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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7B.93
Lake Malawi National Park (Malawi) (N 289)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7B.92 and 40 COM 7B.81, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
  3. While welcoming the State Party’s efforts for the property’s conservation and the implementation of the 2014 mission recommendations and acknowledging the State Party’s assurance that the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is maintained and that the policy framework for protection is strong, requests the State Party to provide up-to-date monitoring data and detailed information on management activities and any recent and planned constructions, including clarification regarding whether or not the overhead power line is a new construction, in order to enable an informed assessment of the property’s current state of conservation;
  4. Welcomes the progress to update the property’s management plan and to establish a fish monitoring protocol with support from the World Heritage Fund, and also requests the State Party to take this opportunity to identify and reinforce the required management responses to the various threats faced by the property, including the growing population pressure inside the property, and to ensure continued close cooperation between the park, communities, and the competent research and government institutions;
  5. Further requests the State Party to examine, in consultation with the States Parties of Mozambique and the United Republic of Tanzania, the feasibility of establishing a buffer zone and extending the boundaries of the property to strengthen its integrity;
  6. Reiterating its position that oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation are incompatible with World Heritage status, reiterates its utmost concern over oil exploration activities in the lake, which pose a potentially severe risk to the OUV of the property including its conditions of integrity, and urges the State Party to confirm by 1 February 2019 the status of any oil exploration permits and activities, and reiterates its call on the companies Surestream and RAKGAS, which have been granted oil exploration concessions on the lake, to make a commitment to neither exploit nor explore for oil or gas in World Heritage properties;
  7. Reiterates its request to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, on all development projects, including for oil exploration outside the property’s boundaries and any infrastructure and tourism developments that may impact on the property’s OUV, and submit them to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as soon as available, and prior to making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, a report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Decision Code
42 COM 7B.93
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Lake Malawi National Park
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision