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UNESCO World Heritage Committee Vote On Okavango Delta Today!

Please post your comments in support of UNESCO World Heritage Listing for Botswana’s Okavango Delta below this blog!

Here is a message from our Okavango Wilderness Project partner, Dr Karen Ross (African Wildlife Foundation/Wilderness Foundation/ Deustche Umwelthilfe), currently in Doha (Qatar) with the Botswana delegation for today’s vote:

The big moment for the Okavango Delta has finally arrived! Botswana’s nomination for this unique, magnificent and vulnerable wetland will finally be heard at the 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee today, 22nd June, in Doha during their 2014 session. See http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1143

There is a strong Botswana delegation present for this event, including the Minister for Environment Tshekedi Khama, the Botswana Ambassador to Qatar, Director of Museums who have shepherded the nomination, and several members of the Okavango Technical Committee who were involved through the years of the consultative process, and crafted the detailed Nomination Dossier. The tension is visibly rising, and tomorrow we will all know the verdict that is delivered by the 21 State party sitting World Heritage Committee.

The Dossier and the map of the designated site will be posted on this website following the news today. So please keep your eyes on this post for breaking news today!

LandSat 1979
Satellite image of the Okavango Delta from 1979 shows very similar flood levels to the massive 2010 floods. It is hard to imagine what kind of delta existed when this satellite image was taken. A vast, untouched wilderness filled with the abundance of life. We need to do everything we can to keep it this way… (LandSat 1979)

This is an important moment for Africa’s natural heritage and the end of almost a decade of advocacy, stakeholder meetings and scientific research in support of long overdue designation as a World Heritage Site. The Okavango Delta is Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness, a primordial landscape that connect us to eternity and remembers a time before modern man. The next step is the establishment of a system of protected areas within a multi-national UNESCO World Heritage that includes the entire Kavango Basin, thus preserving the world’s largest undeveloped river catchment before dams, irrigation schemes, rice production, sugar cane, mining and population increase threaten this sensitive wetland ecosystem, Africa’s premier wilderness area…

Steve Boyes
Migrating elephants spread across the fertile floodplains of Mombo where some of the world’s most pristine wilderness remains… (Steve Boyes)

Comments

  1. jane davies
    uk
    June 23, 6:03 am

    Please, keep some part of our world pristine. Make it so.

  2. Des Langkilde
    South Africa
    June 23, 6:01 am

    Africa’s natural heritage needs protection from the greed and avarice of humanity. Let’s hope that UNESCO appreciates the value of Botswana’s Okavango Delta and that the World Heritage Site status is unanimously approved today.

  3. Steve Boyes
    June 23, 3:39 am

    Okavango Delta Voted 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site! Please post your comments of support below this blog: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/06/22/okavango-delta-voted-1000th-unesco-world-heritage-site/

  4. Annerine Riga
    Roodepoort, South Africa
    June 23, 3:34 am

    I’m in full support of the Okavango being declared a heritage site! Our environment is precious and so is every living creature living off it! Protect it – don’t waste it!

  5. Diane
    June 22, 10:50 pm

    Please protect the Botswana wetlands of the Okavango Delta under protection of UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  6. Dr Mike Christensen
    Western Australia
    June 22, 9:30 pm

    Having been born and raised in Kenya, and having visited Botswana on a number of occasions, I would like to voice my strong support for the listing of the Okovango as a World Heritage Site, as it is one of the last remaining wilderness areas of true significance (both ecologically and culturally) in Africa.

  7. julia salnicki
    Sydney, australia
    June 22, 9:17 pm

    The Okavango belongs to the whole world and I support the UNESCO World Heritage listing.

  8. D. Gaulie
    Gauteng
    June 22, 4:55 pm

    This is a most delicately balanced and precious ecosystem, that should have every means at peoples disposal, to ensure its continued and correct protection and preservation. This is an urgent, critically needed agreement/understanding to be put in place to ensure its natural survival in a world that continually destroys its lifelines, specifically, natural waterways and wetlands..

  9. Monica Wrobel
    UK
    June 22, 4:03 pm

    If not here, than where? Okavango represents wild Africa and abundance with increasing rarity for the rest of us to imagine, experience or watch through others’ explorations, what little remains of timeless Africa.

  10. Dr Dave McDonald
    Claremont, Cape Town
    June 22, 3:38 pm

    Fantastic effort! Keep up the good work. Here’s hoping common sense and good judgement will prevail with the UNESCO vote.

  11. mandy cox
    south africa
    June 22, 3:35 pm

    Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s treasures – I cant believe it is not already an International Heritage Site!

  12. Mario Urpí Rodríguez
    Corcovado,Costa Rica
    June 22, 2:38 pm

    It is a blessing to live in areas that have not been destroyed by us humans, please do everything in your power to restore Nature to the way God´s Creation was formed every grain of help is for our future generations benefit.

