Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage site

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Flutterby
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Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage site

Post by Flutterby » Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:41 am

Iconic Okavango Delta becomes 1,000th World Heritage site

Doha, Qatar, 22 June 2014 (IUCN)

Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one of the most iconic natural areas on the planet, has been listed as 1,000th World Heritage site today. The decision follows the recommendation of IUCN, UNESCO’s advisory body on nature.

“The Okavango Delta has long been considered one of the biggest gaps on the World Heritage list and IUCN is proud to have been able to provide support to this nomination,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We congratulate Botswana’s authorities on their extraordinary commitment to make this historic listing a reality.”

Situated in north-western Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a vast fan-shaped plain of permanent swamps and seasonally-flooded grassland, spanning an area roughly twice the size of Qatar, the host country of this year's World Heritage Committee meeting. Its extraordinary annual flooding, which occurs in the dry season, supports one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa.

The delta sustains the populations of some of the most threatened large mammals such as the Cheetah, the White and Black Rhinoceros, the Wild Dog and the Lion. It harbours 24 species of globally-threatened birds and is key to the survival of Botswana’s 130,000 elephants – the largest population of the species in the world.

“The Okavango Delta has been a conservation priority for more than 30 years and we are delighted that it has finally gained the prestigious status it deserves,” says Tim Badman, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “Its ecological and biological importance as well as its exceptional natural beauty make it a prime example of what World Heritage stands for.”

Okavango supports the lives of thousands of people by providing freshwater, food, building materials, medicinal plants and employment through the tourism industry. The proposal for World Heritage listing was strongly backed by the indigenous peoples living in and around the delta, who have conserved the area for millennia.

“The Okavango Delta is an extraordinary and iconic wilderness area,” says Cyril Kormos, Vice Chair of World Heritage for IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. “The good stewardship of the site by local communities over thousands of years truly exemplifies the close links between nature and culture. The delta has recently faced threats including from extractive industries and World Heritage listing will hopefully help keep these challenges at bay.”

The listing was announced today at the 38th World Heritage Committee meeting taking place in Doha, Qatar.

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Re: Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage site

Post by Lisbeth » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:57 pm

Why the Okavango Delta in Botswana is a World Heritage Site

Posted on 18 April, 2019 by Liquid Giraffe in Botswana, Destinations, Okavango Delta, Wildlife

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© Liquid Giraffe

A largely pristine wetland system that supports a diverse ecosystem during annual dry season flooding, the Okavango Delta is a world-famous safari destination and well-deserving of World Heritage status. Every year on 18 April, those cultural and natural sites deemed valuable assets by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee are celebrated.

Today, people around the world will be honouring those sites out of the 1,092 that are most significant to them.

We look at why the Okavango Delta was awarded the 1,000th position on the World Heritage List five years ago.

CONTRASTING LANDSCAPE

The annual flooding by the Okavango River into the Okavango Delta is a welcome respite during the height of Botswana’s dry season in June and July. It is one of a very few large inland delta systems without an outlet to the sea, its waters draining instead into the desert sands of the Central Kalahari Basin.

It is this astonishing juxtaposition of a lush wetland within an otherwise arid landscape that is the catalyst for spectacular wildlife gatherings. In a marvellous example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes, the indigenous plants and animals have synchronised their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods.

Image
Aerial view over the Okavango Delta © Liquid Giraffe

ECOSYSTEM DIVERSITY

The Okavango Delta is home to healthy populations of some of the world’s most endangered large mammals, including cheetah, white rhino, painted wolves (African wild dog) and lion. Botswana supports the world’s largest population of elephants and the Okavango Delta is considered the core area for this species’ survival.

Along with these notable wildlife species, the delta supports 1,061 plant, 89 fish, 64 reptile, 482 bird and 130 mammal species. Each species has found its distinct habitats. Whether it be in the seasonal lagoons, permanent swamps, dry deciduous woodlands of any of the diverse habitats, each species lives within an ecosystem where it thrives.

Image
Pack of painted wolves (African wild dogs) © Dana Allen / Liquid Giraffe

TRULY WILD

As a remote and difficult area to access, the Okavango Delta has successfully sustained a high level of unspoiled wilderness across its vast 2 million hectares. There has been little significant development and impact by humans, with tourism to the inner delta actively limited by governmental policies to tented camps with access largely by air.

These safari properties are carefully managed and monitored for compliance with environmental standards and aim at the lowest ecological impact possible. Mining activity in the delta is prohibited and any such activity in neighbouring areas and countries are monitored closely to avoid any detrimental impacts to this environment.

From contrasting landscapes that are exceptionally wild and beautiful to diverse wildlife species that thrive in its various habitats, the Okavango Delta is well-deserving of its place on the World Heritage List.

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Jacana Camp by Wilderness Safaris © Dana Allen
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Lisbeth
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Re: Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage site

Post by Lisbeth » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:59 pm

Who is going to invite me for a couple of weeks in the Okavango? O**
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
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Flutterby
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Re: Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage site

Post by Flutterby » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:25 am

And me? :yes:

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Re: Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage site

Post by Richprins » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:26 am

:-0
Please check Needs Attention pre-booking: https://africawild-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=322&t=596

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