Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (Zimbabwe) (N 302)
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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 51,854
For details, see page https://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
- Oil exploration programme (issue resolved)
- Mining project
- Tourism development
- Management systems/ management plan
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 26 January 2018, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/documents/, with the following information:
- The Vine Camp lodge is not yet fully operational but environmental monitoring and mitigation measures are being undertaken in line with the approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA);
- The Anti-Poaching Strategy and the Elephant Management Plan for the Zambezi Valley are being implemented through various partnerships. The property benefits from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) programme on Minimizing the Illegal Killing of Elephants and other Endangered Species (MIKES). The Zambezi Valley Reactive Unit and Rhino Task Force have been established, and anti-poaching efforts have been increased, including through the adoption of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for better law enforcement monitoring, provision of ranger training and equipment, and stakeholder involvement;
- Four elephants have so far been equipped with satellite collars in the Zambezi Valley, with more being planned in order to monitor movements;
- Hunting has been suspended in the Sapi Safari Area, and the northern side of Chewore Safari Area since 2016 to encourage the population recovery of key species, revert the area to photographic tourism and to prepare for the reintroduction of the Black rhinoceros. A 25-year hunting suspension has been introduced for the buffer zone;
- The review of the General Management Plan is underway through funding from the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018;
- The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools National Parks Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) is being finalized, and joint fortnightly river border patrols, intelligence sharing and joint meetings are being held between the States Parties of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Discussions on a potential transboundary extension of the property to include Lower Zambezi National Park have also been initiated;
- The State Party of Zambia will follow up on the conclusions of the court case concerning copper mining in Kangaluwi;
- Habitat status is being monitored in the property through vegetation mapping, monitoring of invasive alien species and parasites, and establishment of exclusion zones;
- New tourism developments have been proposed far away from the Zambezi River in poaching hotspots, and will be subject to EIAs;
- UNDP has committed to support the Zambezi Valley through funding from the Global Environment Facility.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
Considerable progress has been made to enhance the property’s conservation with several initiatives underway, notably to strengthen anti-poaching efforts and to review the General Management Plan. The assistance provided by an increasing number of partners is greatly appreciated. The on-going MIKES programme supports the implementation of both CITES and the World Heritage Convention, as per Decision 41 COM 7, and cooperation with UNDP provides important access to Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding for the Zambezi Valley. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to continue its efforts through adequate resourcing and to report on progress made in implementing the Anti-Poaching Strategy, the Elephant Management Plan and other related action plans. To confirm that the reinforced efforts are translated into positive conservation results, data on poaching and other available conservation indicators should be provided.
Zimbabwe’s decision to suspend commercial sport hunting in parts of the property to promote the recovery of wildlife populations is noted. However, the State Party should clarify the status of the buffer zone, as it has not been defined for the property in compliance with the Operational Guidelines.
It is welcomed that the States Parties of Zimbabwe and Zambia have reinforced cooperation, and are considering nominating the Lower Zambezi National Park as an extension of Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas World Heritage property with a view to creating a transboundary property, as recommended by the Committee (Decisions 38 COM 7B.97 and 40 COM 7B.84). The timely finalization of the MoU between the States Parties for the TFCA is encouraged as this would contribute to the property’s conservation and facilitate the potential nomination. This process could simultaneously be used to formalize the buffer zone for the property, and the World Heritage Centre and IUCN are prepared to provide advice as needed.
It is noted that satellite collaring of elephants has been initiated to track their movements, thereby contributing towards a better understanding of whether dispersal played a role in the decline of the population in Zambezi Valley reported by the 2014 aerial survey. This project and the habitat monitoring efforts are positive initiatives, and the World Heritage Centre should be kept informed.
No details are provided on the current status of the proposed Kangaluwi and Chisawa opencast copper mine inside the Lower Zambezi National Park. Recalling that there was an injunction by the High Court of Zambia and that it was awaiting final court proceedings, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party of Zambia to provide an update on the current status of the mine project which would be likely to seriously impact the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).
The State Party’s confirmation that new tourism developments will be located away from the Zambezi River and subject to EIAs as per its previous commitment is welcomed. A map indicating the locations of the proposed developments should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre. It is appreciated that the State Party is committed to ensure regular monitoring of the effectiveness of the environmental management and monitoring plans of Vine Camp lodge, adopting an adaptive approach to its management as the lodge moves into full operation. The World Heritage Centre should be kept informed.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.97
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decisions 38 COM 7B.97 and 40 COM 7B.84, adopted at its 38th (Doha, 2014) and 40th (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016) sessions respectively,
- Commends the State Party for its substantial efforts to enhance the property’s conservation with several initiatives underway, notably to strengthen anti-poaching efforts, and requests the State Party to continue these efforts, in particular to:
- Implement the Anti-Poaching Strategy and the Elephant Management Plan, and continue to report on progress made,
- Complete the review of the General Management Plan, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre once it is available,
- Report on the outcomes of habitat surveys and the elephant collaring project, as well as provide data on poaching and other available conservation indicators;
- Appreciates the support by an increasing number of partners to the conservation of the property, including the CITES programme on Minimizing the Illegal Killing of Elephants and other Endangered Species (MIKES) in line with Decision 41 COM 7, and support from UNDP funded by the Global Environment Facility;
- Takes note of the decision to suspend commercial sport hunting in Sapi Safari Area, the northern part of Chewore Safari Area and the buffer zone to promote the recovery of wildlife species, and also requests the State Party to clarify the status and extent of the areas referred to by the State Party as the buffer zone, which have not yet been formally adopted by the Committee;
- Welcomes the collaboration between the States Parties of Zimbabwe and Zambia to strengthen transboundary conservation, including through regular joint border patrols, and to consider nominating Lower Zambezi National Park as an extension of the property, with a view to creating a transboundary property, as recommended by the Committee, and encourages again the two States Parties to finalize the Memorandum of Understanding for the Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools National Parks Trans-Frontier Conservation Area, and to request technical advice from the World Heritage Centre and IUCN as needed;
- Reiterates its request to the State Party of Zambia to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on the status of the decision regarding the proposed Kangaluwi and Chisawa opencast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park which could have serious impact on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
- Also appreciates the State Party’s confirmation that new tourism developments will be located away from the Zambezi River and that they will be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), in line with its previous commitment, and further requests the State Party to provide a map indicating the exact locations of the proposed tourism developments;
- Further appreciates the State Party’s commitment to ensure regular monitoring of the effectiveness of the environmental management and monitoring plans of the Vine Camp lodge, adopting an adaptive approach to its management as the lodge moves into full operation, and requests furthermore the State Party to continue to report on monitoring and mitigation activities;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, a progress report, and by 1 December 2020 an updated 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.