it difficult for the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to make any sort of informed evaluation of its actual and potential impact on the property. Furthermore, there is concern that if the SEA was carried out based on the 2011 document, it might have missed important changes subsequently made to project. Although the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on heritage conservation between the LAPSSET Authority and NMK is welcomed, it is regrettable that cultural heritage does not appear to be adequately addressed in the LAPSSET-related documents submitted by the State Party.

It is also regrettable that a formal report of the stakeholders meeting regarding the LAPSSET project held in June 2016 and the draft Management Plan of the property have not been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for comment by the Advisory Bodies. Moreover, the Brief on the LAPSSET Corridor Programme in relation to Lamu Old Town submitted in April 2017 does not refer to either Lamu Old Town or to the Lake Turkana National Parks, both World Heritage properties.

No HIA was carried out, and no detailed information was received prior to completing the work for the upgrading of the Manda Island Airport, although requested by the Committee in Decision 40 COM 7B.12. The report states that the airport is not visible from the property, but there are other potential impacts that should have been taken into account such as noise, pollution, and related infrastructure developments. Therefore, although the airport project has already been completed and may not be part of the LAPSSET project, the possible impact on the OUV of the property still needs to be evaluated.   

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7B.69
Lamu Old Town (Kenya) (C 1055)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.40 and 40 COM 7B.12, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Lamu Port−South Sudan−Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Authority and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) according to which NMK should provide heritage advisory services to the LAPSSET project;
  4. Notes that the 2011 Feasibility Study and Master Plan for the LAPSSET project are complete as well as, the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) carried out in 2014 and continues to encourage the State Party to exclude the Lamu Archipelago from any LAPSSET developments, and acknowledges that whilst the LAPSSET project is ongoing, the details of the LAPSSET project be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, and no later than 1 December 2017;
  5. Reiterates its concern that the LAPSSET project will significantly increase the development pressures for the entire region, including the Lamu Archipelago, and that consideration must be given to all potential impacts on the World Heritage property caused by such pressures;
  6. Notes the late submission of the above-mentioned Strategic and Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the LAPSSET project to the World Heritage Centre, but urges the State Party to revise it, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and submit this revised SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies no later than 1 December 2017;
  7. Notes with concern that an HIA for the already completed Manda Airport upgrade has not been undertaken, although requested by the Committee, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake such an HIA as soon as possible in order to identify any adverse impacts on the property and ways to mitigate these impacts, and to submit the HIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Requests that the revised Management Plan, including the new chapter covering the LAPSSET development project, be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as possible and no later than 1 December 2017;
  9. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to clarify the current scope of the LAPSSET project in relation to its actual and potential impacts on the Lamu Old Town property, to examine work already carried out for the LAPSSET project and on the Manda airport developments, and to examine the overall state of conservation of the Lamu Old Town property;
  10. Acknowledges the submission of a draft SEA report and urges the State Party to continue enhancing the mitigation measures to address the identified negative impacts of the project in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018.
Draft Decision: 41 COM 7B.69

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.40 and 40 COM 7B.12, adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Lamu Port−South Sudan−Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Authority and the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) according to which NMK should provide heritage advisory services to the LAPSSET project, but regrets that the World Heritage status of the property does not appear to be adequately addressed in the LAPSSET-related documents submitted by the State Party;
  4. Also regrets that the 2011 Feasibility Study and Master Plan for the LAPSSET project have not been updated to take into account the new timeline, the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) carried out in 2014 and the State Party’s past commitment to exclude the Lamu Archipelago from any LAPSSET developments, and reiterates its request that full details of the LAPSSET project be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible, and no later than 1 December 2017;
  5. Reiterates its concern that the LAPSSET project will significantly increase the development pressures for the entire region, including the Lamu Archipelago, and that consideration must be given to all potential impacts on the World Heritage property caused by such pressures;
  6. Recalls the outcomes of the 2012 mission to Lake Turkana National Parks World Heritage property, which considered that the cumulative impacts of the LAPSSET project could also affect Lake Turkana, and that the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is needed as a basis for ensuring that the project and its associated infrastructure and development do not have a major negative impact on the properties and wider settings;
  7. Notes the late submission of the above-mentioned SEA of the LAPSSET project to the World Heritage Centre, but strongly urges the State Party to revise it, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, as a matter of priority, to take into account both Lamu Old Town and Lake Turkana National Parks World Heritage properties, any changes to the project since 2011, the recommendations of both the 2014 HIA and the 2015 mission, and submit this revised SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies no later than 1 December 2017;
  8. Notes with concern that an HIA for the already completed Manda Airport upgrade has not been undertaken, although requested by the Committee, and also reiterates its request to the State Party to undertake such an HIA as soon as possible in order to identify any adverse impacts on the property and ways to mitigate these impacts, and to submit the HIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Requests that the revised Management Plan, including the new chapter covering the LAPSSET development project, be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, as soon as possible and no later than 1 December 2017;
  10. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to clarify the current scope of the LAPSSET project in relation to its actual and potential impacts on the Lamu Old Town and Lake Turkana National Parks World Heritage properties, to examine work already carried out for the LAPSSET project and on the Manda airport developments, and to examine the overall state of conservation of the Lamu Old Town property;
  11. Continues to consider that in the absence of a comprehensive SEA including adequate consideration of heritage aspects, detailed information on the overall LAPSSET project, and on measures to mitigate the identified negative impacts, the property is under potential danger, in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
  12. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 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 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2017
Kenya
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
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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