Nyungwe National Park has been added to the list of World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), September 19, 2023.
Nyungwe was approved at the ongoing 45th UNESCO summit in Ryad, Saoudi Arabia, where Rwanda is represented by Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement-Minubumwe, Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana.
Rwanda’s Nyungwe Park becomes the first site in Rwanda to be inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
“It is an awesome milestone that will make the park famous on international arena,” said Minister Bizimana.
Pending approval are four 1994 Genocide memorial sites including; Gisozi, Nyamata, Murambi and Bisesero.
“This is a significant designation that will reinforce Rwanda’s ongoing conservation efforts,” said the Rwanda government spokesperson, Yolande Makolo.
“The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972,” reports UNESCO.
A World Heritage Site is a landmark with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other forms of significance.
To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be a somehow unique landmark which is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance.
As of September 2023, a total of 1,172 World Heritage Sites are recorded by UNESCO across 166 countries.
Among them, 913 are cultural, 220 natural, and 39 mixed properties.
So far Italy is ranked the leading country with the most sites on the list with 58, while China is the second with 57 sites, the Germany to the third with 52.
In Africa, 147 sites were recorded by UNESCO in 46 countries with more than ten sites in East Africa.