Okavango Delta Voted 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Botswana’s Okavango Delta was voted in as the planet’s 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site today. Our project partner Dr Karen Ross and the Minister for Environment Tshekedi Khama were present at the announcement and are celebrating this momentous achievement in Doha.Here is the official UNESCO press release: http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/1159

The human experience in this wilderness is nothing short of exhilarating and life-giving, showing us our path to a better future. (Paul Steyn)
The human experience in this wilderness is nothing short of exhilarating and life-giving, showing us our path to a better future. (Paul Steyn)

Please share this news with as many people as possible and write comments in support of this long overdue listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the bottom of this blog. The next step is to engage the Angolan governments on the establishment of the first protected areas in the Okavango River’s catchment to preserve local wildlife and ancient elephant migration paths. The Okavango Wilderness Project aims to gather the scientific and survey data necessary to establish new protected areas in Namibia and Angola within a multi-national World Heritage Site that celebrates the world’s largest undeveloped river catchment and inland delta. The region is Africa’s most important unprotected landscape and represents the most significant ecotourism development opportunity on the continent. We need to do everything we can to preserve Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness for thousands more years… Go to: http://okavangowildernessproject.org/

Human Journey

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Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.