BAROTSE PLAINS FOR WORLD HERITAGE SITE? A Barotse Change Perspective

01 November 2018
Author  L. Wamunyima, Barotseland Post
IMAGE: Fishing and food security on the Barotse floodplain - The Guardian

 

'With everything else having been stated thus, BAROTSE CHANGE categorically submits that the first credible “World Heritage Site” agenda involving new Barotseland should be endorsement of the most sought-after recognition and adoption of Barotseland country [in UN, AU, SADC, and Commonwealth] through the ongoing lobbying; in reinstatement for preservation of the Barotseland state and nation that have been, since time immemorial, long before there was UN, UNESCO, and Zambia.'

Other than the unpopular GMOs to the defunct BA’64 the notion of declaring Barotse Plain as a World Heritage Site has been one trending story in the media and wrong News Headlines for some of our leaders in Barotseland in recent past. In this series of Barotse Change, we take a look at this very important subject, for our readers’ digest, in the context of Barotseland’s status quo post-2012 BNC.

THE MEANING OF A WORLD HERITAGE SITE

According to Wikipedia World Heritage Site is defined as “a cultural and/or natural site of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, which is important across countries and generations as inscribed on the World Heritage List” provisioned by the World Heritage Committee under the auspices of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The global body UNESCO, as mandated by United Nations (UN), seeks to protect and preserve such sites as guided by the World Heritage Convention/International Treaty drawn up in 1972 concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. This means that such places or buildings are strongly believed to:

a. represent unique, the most significant and best of best examples of the world’s cultural and/or natural heritage,

b. possess Outstanding Universal Value considered to surpass national boundaries and to be of great value for future generations, and

c. have special importance for everyone, hence the ascribed status of World Heritage Site.

Choice of a World Heritage Site is a preserve for governments of countries that have ratified the Convention as States Parties. As such, it is usually required of them to identify and nominate suitable sites to the World Heritage Committee for inscription on the list maintained by UNESCO.

Foremost we need to understand that HERITAGE IS WHAT WE PASS ON TO THE FUTURE GENERATIONS INFORMED BY WHAT WE LIVE WITH TODAY AS PATTERNED BY OUR LEGACY FROM THE PAST. Therefore, while Barotse Heritage is our National LegacyWorld Heritage means our Global Legacy from the past, present, and future. OUR CULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE ARE BOTH IRREPLACEABLE AND INSPIRATIONAL SOURCES OF LIFE. As a member of the globalizing village, this is very true concerning Barotseland’s national inheritance.

CONSEQUENCES AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE 1972 WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION.

1. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) mandate seeks to encourage the identification, protection, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The notion is quite commendable and quite progressive resulting in the following statistics to date:

a. A total of 193 states parties which have ratified the convention, making it one of the most widely recognized international agreements and the world's most popular cultural program.

b. As of July 2018, a total of 1,092 World Heritage Sites have been documented as follows; 38 mixed properties, 209 natural and 845 cultural existing across 167 countries.

c. While some countries like Barotseland have zero World Heritage sites Italy has the highest number with 54 sites, followed by China at 53, Spain - 47, France - 44, Germany - 44, India - 37 and so on down to the States Parties with least number of inscribed properties.

2. The concept of World Heritage is an exceptional status owing to the universal application of the concept value. Therefore, World Heritage sites are some of the most valuable properties belonging to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. Taken alone this point strongly contends the Barotse Plains, if thus nominated, to be one of best of best tourism destinations and booster of new Barotseland’s economy. However, such a move should first be subjected and fully blessed by the Barotse Government national due processes after looking at the pros and cons involved. Furthermore, with the irresponsible and rogue Zambia still lingering around Barotseland such benefits will only seriously be misappropriated and scavenged in self-aggrandizement, as evidenced from historic records of Zambia’s dealings with Barotseland as her unsuccessful surrogate protector.

3. The World Heritage status is a high accolade that brings with it serious responsibilities and international scrutiny accordingly. Then for that reason, UNESCO, a renowned global body cannot gamble and be seen to take chances over the matter in a way that will make it be seen to be in cahoots with the cohorts of BRE – GRZ extortionists, as enemies of Barotseland’s complete sovereignty.

