Sunday, 1 February 2015

Conserve Vic Falls says UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has urged Zambia and Zimbabwe to conserve the Victoria Falls to ensure that the local communities benefit from the world heritage site.

At a sustainable tourism workshop held in Livingstone recently, UNESCO programme officer from France Peter Debrine said sustainable tourism in world heritage is vital as the sector is the life blood of communities.

“How we approach sustainable tourism in world heritage sites destination is very important. Tourism needs to be managed sustainably for local communities to realise the benefits and conserve world heritage sites,” he said.

Victoria Falls is one site that attracts the largest number of tourists in Zambia.
Earlier, National Heritage Conservation Commission chief executive officer Collins Chipote said Zambia and Zimbabwe are working to ensure that the value of the Victoria Falls are preserved as a world heritage site.

He said there is need to invest in human resource to sustain Africa’s heritage endangered by environmental and anthropogenic factors, inadequate legislative and administrative framework.
“Just as we pay attention to the conservation needs of the sites, we also need to bear in mind that local people should benefit from the site,” he said.

Mr Chipote said the workshop was timely as it will strengthen capacity of site managers and staff in promoting sustainable tourism at the Victoria Falls and ensure its universal value is preserved.
Officiating at the function, Livingstone mayor Milford Mambo said Livingstone is an active model of sustained tourism taking into cognisance that the Victoria Falls attracts thousands of tourists annually.

“Zambia and Livingstone in particular, is endowed with a wide range of natural and cultural heritage resources that are under threat, hence the need for training to equip site managers and staff in the best ways of conserving these resources,” he said.

Source: Conserve Vic Falls says UNESCO (29/01/15)

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