SA's #Khomani Cultural Landscape listed as new UNESCO world heritage site

2017-07-12 09:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - There are even more bucket list World Heritage Sites for travellers to add to dream and plan over, following the addition of new sites made by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This year, the World Heritage Committee added 25 inscriptions to the list, 17 new cultural sites, three natural sites, and changed the boundaries of five existing sites.

The addition includes the walled city of Ahmedabad in India, the modernist city of Asmara in Eritrea, and the #Khomani Cultural Landscape in South Africa - see full list here. 

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According to UNESCO, the #Khomani Cultural Landscape bears testimony to the way of life that prevailed in the region and shaped the site over thousands of years.

"They developed a specific ethnobotanical knowledge, cultural practices and a worldview related to the geographical features of their environment," says UNESCO. 

(Pictures: Supplied)

Extending gratitude to the much-awaited inscribing of the #Khomani Cultural Landscape as it adds to SA's existing eight World Heritage Sites.

SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni, says this is a very important and symbolic step in the recognition and restoration of the dignity of the #Khomani San whose cultural life and traditional practices were significantly undermined by the forced removals they suffered under apartheid. 

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"This inscribing by UNESCO adds to the recognition of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the larger Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Park as a special and unique conservation area to be protected and enjoyed by all South Africans and citizens of the world. 

“It further gives recognition to the great work being done in the preservation and promotion of South Africa’s diverse heritage,” says Mketeni.

Mketeni says the boundaries of the newly inscribed Wworld Heritage Site also coincides with the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP), which is part of the vast Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, straddling Botswana and South Africa. 

“This brings the number of world heritage sites under the management of SANParks to three as it adds to the existing Cape Floral Region and the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape,” says Mketeni.  

(Pictures: Supplied)

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UNESCO says the large expanse of sand contains evidence of human occupation from the Stone Age to the present and is associated with the culture of the formally nomade #Khomani San people and the strategies that allowed them to adapt to harsh desert conditions.

“It attests to the adaptive responses and interaction of the #Khomani San, past and present, to survive in a desert environment," says Mtekeni.