Following seven grants received from the SOS African Heritage Fund for the Eastern Africa region in 2020, three new projects from Eastern Africa region have been selected to receive 2021 grants from the German Commission for UNESCO SOS African Heritage Fund, which aim to help World Heritage sites in the Africa region overcome impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on management and conservation.
This new funding brings the beneficiaries to ten World Heritage sites from five Eastern African countries. The 2020 recipients included: Simien National Park in Ethiopia; Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests and Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest in Kenya; Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve and Bélo sur Mer Kirindy-Mite Biosphere Reserve in Madagascar; Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve in Seychelles; and Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. The newly announced 2021 grants will benefit - Konso Cultural Landscape in Ethiopia; Tsimanampesotse Biosphere Reserve in Madagascar; and the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests in Kenya.
The short-term financial and technical support from SOS African Heritage aims to help maintain independent and sustainable organisational structures at these UNESCO-designated sites with the participation of civil society. The projects are also encouraged to ensure spaces dedicated to global citizenship education, sustainability and cultural diversity.
"I would like to express my gratitude to the German Commission for UNESCO for this continued generous support towards World Heritage in the African region. Through this timely financial and technical support, East African States will be better equipped to overcome challenges faced from the COVID 19 pandemic on the conservation and management of World Heritage sites," said Prof Hubert Gijzen, Director and Representative, UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa