Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1984
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/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 51,854
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
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,