The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has officially designated Ethiopia’s Gedeo Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage Site. The announcement came during the 45th extended session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and was attended by Ethiopian Minister of Tourism, Nasise Chale.
This significant addition marks the tenth cultural and natural heritage site in Ethiopia to earn UNESCO recognition and is a momentous milestone as it becomes the 100th World Heritage Site in Africa.
The Gedeo Cultural Landscape encompasses lush forests that have been meticulously preserved through generations. Minister Chale highlighted its unique multi-layer cultivation techniques, which have been practiced for centuries by the Gedeo people. The Gedeo community is renowned for their indigenous knowledge in conserving ecosystems and soil fertility.
Notably, the landscape boasts over 6,000 megalithic stelae, adorned with captivating images that pique the interest of researchers, as well as both local and international visitors. UNESCO’s recognition is expected to provide sustainable protection for this remarkable heritage site.
Members of UNESCO’s heritage committee have affirmed that this prestigious designation will elevate the Gedeo Cultural Landscape into a prominent tourism attraction. Situated along the eastern edge of the Main Ethiopian Rift on the steep escarpments of the Ethiopian highlands, this newly appointed World Heritage Site holds immense cultural and natural significance.