One of the proposed draft decisions was"6. Urges the State Party to continue to explore further options and design refinement, with a view to avoiding impact on the OUV of the property, including:
a) alternative surface by-pass options,
b) longer tunnel options that allow for the re-location of the western portal outside the property and which do not require dual carriageway cuttings within the property;"
Spain proposes removing specific recommendation of longer tunnel or alternative surface by-pass (i.e a watering down) of the draft decision supported by Brazil, Zimbab, BF.
Interestingly an NGO "Stonehenge Watch" is given the floor (via a proxy speaker) to object to the amendments proposed - says they don't address the issues raised by ICOMOS - any tunnel needs to be longer. UK is also given the floor and gives the usual "We wouldn't do anything to detract from OUV of this site of Worldwide importance........" etc etc. UK thinks it is better to concentrate on "design" rather than "length" and believes that such design changes could achieve the desired result. UK supports the amendment proposed by Spain which allows for solutions other than extending the length.
Lots of discussion about wording but all concerned about giving more flexibility about what UK/ICOMOS might discuss/agree.
Generally, whatever the exact wording, UK still has more to do on the Stonehenge tunnel in order to satisfy ICOMOS/ the WHC!!!!
We do seem to be moving into a 2 tier World Heritage "quality system" by which developed countries are expected to adopt the very highest standards in conserving their WHS with even the most minor aspects such as "Culvert design" etc being identified as needing improvement as at Stonehenge - whilst, on the other hand, "developing countries" like Uzbekistan and Pakistan can bulldoze entire areas and build raised metros situated just a few metres from a WHC with very little control being exercised!!Lamu
An acronym I hadn't come across before "LAPSSETT" = "Lamu Port−South Sudan−Ethiopia Transport Corridor project;"
Obviously a major regional strategic development project which Kenya and Ethiopia will NOT want to see being delayed or increased in cost etc. Southern Ethiopia is undergoing massive GDP growth and needs an outlet to the sea. Kenya is in dire need of improved infrastructure and economy. See - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamu_Port_and_Lamu-Southern_Sudan-Ethiopia_Transport_Co rridor
ICOMOS/WHC want full consideration to be given to impact on Lamu Old Town ........ fine words - it will be interesting to see what, in practical terms, this will mean