The great pyramids at Giza, EgyptElephants crossing the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park world heritage site, ZimbabweThe great mosque in the Old Towns of Djenne world heritage site, MaliBlack and white ruffed lemur, Rainforests of the Atsinanana world heritage site, Madagascar

Succulent Karoo - Namibia & South Africa

Map showing the location of four esisting protected areas within the Succulent Karoo (South Africa and Namibia), all potential elements of a serial World Heritage SiteConsidered to have potential as a future World Heritage Site

Location and Area: The Succulent Karoo biome extends across a wide swathe of South Africa and Namibia, covering some 116,000km2.  A suitable representative network of priority areas is being identified for a serial world heritage listing, which is likely to include some existing national parks (see map). 

Inscription Status:  The Succulent Karoo is included on South Africa’s Tentative List (2015).

Important Values: The Succulent Karoo, which consists primarily of winter rainfall desert, is one of only two desert biodiversity hotspots in the world. For an arid region, it has extraordinarily high plant diversity and endemism, including the world’s richest succulent flora. Some 40 percent of the 6,356 plant species occur nowhere else on the planet. 


Slideshow of Succulent Karoo 

Comparison with other sites:

Possible constraints to world heritage listing: Most of the area is used for commercial livestock grazing.  Work on the selection of priority sites for conservation has been undertaken and the South African authorities are actively creating new reserves (and extending existing ones) through land acquisition.  A nomination could now be prepared, with the option of later extension as new areas come under conservation management.

Links:  Google Earth | UNEP-WCMC Site Description |Official UNESCO Site Details | WWF Project NewsBirdlife IBA     

 The quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) is one of the iconic plants of the Succulent KarooThe Namaqualand spring flowers are a spectacular feature of the succulent karooThe succulent karoo is home to 121 species of reptile, 20% of which are endemicTypical landscape of the central part of the succulent karoo, Tankwa Karoo National Park (South Africa)



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