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Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest

Kenya
Factors affecting the property in 2011*
  • Fire (widlfires)
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Other Threats:

    community-wildlife conflit

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Illegal forest resource extraction;

b) Community-wildlife conflict;

c) Poaching;

d) Excisions from the property. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2011
Requests approved: 1 (from 2000-2000)
Total amount approved : 25,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2011**

January 2003: joint UNESCO / IUCN monitoring mission ; October 2008: joint UNESCO/ IUCN monitoring mission 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 28 January 2010, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property together with a copy of the management plan 2010-2020 for the Mount Kenya ecosystem, the EIA for the proposed electric fence and associated civil works, the survey of the boundary delineation of plantation and indigenous forests and a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). This report provides an update on the implementation of the key recommendations made by the 2008 World Heritage Centre/IUCN joint reactive monitoring mission, namely: i) completing the EIA for the fence between local community cropland and the property; ii) formalising management arrangements between the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS); iii) finalising the alignment, documentation and on-the-ground demarcation of the proposed internal boundary between forestry plantation zones and natural forest; iv) finalising the Mount Kenya Management Plan; and v) maintaining and enhancing protection activities to address poaching, logging and forest fires within the property. However, no information is provided on the implementation of the other 2008 mission recommendations, as requested in Decision 33 COM 7B.3.

a) Fencing of the property to address the community-wildlife conflict

The State Party reports that the EIA for the fence between local community cropland and the forest reserve was undertaken in March 2009. This proposal aims at establishing 397 km of additional electric fence to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. A fencing work plan, sponsored by IFAD/ GEF through the Mount Kenya East Pilot Project for Natural Resources Management (MKEPP), was jointly developed by the fence management committee, comprising KWS, KFS, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and local and other stakeholders. The State Party reports that a total of 305 km have already been built. The fencing EIA, for the first phase of additional fence construction of 50 km, concludes that the fence should be aligned along the forest reserve boundary, and that a combination of comprehensive fence (6 strand) along community farm borders and semi-comprehensive elephant-barrier (2 strand) along plantation boundaries should be built. However, the EIA does not specifically assess the likely impacts of this proposal on the OUV of the property. The State Party also notes that an elephant corridor connecting Mt. Kenya and the northern rangeland through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (LWC) has been marked and. completed

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the finalisation of the EIA for the fence, as requested in Decision 33 COM 7B.3 and, support its conclusion that future fencing phases should be reassessed in separate EIAs. They stress that any future EIAs should specifically consider the likely impacts of additional fencing on the property’s OUV, and note that the long term effectiveness of fencing as a deterrent to wildlife, particularly elephants, is contingent on ensuring meticulous routine maintenance. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN further welcome the completion of the elephant corridor LWC but also support the EIA’s recommendation that additional wildlife corridors should be developed in order to mitigate any likely adverse impacts of the fence on wildlife populations.

 

b) Other conservation issues – poaching, logging and forest fires

The State Party reports on its progress in addressing poaching, illegal logging and forest fires within the property and adjacent reserves. With regards to poaching, quarterly joint patrols and ongoing surveillance (by KWS, KFS, community scouts and other stakeholders) have reportedly resulted in more arrests and reduced poaching incidents. However, no data on this is provided. The State Party also reports that additional surveillance equipment and infrastructure was acquired and training provided to over 60 rangers in their use. The MKEPP, through the KFS, has continued to address illegal logging by sensitizing community forest associations (CFAs) through the development of participatory forest management plans. The State Party notes that 6 KWS officers were trained in Austria on mountain rescue and fire management techniques, and a scoping workshop is planned in the near future on fire fighting in the property.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the State Party’s efforts to maintain and enhance protection activities, as requested by Decision 33 COM 7B.3.However, IUCN has received reports that the levels of illegal logging and poaching within the property have increased and are under-reported, partly due to the relatively low number of rangers patrolling Mount Kenya. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the ecological monitoring programme established by the new Management Plan should provide data on this and recommend that these data should be submitted as part of the next report.