CONSEQUENCES AND IMPLICATIONS OF THE 2012 BNC RESOLUTIONS AND THE LOBBYING OF BAROTSE PLAIN WORLD HERITAGE STATUS.

We will never tire up reminding all progressive people, organizations, and states that there is a sovereign country in Southern Africa called Barotseland reconstituted by the action of Barotse National Council (BNC) of 2012 from Zambian bondage. And consequent to that:

1. The National Council not only revived and transformed the Barotse Government but also mandated it to ensure complete implementation of the Resolutions. Hence, our parents at Lealui should first revert/transform to Barotse Royal Authority (BRA) and undertake to put the Barotseland household in order; as top priority agenda. Otherwise, rest assured that given chance in our Barotse Change Transition Period now, despite 100%falling short of the duty legally, devoid of the due responsibility and accountability attached, Zambia stands ready to misuse or abuse the rights. This true because it the same Zambia that has gone on record of being good at disregarding both its own municipal laws as well as International Conventions like Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 (VCLT Article 60), Barotseland Agreement of 1964 (BA’64) and others - what will stop Zambia from doing the same with the World Heritage Convention/International Treaty of 1972?

2. The Barotse Government, by the same token of 2012 BNC, transformed into a duality of power comprising the Royal Arm and Civil Arm as Barotseland Transitional Government (BTG) now and ultimately Royal Constitutional Barotseland Government (RBG), at full complete independence. For sure this is totally different from the structures existing as BRE and GRZ! This is because while the Twin-Power in BTGis mandated by Barotseland nation the BRE- GRZ ‘Twin power’ was purely a Zambian creation and the oppressive state’s ploy to perpetually colonise and finally annihilate Barotseland.No wonder that, while BRE is on the playground our parents have been playing in the opponent’s team and scoring own goals as it were! So, we still implore our dissident parents in BRE to join Team Barotse to score from the right side and with the right team or give way for loyal and royal players accordingly.

3. By prerequisite of the World Heritage Convention, it is usually required that governments of countries that have ratified the Convention, as States Parties, identify and nominate suitable sites to the World Heritage Committee for inscription on the list maintained by UNESCO. The questions to be answered by “WHOM IT MAY CONCERN” are;

a. When did the Barotse Government (BTG) ratify the convention to become a state party to the World Heritage Convention of 1972? What should come first, is it the nomination of a World Heritage Site or ratification of the convention by a State Party?

b. What motivates the hurried move for the bid before thorough groundwork is accomplished to ensure the conducive cultural and natural environment in form of the completely Independent Barotseland? For it is only then that the quality assurance of commitment and compliance to the UN standard requirements of a World Heritage Site status can reasonably be guaranteed by our country Barotseland? Notably, there is no need for urgency in this matter because Barotseland has managed to preserve its heritage despite Zambia’s fervent pledge to destroy it all these past 50-plus years.

c. Who is supposed to identify, nominate and lobby for the inscription of Barotse Plains– should it be BRE, GRZ or RBG in light of our current Political Present Truth?

d. By entertaining the idea now is UNESCO saliently asserting Barotseland’s default membership to UN States Parties to the Treaty?

4. Anything done outside the spirit and import of the famous 2012 BNC is declared null and void already and Barotse Nation is not obliged or bound by any bogus proclamations at variance with our 2012 BNC Resolutions and UDI Mandate.

5. UNESCO should not be seen to rubber-stamp rogue Zambia’s moves in approbating and reprobating over Barotseland’s wealth and heritage in payment or pretext for procrastinating the due complete disengagement with Zambia and recognition of her complete sovereignty.

6. There is wisdom in waiting for the opportune time and due process by engaging the rightful stakeholder full Barotseland Government [RBG], in a matter of this magnitude carrying immense national and global “Outstanding Universal Value”.

CONCLUSION

With everything else having been stated thus, BAROTSE CHANGE categorically submits that the first credible “World Heritage Site” agenda involving new Barotseland should be endorsement of the most sought-after recognition and adoption of Barotseland country [in UN, AU, SADC, and Commonwealth] through the ongoing LOBBYING; IN REINSTATEMENT FOR PRESERVATION OF THE BAROTSELAND STATE AND NATION that have been,since time immemorial, long before there was UN, UNESCO, and Zambia.

MUYOYANGE WINO. YONGE!

 

Cattle in Barotse Flood Plains

 

Barotse Flood Plains

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