Kenyan government attempting to weaken UNESCO recommendations for Lamu Old Town, politicising the decision in Baku
This week in Baku, Azerbaijan, at its 43rd session, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is deliberating upon the status of all heritage sites worldwide — including for Lamu Old Town.
Today, 3 July 2019, the Government of Kenya is trying to water down the World Heritage Committee’s draft decision, politicising the consideration of an evidence-based technical document prepared by Committee experts and advisory bodies.
World Heritage Committee technical experts have recommended a draft decision which “regretted” the Government of Kenya’s failure to provide impact documentation, reiterated its calls for impact assessments of LAPSSET (a revised, more robust SEA), newly called for evaluations of the proposed Lamu coal plant, and calls on the Committee to consider putting Lamu Old Town on the Danger List, given the threats posed to it.
The draft decision is available in PDF on the WHC website. Lamu is item 107.
Now, the Government of Kenya has asked the Committee to open discussion on the draft decision, seeking to make changes to it.
Further, Burkina Faso representatives (a State Party sitting on the Committee, on behalf of the Government of Kenya) are proposing an amendment that deletes several paragraphs, removing the focus on missing and insufficient impact documentation, removing consideration of the impact of Lamu coal plant, and removing a section on considering Lamu for the endangered list. Justifications are not yet provided.
The proposed amendment makes the following major changes and deletions: