Namib Sand Sea considered for World Heritage List

13 Jun 2013 10:00
WINDHOEK, 13 JUN (NAMP) ? The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture Steve Katjiuanjo will lead a delegation to Phnom Penh in Cambodia to attend the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee.
This Committee will gather from 16 to 27 June 2013 to consider adding 32 more sites onto the United Nations? Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation?s (UNESCO) World Heritage list, of which the Namib Sand Sea is amongst the nominees.
Other candidates include the natural properties of Xinjiang Tianshan of China, Great Himalayan National Park of India, Mount Etna of Italy, Mount Kenya-Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (an extension of Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest of Kenya), El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve of Mexico, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary of Philippines, Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) of Tajikistan, and Cat Tien National Park of Vietnam.
In addition, there are four candidates for Mixed Natural and Cultural Properties, presented by Canada, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho and South Africa.
The boundaries of the identified property designated as the Namib Sand Sea lie within the Namib Naukluft Park south of the Kuiseb River in central Namibia, and encompass more than three-million (3,077,700) hectares from the proximate source of sand on the coast to the final area of deposition, some 100 kilometres inland.
According to the nomination dossier to UNESCO for inscription into the World Heritage List as issued by the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), the high diversity (about 300 species) and endemicity (50 per cent) of the Namib Sand Sea biota are much greater than any other known hyper arid sand-dune ecosystem.
In-situ conservation of communities representing the turnover of endemic species from the cool coastal desert with frequent fog to the hot, dry interior where more extreme aridity requires different strategies for survival is ensured by the extensive, continuous habitat types across the full climatic gradient of the Namib Sand Sea.