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    Sunday, October 29, 2023

    Need for Conserving Ethiopia's Beautiful World Heritage Sites Emphasized

    Ethiopia's beautiful world heritage sites are a legacy for many generations which need to be conserved, UNESCO AU and ECA Liaison Office Director Rita Bissoonauth said.

    In an exclusive interview with ENA, the director revealed that Ethiopia has now become the number one country in the African continent with 11 world heritage sites with the addition of two more sites in a recent meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    "Ethiopia's world heritage sites are the most beautiful and this is why as UNESCO, you have been given this title. The sites are of universal value and this shows how important those sites are for your culture, and for your history."

    The heritage sites are a legacy not only to the next generation but to many generations, she added.

    Congratulating the Government of Ethiopia on the addition of the two more world heritage sites of Gedeo Cultural Landscape and Bale Mountains National Park, Bissoonauth stressed that it is not easy to get enlisted in the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.

    "It takes a lot of work. It is not just writing a little project. It takes years of research for a long time. So, congratulations to Ethiopia for such a well deserved recognition."

    Elaborating on the issue of getting enlisted, the director said when a government sends such a request it shows its commitment to preserve, conserve, and make sure that the legacy stays.

    "What we do as UNESCO is, we organize visits regularly to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At the beginning of the year, we went to Lalibela to see the beautiful Lalibela and also to able to celebrate Epiphany (Timket) which is also a UNESCO intangible heritage site."

    Citing the recent visit to Tiya, she has just been in Tiya with about 30 Ambassadors and their families.

    "What we have done is that we take diplomats, we take ambassadors; and this is our commitment to showing support to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are beautiful sites and they need to be conserved. And we do this in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism as well as the Ministry of Culture and Sports."

    For Bissoonauth, it is very important to preserve such valuable assets by the people, the government, and all stakeholders. UNESCO will of course continue supporting such efforts, she added.

    Ethiopia's 11 UNESCO World Heritages are Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi, Konso Cultural Landscape, Lower Valley of the Awash, Lower Valley of the Omo, the Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela, Gedeo Cultural Landscape, Tiya, Bale Mountains National Park, and Simien National Park.

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