The 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee, which has been meeting in Doha this week, has agreed to the Inscription of the Okavango Delta as a Natural World Heritage Site. Below is the text of the Minister of Environement, Wildlife and Tourism, the Honourable Tshedkedi Khama’s, acceptance speech following the announcement.
"On behalf of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Botswana Lt. Gen. SKI Khama, the government and the people of Botswana, I am happy to accept the status bestowed on our Okavango Delta, Natural World Heritage Site. This is evidence that the international community recognizes and acknowledges the natural outstanding universal values of the Okavango Delta.
"...Let me assure you that the government of Botswana is committed to the protection of all its natural and cultural heritage, regardless of whether it is a World Heritage site or not. We therefore assure the committee that we will continue to work with relevant stakeholders, most importantly the communities living in and around the Okavango Delta, and the riparian States of Angola and Namibia to maintain the integrity of the Okavango Delta.
"We are very honored to have the Okavango Delta as one of the World Heritage sites after Tsodilo Hills which was inscribed in 2001. The success of this nomination is attributed to the support of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), the World Heritage Centre, IUCN, ICOMOS, through the Nomination Training Programme for Africa dedicated to the training of heritage professionals in Africa in the development of nomination dossiers with the aim of increasing the number of World Heritage Sites in Africa in the World Heritage List.
Source: Okavango Delta Listed as a Natural World Heritage Site - Okavango Research Insitute (21 June 2014)
Botswana’s Okavango Delta becomes World Heritage Site - StarAfrica (21 June 2014)
More from the Zambezi Traveller