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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.34
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (Zambia, Zimbabwe) (N 509)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.22, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the continued implementation of a concrete and time-bound Action Plan, which improves monitoring and informs about management activities and effectiveness in the property;
  4. Notes with concern the ever-growing development pressure within and around the property, and urges the States Parties to abandon the proposals, which are clearly incompatible with the conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the approved Joint Integrated Management Plan 2016-2021, such as a cable car within the property or a tourism resort along with a golf course within the buffer zone inside the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park;
  5. Also urges the States Parties to provide information on the exact locations and full details of all developments still under consideration, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for each of these projects, including a specific assessment of the impacts on OUV in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, before taking any decision that may be difficult to reverse;
  6. Reiterates its concern about the potential impacts of the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme on the Zambezi River on the OUV of the property, and whilst welcoming the States Parties’ commitment to review its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) in accordance with the IUCN Advice Note, reiterates its request to the States Parties to submit the completed ESIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before a final decision on the project is taken;
  7. Noting that the IUCN review of the Sustainable Financing and Business Plan and the Sustainable Tourism Strategy have been sent to the States Parties, also reiterates its request to the States Parties to finalize the plan and strategy as soon as possible in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
  8. Requests the States Parties to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the potential threat posed to the property’s OUV by the growing tourism development pressure in and around the property, to review the regulations to control this pressure and to make recommendations to the Committee on the proposed boundary modification;
  9. Also requests the States Parties, pending the consideration of any boundary modification recommendations stemming from the Reactive Monitoring mission, to continue to manage the property in accordance with the Statement of OUV and Joint Integrated Management Plan 2016-2021;
  10. Finally requests the States Parties to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated joint report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Decision Code
43 COM 7B.34
States Parties 2
State of conservation reports
2019 Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision