1.         Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (Zambia,Zimbabwe) (N 509)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1989

Criteria  (vii)(viii)

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

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/509/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 63,485
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/509/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/509/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN have received a number of reports noting that uncontrolled urban development, pollution and unplanned tourism development on the boundaries of the Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls World Heritage property in both Zimbabwe and Zambia continue to threaten the integrity of the property. These threats were earlier highlighted in the 1996 IUCN report “Strategic Environmental Assessment of Developments around Victoria Falls / Mosi-oa-Tunya”. Subsequently, both States Parties developed recommendations addressing these threats during a bi-lateral workshop facilitated by IUCN in Livingstone in 2002. Areas requiring immediate attention were identified as: coordinated approaches to contentious biophysical and socio-economic issues; establishment of a Joint Institutional Arrangement; and preparation and implementation of a joint management plan for the property. However, according to a number of sources, no progress has been made to date in implementing the recommendations of the 2002 bi-lateral workshop, and the situation of the property with regard to the threats has further deteriorated.

The World Heritage Centre requested an update on the situation from the States Parties (9 February 2006) and, in its response (24 February 2006), the State Party of Zimbabwe has confirmed the concerns about the state of conservation of the property and proposes a joint meeting between Zimbabwean and Zambian authorities. The State Party has also constituted a taskforce to visit the Victoria Falls from 1-3 March 2006 and compile a full report addressing the threats for submission to the World Heritage Centre. No response had been received from the State Party of Zambia at the time of writing this report.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note with great concern the reports of ongoing threats to the integrity of the property and the lack of follow-up on the 2002 workshop recommendations. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that there is now an urgent need for an effective joint management framework to address these threats. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN are prepared to assist the States Parties in this regard and believe that a joint UNESCO/IUCN mission is required to assess the state of conservation of the property and to assist both States Parties in the implementation of the 2002 workshop recommendations.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7B.8

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Notes with concern that the recommendations of the 2002 bi-lateral workshop have not been implemented;

3. Regrets that the integrity of the World Heritage property remains threatened by uncontrolled urban development, pollution and unplanned tourism development;

4. Urges both States Parties to urgently follow-up on the recommendations of the 2002 bi-lateral workshop and in particular the preparation and implementation of an effective joint management framework to address the ongoing threats; and requests the States Parties to set a firm schedule for their follow-up;

5. Also requests both States Parties to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to assess the state of conservation and the factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and progress made in implementing the recommendations of the 2002 bi-lateral workshop;

6. Further requests both States Parties to provide the World Heritage Centre before 1 February 2007 with reports on the state of conservation of the property and progress made in implementing an effective joint management framework and other recommendations of the 2002 bi-lateral workshop for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.