c) Management Planning

The State Party reports that the Mount Kenya Management Plan 2010-2020 was finalised and approved in August 2010, in consultation with key stakeholders. This plan also mentions that Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are planned between KWS, KFS and LWC, which will define their roles and responsibilities with regards to the management of the property, as recommended by the 2008 mission. The State Party considers that plantations and indigenous forests are clearly documented, and reports that all forestry plantation zones have now been mapped in relation to indigenous forests and plantations. However, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the replacement of the physical boundary signs has yet to be addressed, as recommended by the 2008 mission.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that while the management plan identifies climate change as a major threat to the property, no clear strategy to address the issue is included. They recall that the 2003 and 2008 mission recommendations concerning the extension of the property to include as much lower altitude undisturbed forest and wildlife corridors as possible in order to increase its resilience to climate change. In line with the mission recommendations, the State Party submitted in 2010 a proposed extension for the property to include the Ngare Ndare Forest and Lewa Conservancy. This dossier was incomplete and did not proceed to evaluation by IUCN. They recommend that the Committee encourage the State Party to resubmit an extension proposal as early as possible, and invite the State Party to seek support from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN in advance of any future submission to ensure that the dossier is complete and can be evaluated.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the completion of the management planning process as requested by Decision 33 COM 7B.3, which began in 1999 with support from the World Heritage Fund. While there has clearly been considerable progress in implementing effective management, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN remain concerned about reports received from local stakeholders concerning the inadequacy of KWS’s management budget, the relatively small number of rangers patrolling the property and the rising threats of illegal logging and poaching. They note that efficient cooperation between KWS and KFS will be crucial to ensure the conservation of Mount Kenya, and request the State Party to clarify KWS’s management budget and its plans to secure sustainable funding for the property in light of the fact that the MKEPP will end in 2012. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the ongoing collaboration between Parks Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service on training in support of Kenya's conservation efforts, and recommend that the Committee encourage both State Parties to explore opportunities for capacity building initiatives in Mount Kenya, including with regards to the proposed extension.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2011

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the State Party’s progress in addressing the key recommendations of the 2008 mission, and in particular the adoption of the Management Plan and the completion of the EIA for the first construction phase of the fence intended to minimise community-wildlife conflict. However, they note that the boundary between plantation zones and natural forest has not yet been fully demarcated and that the management agreement between the KWS and KFS has yet to be formalised. They therefore recommend that the State Party prioritise the implementation of these two actions.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also note the reports received about illegal logging and poaching, the challenges faced by the Kenya Wildlife Service with regards to management financing, and the relatively small number of rangers patrolling the property. They remain concerned about Mount Kenya’s long-term viability in a rapidly changing climate and reiterate the importance of the extension of the property to include lower altitude undisturbed forest and wildlife corridors in order to increase its resilience.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2011
35 COM 7B.2
Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (Kenya) (N 800)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Commends the State Party's progress in addressing the key recommendations of the 2008 mission, and in particular the adoption and implementation of the Mount Kenya Management Plan 2010-2020 and the completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment for the first construction phase of the fence intended to minimise community-wildlife conflicts;

4. Requests the State Party to fully implement the remaining recommendations including the demarcation of the boundary between forestry plantation zones and natural forest, the establishment of wildlife corridors in order to mitigate any potential adverse impacts from the fence on the property's wildlife populations and the adoption of a management agreement between the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forestry Service;

5. Notes with concern the reports on rising levels of illegal logging and poaching within the property, and the challenges faced by the Kenya Wildlife Service with regards to management financing and the relatively small number of rangers patrolling the property;

6. Remains concerned about the long-term impacts of climate change on the property, and encourages the State Party to resubmit a proposal for its extension in order to preserve as much lower altitude undisturbed forest and wildlife corridors as possible, and increase its resilience against climate change;

7. Notes the ongoing collaboration between Parks Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service on training in support of Kenya's conservation efforts, and also encourages both State Parties to explore opportunities for capacity building initiatives in Mount Kenya, including with regards to the proposed extension;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the 2008 mission, developing wildlife corridors, and the status of poaching, logging and management financing, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Draft Decision: 35 COM 7B.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Commends the State Party’s progress in addressing the key recommendations of the 2008 mission, and in particular the adoption and implementation of the Mount Kenya Management Plan 2010-2020 and the completion of the Environmental Impact Assessment for the first construction phase of the fence intended to minimise community-wildlife conflict;

4. Requests the State Party to fully implement the remaining recommendations including the demarcation of the boundary between forestry plantation zones and natural forest, the establishment of wildlife corridors in order to mitigate any potential adverse impacts from the fence on the property’s wildlife populations and the adoption of a management agreement between the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forestry Service;

5. Notes with concern the reports on rising levels of illegal logging and poaching within the property, and the challenges faced by the Kenya Wildlife Service with regards to management financing and the relatively small number of rangers patrolling the property;

6. Remains concerned about the long-term impacts of climate change on the property, and encourages the State Party to resubmit a proposal for its extension in order to preserve as much lower altitude undisturbed forest and wildlife corridors as possible, and increase its resilience to climate change;

7. Notes the ongoing collaboration between Parks Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service on training in support of Kenya's conservation efforts, and also encourages both State Parties to explore opportunities for capacity building initiatives in Mount Kenya, including with regards to the proposed extension;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the 2008 mission, developing wildlife corridors, and the status of poaching, logging, and management financing, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013. 

Report year: 2011
Kenya
Date of Inscription: 1997
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 35COM (2011)
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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