Mpumalanga’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site
Kruger Lowveld Tourism has confirmed that UNESCO has declared the Barberton-Makhonjwa Mountainlands as South Africa’s 10th World Heritage Site and Mpumalanga’s first!
Long recognised by geologists as having World Heritage potential, the Barberton-Makhonjwa Mountainlands was placed on South Africa’s World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO in June 2008.
“As the government of the Republic of South Africa‚ we would like to make a commitment that we will do all in our power to protect the integrity and the authenticity of this natural property‚” said Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa in a recent statement.
Sites that are deemed World Heritage Sites are recognised as having global historical or environmental significance‚ may signify a phenomenal achievement of humanity or reveal ancient civilisations. To be accepted onto the list‚ a country must meet stringent criteria and show how the site will be conserved.
The mountains in Mpumalanga are thought to be one of the oldest sites on Earth‚ with its volcanic rocks estimated to be between 3.2 and 3.6-billion-years-old. The mountains are also believed to contain the oldest signs of life‚ with a micro fossil of bacteria discovered there that is estimated to be 3.1-billion-years-old.
“Along with their exceptional geology‚ the area is rich in wild plants‚ animals and beautiful scenery,” the Minister said.
(Source : Kruger Lowveld Tourism Newsletter)