UNESCO Inscribes Botswana’s Okavango Delta as 1,000th World Heritage Site

Doha, June 22 (QNA) – Chair of UNESCO’s 38th session of World Heritage Committee HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani on Sunday announced Botswana’s Okavango Delta as the 1,000th site to be inscribed on the heritage list.

Congratulating Botswana for the inscription, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa told the Session, “I am delighted to announce Okavango Delta on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

“I’m happy to note that UNESCO’s first world heritage inscription was Galapagos Islands and its 1,000th is also a natural site.”
The Okavango Delta System fulfills UNESCO’s criteria number seventh, eighth ninth and tenth for natural sites.

Thanking Chair HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, Botswana’s Minster of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama said, “On behalf of the Government and people of Bostwana, I’m pleased to accept Okavango Delta’s inscription as UNESCO’s 1,000th world heritage site.”
Speaking to Qatar New Agency (QNA), the Minister said, “We are very happy to for this inscription. It is a fantastic opportunity for anybody who is interested to come and see what Okavango Delta is all about.”
The minister also thanked the African World Heritage Fund, World Heritage Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) for their support.

“This inscription was made possible by Turkey and the US changing their positions in our favour. We received good support from Senegal and Lebanon,” he said, and added, “The Government of Botswana is committed to protecting this natural site.”
The Okavango Delta is a vast freshwater inland Delta situated within the extensive dry Kalahari Desert woodland region, biologically rich and vital to sustaining the ecosystem services that support all life present in the area.

It is the largest inland delta in the world spread over 16,000 square kms and displays an expansive landscape with excellent natural beauty. (QNA)

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