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Decision 45 COM 7B.7
Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya) (N 1060rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 39 COM 7B.541 COM 7B.2143 COM 7B.33 and 44 COM 7B.175 adopted at its 39th (Bonn, 2015), 41st (Krakow, 2017), 43rd (Baku, 2019) and extended 44th (Fuzhou/online, 2021) sessions respectively,
  3. Expresses its utmost concern about the impacts of the continuous water level rise in all the lakes of the property, causing changes in the boundaries, pH and salinity of the lakes and resulting in adverse impacts on biodiversity, in particular the alarming decline of Lesser Flamingo population, a key attribute of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4. Encourages the State Party of Kenya, with the support of Ethiopia and the United Republic of Tanzania, to undertake a joint survey to better understand changes within the Lesser Flamingo populations in the East African Rift and develop a Lesser Flamingo Action Plan for the region, in cooperation with the IUCN/SSC Flamingo Specialist Group;
  5. Recalls that at the time of inscription, the World Heritage Committee in its Decision 35 COM 8B.6 encouraged the States Parties of Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, and other relevant States Parties, to cooperate regarding the effective conservation of Lake Natron and other lakes in the region, and to consider further potential serial extensions as part of a potential transnational serial World Heritage property;
  6. Notes the results of the scoping report conducted by the multi-agency team on the impacts of the rising lake water levels, and encourages the State Party to implement the study recommendations, including resurveying the riparian zones, beaconing the new boundaries, continued monitoring of the site, relocating or rehabilitating the sewage treatment plants near Lake Nakuru and other lakes, raising awareness on the impacts of climate change as well as establishing buffer zones while at the same time taking urgent actions, in close collaboration with local communities, to address deforestation and land degradation in the basin and especially in the Mau escarpment;
  7. Appreciates the State Party’s discussions with stakeholders towards securing a wildlife corridor between Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha using wayleaves and creating a task force, developing a concept note and a work plan, but considers that the site selection and design of the wildlife corridor should be based on an evaluation of relevant needs of specific species to allow the potential corridor to accommodate movement of each target species, and therefore also requests the State Party to provide more information on this concept;
  8. Also notes that a meeting was organized in 2020 in Naivasha to agree upon the coordination of the management of the three components of the property, and further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a report of follow up actions made to implement its decisions;
  9. Further noting that the rising lake levels affected the zonation scheme of the property, which will be reviewed once the lake levels subside, reiterates its request to the State Party to develop and implement regulations to prohibit developments in close proximity to fragile areas and sensitive buffer zones of the property;
  10. Strongly regrets that the State Party did not halt the Olkaria-Lessos-Kisumu power transmission project, which passes along Lake Elementaita, and has now been energized, notwithstanding concerns remain for the potential impact of the project on the OUV of the property, and urges the State Party to report on the status of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) mission including its recommendations if available, monitor bird mortalities along the powerline and to report on mitigation measures and their effectiveness to limit bird mortality;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.