AFRICA

The Okavango Delta, Botswana

Source: World Heritage Sites in Botswana-  Indigenous Perspectives

In the inscription of the Okavango Delta in Botswana as a natural World Heritage site, indigenous peoples’ organisations proposed that the cultural characteristics of the site should also be noted. The government agreed, bridging  the gap between natural and cultural landscapes and representing an evolution in World Heritage Site inscription. This approach, of having the World Heritage Site ascribed under natural criteria, but also having the State Party to acknowledge the cultural characteristics of the site, means that indigenous human and cultural rights can be recognized and managed. Although this step forward has had the support of UNESCO, San activists are lobbying to take this further, by formalizing  cultural landscape monitoring in the UNESCO State of Conservation reporting.