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
Total amount approved: USD 0
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/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1992

The Secretariat has been informed, by facsimile letter dated 4 May 1992, by a group of consulting engineers in Zimbabwe that a preliminary environmental impact assessment of the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Power Plant to be developed on the Batoka Gorge Dam on the Zambezi River is currently underway. They have requested information on the boundaries of the World Heritage site of Victoria Falls and the legal implications if one of the gorges to be developed is located within the World Heritage site. The Secretariat is contacting the group of consulting engineers and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation to obtain additional information, and has transmitted a copy of the facsimile letter received by IUCN for review and for further monitoring of the state of conservation of this site.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1992

The Bureau noted that a proposal to construct a dam across the Batoka Gorge could flood some parts of this transfrontier World Heritage site and that the World Heritage Centre has informed the group of consultant engineers who are undertaking an environmental impact assessment of the dam construction project of potential threats to the integrity of this site. The Bureau requested the Secretariat to contact the States Parties concerned and obtain more information on the proposed dam construction project for submission to the Committee in December 1992.

Since the plans for the construction of the dam across the Batoka Gorge have been drawn up in Zimbabwe, a letter to the national authorities was sent on 14. August 1992, explaining the Bureau's concerns and requesting more information. A copy of that letter was sent to the Zambian authorities. In his reply of 8 October 1992, the Director of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management of Zimbabwe has informed the World Heritage Centre that the dam to be built at the Batoka Gorge will flood up to the third gorge which is about 10 km inside the World Heritage site and he is of the view that this change in the ecology of the site will have minimum impacts. The Director has also informed the World Heritage Centre that his Department accepts this development project owing to its minimum impact and the fact that it will produce power under favourable environmental conditions, in contrast to the alternative of thermal power production.

Since the information provided by the Director, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management, Zimbabwe, has revealed a threat to the integrity of this trans-frontier World Heritage property, the World Heritage Centre has requested IUCN to verify the information and advise the Committee on possible actions that may be taken to protect the integrity of this site.

 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 16 BUR V.32-33

32. The Bureau noted that a proposal to construct a dam across the Batoka Gorge could flood some parts of this transfrontier World Heritage site and that the World Heritage Centre has informed the group of consultancy engineers who are undertaking an environmental impact assessment of the dam construction project of potential threats to the integrity of this site. The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to contact the States Parties concerned and obtain more information on the proposed dam construction project for submission to the Committee in December 1992.

33. The Bureau took note of information provided by IUCN that a workshop on the Conservation of the Subantarctic Islands was being jointly organized by IUCN and the Scientific Research Council for Antarctica (SCAR) to develop recommendations for the application of the World Heritage Convention in the Antarctic region. The Bureau also noted the summary report of the Workshop on the World Heritage Convention held within the framework of the Fourth World Congress on National Parks, convened in Caracas, Venezuela, in February 1992.

Decision Adopted: 16 COM VIII

Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)

The Committee noted that a proposal to construct a dam across the Batoka Gorge could flood some parts of this transfrontier World Heritage site, and that the Bureau had requested the Centre to contact the States Parties concerned and obtain more information on the proposed dam construction project.

The Director of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management of Zimbabwe has informed the World Heritage Centre that the dam to be built at the Batoka Gorge will flood up to the third gorge which is about 10 km inside the World Heritage site, but that he was of the view that this change in the ecology of the site will have minimum impacts. The Director has also informed the World Heritage Centre that his Department accepts this development project owing to its minimum impact and the fact that it will produce power under favourable environmental conditions, in contrast to the alternative of thermal power production. The representative of IUCN informed the Committee that there is opposition to the dam construction project in Zambia.

The Committee requested the Centre to co-operate with IUCN, and in particular with IUCN's Regional Office in Harare, Zimbabwe, to make an assessment of the proposal to construct a dam across the Batoka Gorge and submit a report to the seventeenth session of the Bureau.