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Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas

Zimbabwe
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Illegal activities
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Poaching
  • Oil exploration programme (issue resolved)
  • Mining project
  • Tourism development
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 3 (from 1990-2020)
Total amount approved : 81,854 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

January 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 30 March 2021, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302/documents/, reporting as follows:

  • Anti-poaching measures are continuing through collaborative joint operations, meetings and intelligence sharing with Zambia, as well as the fortnightly river border patrols. The implementation of the anti-poaching strategy is continuing. The operation of the Zambezi Valley Reaction Unit and the Rhino Task Force are well resourced;
  • The use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is being extended to the whole of the Zambezi Valley;
  • Efforts are underway to establish groups of junior and community rangers as well as community wildlife clubs to strengthen wildlife community conservation, building on existing community involvement projects;
  • The finalization of the General Management Plan (GMP) was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but it is undergoing review through the financial support of Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the World Heritage Fund. The final Plan will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre upon completion;
  • The implementation of the Elephant Management Plan is underway. The data from satellite collaring of elephants to track their movements have shown that they are not crossing over into Zambia, the reasons for which is being investigated. Several other studies are also being conducted, including vegetation mapping;
  • Sport hunting in Sapi Safari Area and the northern part of Chewore Safari Area continues to be suspended;
  • The finalization of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools National Parks Trans-Frontier Conservation Area was delayed also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but is in progress;
  • The cooperation between the States Parties of Zimbabwe and Zambia was strengthened further through the organization of the first research collaboration meeting in 2020 to identify future opportunities for collaborated research;
  • A map of tourism concessions in Mana Pools National Park, and a map showing tourism infrastructures across the property have been provided.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The State Party’s continued positive actions in addressing poaching in the property is welcomed, especially through the continued collaboration with the neighboring State Party of Zambia, community involvement initiatives, and further expansion of the use of SMART. The details of the outcomes of the habitat surveys and data on poaching and other available conservation indicators were, however, not provided. The State Party should therefore be requested to submit this information.

It is appreciated that the findings from the elephant collaring study is being further examined. The outcomes of the study will be important in informing future management of the species and the property, and therefore it is recommended that the World Heritage Centre is kept informed on the outcomes.

It is recommended that the activities, which were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic should be completed as soon as the situation allows, including the finalization of the GMP and the signing of the MoU for the establishment of the transfrontier conservation area. The continued suspension of sport hunting in selected parts of the property is noted, but no reference is made to the suspension in the buffer zone, as previously reported by the State Party. In this context, recalling that the Committee had requested the State Party to clarify the status and extent of the buffer zone, it is recommended that the State Party be reminded to provide this detail.

From the submitted map of the tourism concessions in Mana Pools National Park, several appear to be located around the Zambezi River. Noting the previous confirmation that each proposal will be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), it is recommended that the State Party ensure these are conducted in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, including a specific assessment of impacts in relation to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before approval of the projects

It is noted that no update is provided on the monitoring and mitigation activities of the Vine Camp lodge. As tourism activities return following the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to ensure monitoring and mitigation measures at the Vine Camp lodge continue and are reported to the World Heritage Centre.

No update was provided by the State Party of Zambia regarding the proposed Kangaluwi and Chisawa opencast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park. Noting reports in the media that the Court of Appeals of Zambia has dismissed an Appeal to stop the proposed large scale opencast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate once again its concerns regarding the potential impact this project would likely pose to the OUV of the property and request the State Party of Zambia to provide an update on the mine project and not to go forward with this project, in line with its Decision 38 COM 7B.97.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.178
Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (Zimbabwe) (N 302)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.97 adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s continued actions to further strengthen its anti-poaching measures, including through the sufficient resourcing for the mobilisation of its operation units, ongoing collaboration with the State Party of Zambia, community involvement initatives, and the further expansion of the use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART);
  4. Takes note that data from satellite collaring of elephants to track their movements have shown that they are not crossing over into Zambia and that these findings are being further examined, requests the State Party to ensure the outcomes inform future management of elephants and the property, and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to:
    1. Report on the outcomes of habitat surveys, and provide data on poaching and other available conservation indicators,
    2. Complete the review of the General Management Plan, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre once it is available, for review by IUCN,
    3. Keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress in finalizing 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;
  6. Also recalling that the State Party had previously reported its decision to suspend commercial sport hunting from not only Sapi Safari Area and the northern part of Chewore Safari Area, but also from the buffer zone to promote the recovery of wildlife species, also reiterates its request to the State Party to clarify the extent of the area referred to as the buffer zone, which has not yet been formally adopted by the Committee;
  7. Also takes note of the locations of the tourism concessions and also requests the State Party to ensure that all proposals are subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in line with IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, including a specific assessment of impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and the EIA submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN before approval of the projects;
  8. Reiterates its concern that the proposed Kangaluwi and Chisawa opencast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park could have serious impact on the OUV of the property and urges once again the State Party of Zambia to provide an update to the World Heritage Centre on the status of the mining project and not to go forward with this project, in line with its Decision 38 COM 7B.97;
  9. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to continue to uphold its commitment to ensure regular monitoring of the effectiveness of the environmental and monitoring plans of the Vine Camp lodge, and to report to the World Heritage Centre on the monitoring and mitigation activities;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.178

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.97 adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s continued actions to further strengthen its anti-poaching measures, including through the sufficient resourcing for the mobilisation of its operation units, ongoing collaboration with the State Party of Zambia, community involvement initatives, and the further expansion of the use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART);
  4. Takes note that data from satellite collaring of elephants to track their movements have shown that they are not crossing over into Zambia and that these findings are being further examined, requests the State Party to ensure the outcomes inform future management of elephants and the property, and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress;
  5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to:
    1. Report on the outcomes of habitat surveys, and provide data on poaching and other available conservation indicators,
    2. Complete the review of the General Management Plan, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre once it is available, for review by IUCN,
    3. Keep the World Heritage Centre informed of its progress in finalizing 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;
  6. Also recalling that the State Party had previously reported its decision to suspend commercial sport hunting from not only Sapi Safari Area and the northern part of Chewore Safari Area, but also from the buffer zone to promote the recovery of wildlife species, also reiterates its request to the State Party to clarify the extent of the area referred to as the buffer zone, which has not yet been formally adopted by the Committee;
  7. Also takes note of the locations of the tourism concessions and also requests the State Party to ensure that all proposals are subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in line with IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, including a specific assessment of impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and the EIA submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by IUCN before approval of the projects;
  8. Reiterates its concern that the proposed Kangaluwi and Chisawa opencast mine in Lower Zambezi National Park could have serious impact on the OUV of the property and urges once again the State Party of Zambia to provide an update to the World Heritage Centre on the status of the mining project and not to go forward with this project, in line with its Decision 38 COM 7B.97;
  9. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to continue to uphold its commitment to ensure regular monitoring of the effectiveness of the environmental and monitoring plans of the Vine Camp lodge, and to report to the World Heritage Centre on the monitoring and mitigation activities;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
Zimbabwe
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2021) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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