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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Poaching

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

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1989

Mobil Oil is about to begin an oil exploration programme in the Zambesi valley including the above reserves. On request of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, IUCN prepared environmental impact guidelines which would be built into the contract between Mobil and the Government. There are possibilities that seismic surveys could be conducted without construction of trace lines through the park but substantial impacts would still be experienced. Ideally, no exploration activity should be permitted within the boundaries of the World Heritage site.

Action Required

The Bureau should express its concern over oil exploration in the site and inform both the Zimbabwean officials and Mobil Oil that any further consideration of the proposal should be approached with great caution. At the same time Zimbabwe should be commended by the Committee for its efforts to protect the remaining rhino and elephant populations that have been under intense pressure from poachers over the past four years (over 30 human lives have also been lost in anti-poaching operations since 1986).

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1989

IUCN reported to the 13th Session of the Bureau that Mobil Oil was about to begin an oil exploration programme in the Zambesi valley including the above reserve.

On request of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, IUCN prepared environmental impact guidelines to be built into the contract between Mobil and the Government. There are possibilities that seismic surveys could be conducted without construction of trace lines through the park but substantial impacts would still be experienced. Ideally, no exploration activity should be permitted within the boundaries of the World Heritage site.

IUCN also suggested that Zimbabwe should be commended for its efforts to protect the remaining rhino and elephant populations that have been under intense pressure from poachers over the past four years.

On the light of this, the Bureau decided to commend the Zimbabwean authorities for their efforts to protect the remaining rhinoceros and elephant populations. The Bureau expressed great concern however over the proposed oil exploration programme, particularly in the light of a very negative report submitted to the Secretariat by the Zimbabwe National Commission for Unesco. The Bureau therefore requested the Secretariat to convey its concern to the highest government authorities of Zimbabwe, as well as to the Director of Mobil Oil Company.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 13 BUR IV.B.5

The Bureau wished firstly to commend the Zimbabwean authorities for their efforts to protect the remaining rhinoceros and elephant populations. The Bureau expressed great concern however over the proposed oil exploration programme, particularly in the light of a very negative report submitted to the Secretariat by the Zimbabwe National Commission for Unesco. The Bureau therefore requested the Secretariat to convey its concern to the highest government authorities of Zimbabwe, as well as to the Director of Mobil Oil Company.

Decision Adopted: 13 COM VIII.16

Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore Reserves (Zimbabwe)

The Committee noted with satisfaction the incorporation of environmental safeguards into the agreement signed on 4 December 1989 between the Government of Zimbabwe and Mobil Oil relating to oil exploration in this site. The Committee decided to commend Zimbabwe on the action taken and to urge that it monitor the effects of the exploration closely. The Committee requested the Zimbabwean authorities to inform the Secretariat in the event that oil extraction might proceed later as this could significantly affect the site's integrity.