Less than 9% of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are in Africa. Experts say the award is too Eurocentric. But in Africa, there’s also a lack of structures and political will to preserve cultural and natural heritage.
Located 30 km from Abidjan, the century-old city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, was the target of a jihadist attack on March 13, 2016, which killed 19 people.
The Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (RIMN), which stretches across Ivory Coast, Guinea and Liberia, is in an advanced state of degradation. This situation has prompted UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to include it on its list of World Heritage in Danger. Faced with the emergency, the governments of these West African countries have decided to take the bull by the horns by proposing a crisis exit plan.
Laura Sanders helps you get off the beaten track in the places which have been hit hardest by a lack of tourism.
Most African heritage sites are now endangered due to human interference and climate change. Here are the top five African world heritage sites in danger.
It goes without saying that Africa is one of the few places in the world with the most iconic and scarce attraction sites. While some of these sites are man-made, majority of them are natural occurrences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Sadly, most of these attractions are now facing serious threats of extinction mainly from continued human activities and changing weather patterns. A huge number of them have already been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) as endangered world heritage sites.
Here are the top five African world heritage sites in danger.
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Ivory Coast
It is 57 years to the day that Ivory Coast (or Côte d’Ivoire, as it likes to be called) gained independence from the French, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, affectionately known as The Old One. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some interesting tidbits about the nation on Africa’s western flank.
1. It boasts the largest church in the world
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro surpasses even St Peter’s Basilica, with an exterior area of 30,000 square metres. Finished in 1990, its design is said to have been inspired by its Vatican City sibling, with a hefty dose of Renaissance and Baroque style. It can hold about 18,000 worshipers, though is very rarely full.
2. Its most famous son is…
Didier Drogba, of course.
Krakow, Poland, 4 July—The World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow since 2 July has decided to take Comoé National Park, the Ivorian World Heritage site, off the List of World Heritage in Danger following improvements in the conservation of its fauna and habitat.
In its decision, the World Heritage Committee congratulated Côte d’Ivoire for its work to fight poaching. It noted that populations of iconic species such as elephants and chimpanzees that were thought to have disappeared from the site are reproducing again and that the state of conservation of habitats is now very positive. Targets for fauna conservation have in fact been met and even surpassed.
Comoé National Park, one of the largest protected areas in West Africa, is characterized by its great plant diversity.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recommended withdrawing in-danger status from Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire after seeing chimps and elephants return to the park.
The nature conservation body also recommends the Landscapes of Dauria in Russia and Mongolia to become a new World Heritage site. This advice is included in a set of reports for the World Heritage Committee, issued on Friday, June 2, 2017 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Situation improving in Ivoirian site in danger
Inscribed on the Danger List since 2003, Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire has been facing threats such as poaching and illegal gold mining, fuelled by political instability. Since the country’s situation stabilised in 2012, conservation efforts have succeeded in improving populations of species, including elephants and chimpanzees, which were thought to have disappeared from the park.