Wednesday, July 20, 2016

World Heritage: the threat Africa? – Point

Meeting in Istanbul from 10 to 17 July, the Unesco World Heritage Committee inscribed 21 new sites on its list. Among them, three are African. More generally, this means that about 1,054 sites account that list, only 90 are in Africa. What a gaze even more demanding on the fate allotted to selected sites.

New sites added …

To return to the three newly listed sites, it should be clear two are in Sudan and Chad.

in Sudan, it is, firstly, the marine National park Sanganeb the center of the Red sea, and, part of the National marine park of Bay Dungonab, attached to the island of Mukkawar, 125 kilometers north of Port Sudan. Both sites include a very rich coral reef system. They are home to a diverse wildlife with many species of birds, marine mammals, fish, turtles, etc.

In Chad, it is the massive desert Ennedi. sandstone plateau, formed canyons and valleys carved by the elements over time, Ennedi consists of rocky surfaces decorated with thousands of painted and engraved images, making it one of the largest collections rock art of the Sahara. “We speak of human presence dating back at least 7000 years,” says Edmond Moukala moreover, head of the Africa unit within Unesco World Heritage.

… but there is danger in delay for five ancient sites

in addition to these three sites, five more were added them to the list of World Heritage in Danger. The ancient city of Djenne in Mali as well as sites Cyrene, Leptis Magna, Tadrart Acacus, Sabratha, and the ancient city of Ghadames in Libya. These sites included in the World Heritage of Unesco in the 1980s are now threatened due to the increasing instability in the region.

This is the time to remember that the heritage list World at risk aims to alert the international community on the elements affecting the conservation of natural and cultural jewels, but also to mobilize all “support for the protection of these sites.” While only 9% of sites Unesco World Heritage are in Africa, 33% of the sites listed on the endangered sites list are in Africa. Tied with the Arab states, Africa seems indeed threatened from that point of view.


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