Okavango Delta Joins As World Heritage Site

Last week the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) officially declared the Okavango Delta its 1,000th World Heritage Site.

Recommended to the World Heritage Committee by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)–UNESCO’s aisory body on nature–the delta was acknowledged as one of the most diverse ecosystems in sub-Saharan Africa, comprising wetland and dry land habitat and supporting a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic species, including 71 species of fish, 400 species of birds, and an estimated 200,000 large mammal species, including buffalo, elephants, sable antelope, and black rhinoceros.

The new designation is expected to attract investment for tourism development and greater conservation of the site.

Over and above its conservation value, the World Heritage status is widely recognised and can be a powerful branding and marketing tool.

“Now the mandated Botswana management authority will have the challenging task of not only coordinating and controlling activities in the delta, including tourism and community natural resource uses, but also periodically reporting back to UNESCO on the site’s status and noting any potential threats,” said African Wildlife Foundation programme design director, Karen Ross.

Source : The Namibian