Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Grand Canyon National Park hosts U.S. World Heritage Fellow
Washington, DC – Mr. John Zulu, site manager of Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls National Park and World Heritage Site arrived in the U.S. August 5th to spend six weeks immersed in the details of people, park and resource management at Grand Canyon National Park as the latest "U.S. World Heritage Fellow" sponsored by the National Park Service with support from the United Nations Foundation and the National Park Foundation.
Mr. Zulu works for the National Heritage Conservation Commission as the site manager for Victoria Falls National Park, Zambia’s only World Heritage Site. Located on the Zambezi River, the falls sit astride the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and are designated a joint transboundary World Heritage Site.
John is the sixth person to be sponsored by the National Park Service’s (NPS) fledgling U.S. World Heritage Fellows program, and the second Fellow to be hosted at Grand Canyon National Park. The U.S. World Heritage Fellowships promote conservation of World Heritage Sites around the globe by providing an opportunity for World Heritage site managers from outside the U.S. to temporarily reside in this country and work alongside the managers and staff of U.S. World Heritage Sites. Previous World Heritage Fellows have come from Brazil, Kenya, the Seychelles, South Africa, and Peru.
Victoria Falls (or Mosi-oa-Tunya –"Smoke that Thunders" in the local language) are, like the Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic natural areas in the world. The falls are the most significant feature of the National Park, and when the Zambezi is in full flood (usually February or March) they form the largest curtain of falling water in the world. During these months, over 132 million gallons of water per minute go over the falls, which are over one mile wide, and drop over 300 feet at Rainbow Falls in Zambia.
The national park is also an important tourism draw for Zambia, with an average of over 5,000 tourists visiting the park every month.
Mr. Zulu will be working with a variety of NPS programs at the Grand Canyon, with an emphasis on natural resources stewardship and science activities. He is particularly interested in developing a documentation system for Victoria Falls’ flora and fauna populations, and will be learning more about the NPS inventory and monitoring program at Grand Canyon.
According to Stephen Morris, Chief of the NPS International Affairs Office, "Ideally, the entire international community plays a role in the protection of every World Heritage Site. This is a way for the National Park Service to help the United States fulfill that responsibility. Through this program, site managers of World Heritage Sites in other parts of the world can learn from the NPS’s decades of experience managing natural and cultural sites, and the NPS likewise gains new ideas and perspectives that can be applied to the management of our own parks."
Fellowship applicants are asked to provide information on management issues and topics of importance to their sites as part of the application process. Based on the topics submitted by Mr. Zulu, Grand Canyon was selected as the host park for his fellowship.
For more information on the U.S. World Heritage Fellows program, click here.