Please post your comments in support of UNESCO World Heritage Listing for Botswana’s Okavango Delta below this blog!
Here is a message from our Okavango Wilderness Project partner, Dr Karen Ross (African Wildlife Foundation/Wilderness Foundation/ Deustche Umwelthilfe), currently in Doha (Qatar) with the Botswana delegation for today’s vote:
The big moment for the Okavango Delta has finally arrived! Botswana’s nomination for this unique, magnificent and vulnerable wetland will finally be heard at the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee today, 22nd June, in Doha during their 2014 session. See http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1143
There is a strong Botswana delegation present for this event, including the Minister for Environment Tshekedi Khama, the Botswana Ambassador to Qatar, Director of Museums who have shepherded the nomination, and several members of the Okavango Technical Committee who were involved through the years of the consultative process, and crafted the detailed Nomination Dossier. The tension is visibly rising, and tomorrow we will all know the verdict that is delivered by the 21 State party sitting World Heritage Committee.
The Dossier and the map of the designated site will be posted on this website following the news today. So please keep your eyes on this post for breaking news today!
This is an important moment for Africa’s natural heritage and the end of almost a decade of advocacy, stakeholder meetings and scientific research in support of long overdue designation as a World Heritage Site. The Okavango Delta is Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness, a primordial landscape that connect us to eternity and remembers a time before modern man. The next step is the establishment of a system of protected areas within a multi-national UNESCO World Heritage that includes the entire Kavango Basin, thus preserving the world’s largest undeveloped river catchment before dams, irrigation schemes, rice production, sugar cane, mining and population increase threaten this sensitive wetland ecosystem, Africa’s premier wilderness area…