  13. Nanette Foss
    South Africa
    June 22, 1:52 pm

    Please help protect this Awesome totally Natural Habitat and Heritage from any form of Human Greed, Destruction, Invasion. Legally Pronouncing it a World Heritage Site is the only way forward to save this Natural Wonderland.

  14. Adele Pittendrigh
    Montana, US
    June 22, 12:56 pm

    Please vote to protect the Okavango Delta through designation as a World Heritage Site. Protecting wildlife and habitat in this region is extremely important for our future, and people all around the world support the UNESCO designation. Thank you.

  15. Susan Leas Latham
    United States
    June 22, 12:31 pm

    You must see the video diary made by Dr Steve Boyes and the Bush Boyes’ annual health check trek along the complicated water systems of the Okavangko Delta, an emerald, a jewel. So beautiful, a critically important link in the health and welfare of this ecosytem…when so much is being destroyed with increasing rapidity.

    Protect. Preserve. Conserve.

  16. john wiity
    UK
    June 22, 12:13 pm

    PLEASED YOU ARE HELPING

  17. lakshmimnarayanan
    India, Coimbatore.
    June 22, 11:46 am

    sir,

    we support the

  18. Anne Rogers
    Cape Town
    June 22, 11:44 am

    Without a doubt this pristine natural realm that supports a diversity of incredible wildlife should be protected for ever.

  19. Ludwig Erwee
    Pretoria South Africa
    June 22, 11:21 am

    Help to save the Delta

  20. Abed
    Japan
    June 22, 10:20 am

    I completely in support of UNESCO World Heritage Listing for Botswana’s Okavango Delta

  21. Jacques
    Spain
    June 22, 10:18 am

    Congratulations Dr. Boyes! I’ve been following your work for quite some time now and am happy to see that you have achieved what you wanted. The Okavango Delta is well-worthy of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Thank you for contributing to having it recognized as one.

  22. TANIA ISMERIO RODRIGUES
    São Paulo - Brazil
    June 22, 9:31 am

    I strongly hope that Botswana’s Okavango Delta to become world heritage site. The richness and unparalleled importance of this paradise to be preserved and remain immune to devastation, as has occurred in areas of similar importance around the world.
    We can not ignore such a lack of commitment to the natural heritage that belongs to all mankind, for the environment no boundaries.
    Best Regards

  23. Stephanie J Tyler
    uk
    June 22, 9:15 am

    This magnificent inland delta supports such a diversity of wildlife and internationally important populations of many species of mammal, birds, reptiles and fish. The whole delta with its amazing flooding regime and its swamps, tree islands, lagoons, floodplains and rivers is so worthy of designation.

  24. Jill Du Toit
    South Africa
    June 22, 8:58 am

    I believe it is essential to preserve one of the world’s natural treasures for now and the future. This is a unique place and should remain as it is.

  25. Dr Chris Kingsley
    Cullinan, South Africa
    June 22, 8:55 am

    This is an area that must be preserved at all costs, regardless of any motivation for mining or any other type of exploitation. it is unique, and is more valuable than anything money can buy!

  26. Debapratim Saha
    Siliguri,India
    June 22, 8:52 am

    Save the great delta.

  27. Paul Steyn
    June 22, 8:49 am

    Looking forward to a positive result!

  28. Daniel van der Post
    St Andrwes, UK
    June 22, 8:30 am

    Please protect this beautful unique area. One of the last true wilderness areas!

  29. Susan Adie
    USA
    June 22, 8:13 am

    Please vote to protect and save this amazing part of what remains of wild Africa!

  30. Yvonne Aucamp
    Vredefort, Free State, South Africa
    June 22, 8:07 am

    This should have happened a long time ago. An absolute must that this fantastic area be protected forever.

  31. Dieter Moller
    Johannesburg
    June 22, 8:02 am

    Its a dream of mine to visit the Okavango. Please help us to do what we can so I may one day reach this dream. Please protect this site.

  32. lars c tisell
    sweden
    June 22, 7:54 am

    OKAVANGO is worth a place in Unesco World Heritage list, comme patrimoine. Why should it not? Okavango has it all for it….!!!

  33. sudanthiranSanthanakrishnan
    pondicherry India
    June 22, 6:19 am

    Like to vote vote on OkavangoDelta Today

  34. Tim Best
    June 22, 5:51 am

    Unique. Save the Okavango Delta. One of the closest locations to paradise.
    Tim Best.
    http://www.timbestdirect.com

  35. gisela wimberger
    South Africa
    June 22, 5:41 am

    Its an absolut MUST for the delta to be protected! For tourism and our childrens future.

  36. david bellamy
    cape town south africa
    June 22, 5:27 am

    This is a shared planet, humans must enshrine the entitlement of our neighbour Earthlings to exist in their natural envirnments forever, or destroy Life on Earth and ourselves with it

  37. corinne le Guillou
    France
    June 22, 5:01 am

    We must keep and savez this hearth’ s gemmes. We must preserve this unique concentration of biodiversity for future générations

  38. Tor A. Fallingen
    Norway
    June 22, 4:21 am

    I sincerely hope you manage to make this area a world heritage site. Its such a vital part of unexploited nature that teaches generations to come about the great symbiosis that makes life possible.

