Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley
The Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley , a natural property of outstanding beauty, comprises three inter-linked relatively shallow lakes (Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita) in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya and covers a total area of 32,034 hectares. The property is home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. It is the single most important foraging site for the lesser flamingo anywhere, and a major nesting and breeding ground for great white pelicans. The property features sizeable mammal populations, including black rhino, Rothschild's giraffe, greater kudu, lion, cheetah and wild dogs and is valuable for the study of ecological processes of major importance.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Outstanding natural beauty
Exceptional geo-morphological features of the Great Rift Valley
Extraordinary soda lake ecosystem processes and trophic dynamics
Exceptionally diverse bird fauna, including rare and endangered species
World’s largest congregations of lesser flamingoes
Crucial flyway for bird migration
Diverse assemblage of mammals, including rare and endangered species
It is noted however that the States Parties of Kenya and Tanzania are in agreement on the need to protect and conserve this site, with even a committee proposed to be formed to coordinate the protection of the site. However, there is no evidence that the committee was formed nor that it is working.
Further, there is fostering of local self-employment, especially for L. Bogoria through making of handicrafts sold to the tourists. Generally, the impacts of site management on the community is positive (Kenya, 2015). Lake Nakuru is well managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service who have also been given mandate to take care of Lake Elmentaita (World Heritage Committee, 2015). Wildlife-human conflict around Lake Nakuru National Park (LNNP) has been minimized through the erection of a game-proof electric fence, which has gone a long way towards resolving past conflicts and improving relationships with local people. To further enhance support for the park, LNNP supports social and enterprise projects in neighbouring communities (KWS, 2002) through the initiative called the cooperate social responsibility. This support, though started over fifteen years back is still being given to the communities around the park.
Hot springs in Lake Bogoria have got healing value and the Endorois and other communities are known to visit it for this spa-like benefit from the hotsprings.
The visitors to the sites were known to litter the site with plastic bottles and bags thus polluting the habitat.
The climate change impact is unpredictable, but the effect of the high water level in the last four years has caused tremendous changes in the lake especially by flooding the hotspring sites and minimally affect the water quality and the ecology of the lake, with few lesser flamingos being available in the lake.
Through the springs, water is made available, especially in L. Bogoria that is used by the livestock.
In L. Bogoria, bee keeping is another major activity and the vegetation in the protected area, especially the Acacia trees aid in keeping the bees and contributing to the beekeeping venture.
Hotsprings are especially used for outdoor recreation and it is one of the major tourist attraction in the lake.
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Kenya Wildlife Service - Soysambu Conservancy||
|Lake Elementeita Wildlife Sanctuary Re-survey and Boundary Variation Project Phase 1|
|2||Kenya Wildlife Service||
|Lake Nakuru National Park (water monitoring etc)|
|3||Ututu Wildlife Conservation Trust||Lake Elementeita Buffer Zone|
|4||National Museums of Kenya/Kenya Wildlife Service/Nature Kenya||Annual Water fowl count – every January and July|
|5||Kenya Forest Service||Rehabilitation of Mau Forest|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||Ecological Monitoring||Ecological monitoring of all the three lakes is necessary due to the changing climatic conditions that is causing changes in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the lakes. Changes in the physio-chemical characteristics may render the OUV of areas of large population of Lesser flamingos be lost since the lakes will not be able to supply the flamingo food abundantly to support the large population.||
|1||BirdLife International (2017a) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Nakuru National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org.|
|2||BirdLife International (2017b) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Bogoria National Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org.|
|3||BirdLife International (2017c) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Elmenteita. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org.|
|4||GLECA (2010). Greater Lake Elmenteita Conservation Area Management Plan, 2012-2020|
|5||IUCN (2011) World Heritage Nomination - IUCN Technical Evaluation, Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/documents/>.|
|6||KWS (2002). Lake Nakuru Integrated Ecosystem Management Plan 2002-12|
|7||Kenya (2010) Nomination dossier for the Kenya Lakes System in the Great Rift Valley. Government of Kenya. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/documents/>.|
|8||Kenya (2015) Report of the State Party to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of the Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1060/documents/>.|
Kenya (2016) Report of the State Party to the World Heritage Committee on the state of conservation of the Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya).
|10||LBNR Committee (2007). Lake Bogoria National Reserve Integrated Management Plan (2007-12)|
|11||Tanzania National Single Species Action Plan 2010 - 2020 for Conservation of the Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor)|
|12||UNEP-WCMC (2012) Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). UNEP-WCMC World Heritage Information Sheets. Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC.|
|13||World Heritage Committee (2011) Decision 35 COM 8B.6. Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4277>.|
|14||World Heritage Committee (2014) Decision 38 COM 7B.91. Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). Qatar, Doha. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6077>.|
|15||World Heritage Committee (2015) Decision 39 COM 7B.5. Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). Germany, Bonn. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6268>.|
|16||World Heritage Committee (2017) Decision 41 COM 7B.21. Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya). Poland, Krakow. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7024>.|