1.         Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (Zimbabwe) (N 302)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1984

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1990-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 51,854
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 6 February 2014, the State Party of Zimbabwe submitted a concise report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at the following web address:  https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/documents.

The report provides information on progress in a number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions:

The State Party of Zambia did not report on the implementation of the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission of 2011, as requested by the Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011), nor did it report on planned developments adjacent to the property and results of EIAs of such plans.

On 3 February 2014, the World Heritage Centre wrote a letter to the State Party of Zambia to request further information about the recent decision by the Government of Zambia to authorize an open-pit copper mining development in the Lower Zambezi National Park, across the Zambezi River from the property. At the time of writing this report, no response to this letter had yet been received from the State Party of Zambia. However media reports suggest that the Lusaka high court has ordered that the approval of large-scale mining activities in the Lower Zambezi National Park should be halted, pending hearing of an appeal presented by several NGOs. At the time of writing of this report, no further information was received on the outcome of this appeal.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The State Party’s decision to implement the “no mining in the World Heritage property” policy and withdraw the prospecting permit for the mining of mineral sands in the Rukomechi and Chewore river beds is a very positive development.

The reported improvements made to the EIA for the Vine semi-permanent camp, through more comprehensive inclusion of stakeholders’ concerns and development of mitigation measures is noted. However, the construction had been largely finalized prior to the completion of the revised EIA. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to ensure that future EIAs for projects with potential impacts on a World Heritage property are undertaken in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, in particular to ensure that comprehensive EIAs are completed early in the decision-making process and involve experts with World Heritage knowledge.

The Committee is also recommended to request the State Party to submit the new management plan for the property, inclusive of the Sapi and Chewore Safari areas, to the World Heritage Centre, once it is completed.

The State Party of Zambia has not kept the World Heritage Centre informed of the status of mining activities and tourism developments, which could affect the property. Therefore, it is recommended that the Committee express its utmost concern about the recent approvals by the Government of Zambia of the Kangaluwi and Chisawa open cast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park, and that the Committee request the State Party of Zambia to clarify the status of these approvals. According to the information received, this mine would include, among others, tailings storage and water storage facilities for a mine production of about 8 million tonnes per annum, and water supply facilities with as yet undefined water supply and dewatering schemes. This mine was approved in spite of the fact that the project had been rejected in 2012 by the Zambia Environmental Management Authority, based on the environmental impacts. In addition, IUCN’s assessment of the EIA shows it fails to assess potential impacts on the OUV of the property, despite acknowledging that concerns were raised in that regard. Furthermore it is unclear if the State Party of Zambia has achieved progress with the implementation of the recommendation of the 2011 reactive monitoring mission that special regulations and requirements should be developed to ensure that overburden and drainage from mining activities cannot affect the Zambezi River.

The Committee is also recommended to remind the State Party of Zambia of article 6 of the Convention, which states that “Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to take any deliberate measures which might damage directly or indirectly the cultural and natural heritage [...] situated on the territory of other States Parties to this Convention”..

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.97

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.8, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),
  3. Welcomes the decision of the State Party of Zimbabwe to implement the “no mining in World Heritage properties” policy and withdraw the prospecting permit for mining of mineral sands within the property;
  4. Also welcomes the reported improvements made to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Vine semi-permanent camp, through more comprehensive inclusion of stakeholders’ concerns and development of mitigation measures as well as initiation of the development of the comprehensive management plan for the entire property, including Sapi and Chewore Safari areas;
  5. Notes with concern that the State Party of Zambia approved an open cast mining development in Lower Zambezi National Park across the Zambezi River from the property, without due consideration of potential impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and urges the State Party of Zambia to reverse this decision;
  6. Recalls its recommendation to the State Party of Zambia to consider nominating the Lower Zambezi National Park in order to eventually constitute a joint trans-boundary inscription on the World Heritage List, in line with the World Heritage Committee's recommendation at the time of inscription of the property;
  7. Reiterates its request to the State Party of Zimbabwe to conduct a new survey of key wildlife species to determine current wildlife population estimates of the area, to continue site monitoring programmes and to conduct a feasibility study for a possible reintroduction programme of black rhinoceros, which disappeared from the property due to poaching;
  8. Requests the State Party of Zimbabwe to provide an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan for the property as a whole, for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  9. Also requests the State Parties of Zambia and Zimbabwe to inform the World Heritage Centre of any planned developments that might impact on the property, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and to ensure that EIAs conducted for any such planned developments are in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Impact Assessments;
  10. Further requests the State Party of Zambia to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a report on the status of the decision regarding the Kangaluwi and Chisawa open cast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park and its potential impacts on the property’s OUV;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party of Zimbabwe, in consultation with the State Party of Zambia, to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, including on the implementation of the mitigation measures for the Vine Camp site as well as the above-mentioned requests, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.