The Extended 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has adopted Zambia’s proposal to implement sustainable development projects within and around the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site.

Committee Chairperson Dr. ABDULELAH AL-TOKHAIS adopted the draft decision after a consensus by the Committee members to support Zambia’s quest to champion sustainable development projects under the context of the world heritage convention.

Before the adoption of the amendments, the draft decision of the State of Conservation Report of the site led to the suspension of the development of the Batoka Hydro-Electric Scheme and the Mosi-oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort Hotel on grounds that the projec
s would negative impact negatively the value of the heritage property.

The decision by the Committee sets the tone to promote sustainable development projects by Zambia and Zimbabwe within the heritage site.

In proposing the amendments, the Permanent Delegation of South Africa to UNESCO said that the hydro-electric scheme which will be located 47 kilometers away from the down stream will contribute to increased power generation in Southern Africa and will serv
as a clean source of energy.

More than half of the Committee Members supported Zambia by stressing the importance of the social economic value of the project in uplifting the living standards of the people.

And Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary EVANS MUHANGA has applauded the decision of the Committee and pledged to uphold the Outstanding Universal value of the site.

Mr. MUHANGA assured the World Heritage Center that the tourism and the other developments will be done in accordance with the stipulated guidelines of the Convention on managing sites inscribed on the World Heritage List.

And Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary GLORIA MAGOMBO stated that the two States Parties remain committed to implementing the recommendations of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments prepared for the hydro electric project in the jo
nt management efforts of the transboundary property with Zambia.

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