  39. Fran Bell
    New Zealand
    June 22, 3:33 am

    I support this

  40. Denise Brinkman
    Cape Town
    June 22, 3:16 am

    The only place like it in the world. Of course, it must be recognised as a World Heritage Site.

  41. Denise Brinkman
    Cape Town
    June 22, 3:12 am

    The only place like it in the world. It should have been on the list long ago.

  42. Mike and Sharyn Vincent
    South africa
    June 22, 3:09 am

    The Okavango Delta is a pristine wildlife wonderland that must be protected at all costs. It deserves heritage site status. The mass production of human beings cannot be allowed to threaten this animal empire.

  43. t salmon
    SAfrica
    June 22, 3:07 am

    I vote the delta becomes a world heritage site

  44. Ray Tarbie
    London
    June 22, 3:03 am

    We see so many wonderful things in our life but don’t appreciate until we see these beautiful pictures in your website. Thank you.

  45. Antero Topp
    Espoo, Finland
    June 22, 3:00 am

    I have travelled and seen many extraordinary places in Africa but there is nothing to compare with Okavango Delta. Such an amazing wetland full of life, birdlife is outstanding and numerous endangered mammals live there. We must preserve Okavango to future generations and give it UNESCO World Heritage site status.

  46. RACHEL OFFICER
    SCOTLAND
    June 22, 2:31 am

    GOOD LUCK I HOPE THAT YOU’RE SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING THE STATUS
    SAD THAT IT IS NEEDED TO PROTECT SUCH AN IMPORTANT HABITAT.

  47. Paul Beard
    UK
    June 22, 2:26 am

    The Okavango Delta is an incredibly amazing and important wetland habitat and needs all the protection it can get!

  48. Merle Chevreau
    Gauteng
    June 22, 2:23 am

    The Okavango Delta must be preserved at all costs, people need to be prevented from destroying what is left of the great wetlands of Africa,

  49. Debbie lewarne
    South Africa
    June 22, 2:11 am

    The Okavango Delta is one of the last true wilderness areas in the world, it must be protected from exploitation and greed, please do not allow mining and industry to take hold in the Delta.
    This is a pristine environment and should be kept as it. building dams will destroy it, and the habitat for countless animals will be lost forever.
    Thank you for voting to list it as a World heritage Site which it truly is.

  50. etienne
    east london
    June 22, 2:08 am

    i am convinced that declaring The Okavango delta a world heritage site is necessary and crucial in order to protect the unique fauna and flora of this part of africa

  51. Peter Smith
    Australia
    June 22, 2:03 am

    Please preserve the Okavango Delta as this is one of a number of places that need to be kept for the whole word to enjoy forever.

    Peter

  52. Mpho Phiri
    Mahikeng, South Africa
    June 22, 2:01 am

    This is has been long overdue. Great moment indeed.

  53. Sonia Willats
    Eastern Cape, South Africa
    June 22, 1:57 am

    PLEASE, PLEASE. Spare this small but significant part of this precious jewel of the earth for the birds and beasts, and not for MAN. Tourism that provides a limited number of jobs and pays for conservation, YES. More than that – NO. Keep this pure and precious, PLEASE.

  54. Clinton Phillips
    Maun - Okavango, Botswana
    June 22, 1:55 am

    Holding thumbs for the listing on the Okavango as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once this is secured, the next would be to list the Okavnago Jewels life blood – its many tributaries and the entire catchment area.

  55. Nicholas Tett
    London and Livingstone
    June 22, 1:55 am

    Preserve and protect it at all costs for the benefit of future generations of all species, including our own.

  56. Nicholas Tett
    London and Livingstone
    June 22, 1:52 am

    A unique, wild, unspoilt place. Home to a vast, varied ecosystem vital to both humans and animals. Preserve and protect it at all costs for the benefit of future generations of all species, including our own.

  57. Connor von Berg
    Kloof, RSA
    June 22, 1:32 am

    In a world where natural wilderness areas are under threat from business big and small. I find the need to support the call to form Okavango Delta as a World Heritage Site. To protect the Delta so that generations to come may enjoy the raw wilderness in the area. Good work all involved, keep it up.

  58. Peter Dann
    Australia
    June 22, 1:27 am

    Truly magical part of the world.

  59. Traci Rovetti
    USA
    June 22, 12:49 am

    I may never have the opportunity to visit, but I have to go on record. ….”Only one Earth and the human plague needs to cure itself. “

  60. Anton Reiche
    South Africa
    June 21, 11:48 pm

    The Okavango is an absolute paradise and should be kept as pristine as possible. We owe it to the Earth and to the generations that will follow us to share it too. World Heritage status gets my unequivocal support.

  61. Alice Fullard
    South Africa
    June 21, 11:41 pm

    I hope and trust with all my heart that today will see a positive.