10 July 2017

South Africa: The ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape has been inscripted as a World Heritage Site!

At its 41st session taking place in Krakow, Poland (02-12 July 2017), the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee has inscripted the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape in South Africa as a World Heritage Site. The landscape (959,100ha) is located in the Dawid Kruiper District Municipality in the Northern Cape. It covers the entire Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP) and forms part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which is bordered by Botswana and Namibia in the east and west respectively.

The ‡Khomani and related San people are unique in that they descend directly from an ancient population that existed in southern Africa some 150,000 years ago, the ancestors of the entire human race.
The red dunes of the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape are strongly associated with this unique culture stretching from the Stone Age to the present, thus making it a landscape that has changed little from a time long ago when humans were mainly hunter gatherers.  The Khomani Cultural Landscape has been home to at most a few hundred people who have survived life in the extreme desert landscape of the southern Kalahari through their knowledge of the land. Particular to their practices is their ways of physically defining the land through designated uses of the different parts; how their movements were organised as well as other significant cultural practices. (via https://www.environment.gov.za)
The ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape is South Africa's ninth World Heritage Site. The other eight include the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, Maloti-Drakensberg Park (Transboundary with Lesotho), Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Vredefort Dome, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Robben Island Museum, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas.

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