#SOSAfricanHeritage

Special support programme for UNESCO sites in Africa

Initiated by the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut, an International Relief Fund was set up in summer 2020 to provide rapid support to cultural and educational organisations abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic. With its special support programme #SOSAfricanHeritage, the German Commission for UNESCO is an active member of the Relief Fund consortium.

Funded projects in total

African countries are project locations

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions, many African UNESCO sites are not accessible to visitors at all or only to a limited extent. This leads to a great loss of income with serious consequences: for example, poaching and overexploitation of natural resources have increased sharply since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as many people have lost their livelihoods and, due to the financial shortfalls, the staff to protect the sites could no longer be paid in some cases.

The aim of the #SOSAfricanHeritage special programme is therefore to provide rapid and targeted support to UNESCO sites on the African continent.

Projects funded

On September 1, 2020, an international jury of experts selected 22 projects from 19 African countries for funding. Until December 2020 each project received up to 25,000 euros from the German Commission for UNESCO. In 2021, another 12 projects in 12 different African countries were selected for funding as part of the second edition of the programme. From August to November, these projects will receive support of up to 20,000 euros each.

The activities supported include, among others, digitisation and education measures, approaches to maintain or restore infrastructure, and protective measures against poaching and looting. In addition, projects are supported that open up new and sustainable income opportunities and thus help to cushion the economic downturn caused by the pandemic in the long term. The funded projects contribute to the preservation of independent and sustainable organisational structures at the sites, strengthen the involvement and participation of the local population and secure spaces dedicated to the promotion of global citizenship education, sustainability and cultural diversity.

Find out more about the individual projects in the project-profiles:

The International Relief Fund

Initiated by the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut, an International Relief Fund was set up in summer 2020 to provide rapid support to cultural and educational organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Office provides the basic funding of three million euros. Additional funding is made available by the Goethe-Institute, the S. Fischer Foundation, and the Robert Bosch Foundation. The overall coordination is directed by the Goethe-Institute.

Numerous other cultural organizations and private foundations, including the DAAD's Berlin artist program, the Mercator Foundation, and the Siemens Foundation, provide additional support funds or participate with their own programs. With its special support programme #SOSAfricanHeritage, the German Commission for UNESCO is part of the Relief Fund consortium.

Logos Internationaler Hilfsfonds

Projects funded in 2021:

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Magaliesberg: Youth-led Community Trail
ein Mann mit Wanderstab in den Bergen

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Magaliesberg: Youth-led Community Trail

With the community trail developed and established by unemployed youths, the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve creates participatory and encouraging environmental education opportunities as well as sustainable sources of income.
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UNESCO World Heritage Sacred Kaya Forests of the Mijikenda: Multi-generational project to renovate sacred sites
mehrere Personen unter einem einfachen Unterstand mit 5 Holzstatuen

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UNESCO World Heritage Sacred Kaya Forests of the Mijikenda: Multi-generational project to renovate sacred sites

The organisation “National Museums of Kenya” renovates the ceremonial sites of the Kaya Kauma. This involves young and old members of the community alike to strengthen the sense of community responsibility for the world heritage.
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UNESCO World Heritage Mozambique Island: Restoration and Awareness
drei Frauen sitzen vor einem baufälligen Haus

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UNESCO World Heritage Mozambique Island: Restoration and Awareness

The Mozambique Island Conservation Office restores ten traditional houses on Mozambique Island and trains local craftsmen in the sustainable use of natural building materials. Various educational activities accompany the renovation in order to raise awareness among the local communities for the protection of the unique architecture.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Tsimanampesotse: United in the fight against poaching

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Tsimanampesotse: United in the fight against poaching

To stop the poaching of the critically endangered radiated tortoise, Madagascar National Parks uses #SOSAfricanHeritage funds to work with local communities, for monitoring and patrols.
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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kunta Kinteh Island and Senegambian Stone Circles: Intercultural learning and World Heritage education

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Kunta Kinteh Island and Senegambian Stone Circles: Intercultural learning and World Heritage education

The Gambian Centre for Arts and Culture is empowering students at six schools with targeted educational activities that highlight the universal value of the sites.
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UNESCO World Heritage Konso Cultural Landscape: Sustainable Rehabilitation and Tourism Promotion
eine Gruppe von Menschen arbeitet mit Schaufeln

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UNESCO World Heritage Konso Cultural Landscape: Sustainable Rehabilitation and Tourism Promotion

With the rehabilitation of the traditional dry-stone terraces and the planting of trees as well as the resumption of traditional cultural practices, the Konso Cultural Landscape will be sustainably protected. At the same time, income opportunities are created for the local population. In addition, training in COVID-19 prevention will help to revive tourism.
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UNESCO World Heritage Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites of Burkina Faso: Training for a better protection of the sites
traditioneller Rennofen aus Lehm

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UNESCO World Heritage Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites of Burkina Faso: Training for a better protection of the sites

In order to improve the management of Burkina Faso's Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites and thus promote their conservation, training is being provided to the sites' local management committees.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lake Bosomtwe: Environmental Education and Sustainable Agriculture
Schulklasse mit Kindern und Lehrenden

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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lake Bosomtwe: Environmental Education and Sustainable Agriculture

The Water Resources Commission is promoting the sustainable conservation of the Biosphere Reserve in Ghana with educational programmes in schools, trainings for farmers and afforestation measures. In addition, the orally transmitted stories of the Ashanti people living at Lake Bosomtwe are collected and documented.
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UNESCO World Heritage Ennedi Massif: Promoting Education, Employment Opportunities and Information
Felsen des Ennedi-Massivs

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UNESCO World Heritage Ennedi Massif: Promoting Education, Employment Opportunities and Information

The World Heritage Directorate of the Ennedi Massif and the Chadian UNESCO National Commission support the local communities and the management of the site with a variety of measures. In addition, new signposts, information campaigns and improved waste management contribute to a better conservation of the site.
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Projects funded in 2020:

Lakes of Ounianga UNESCO World Heritage site: Reforesting Oases and Gaining Land

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Lakes of Ounianga UNESCO World Heritage site: Reforesting Oases and Gaining Land

The Site Management of the Lakes of Ounianga World Heritage site uses the funds of the Special Programme #SOSAfricanHeritage to reforest oases and to better protect the local population from Covid-19.
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UNESCO World Heritage site Taï National Park: Zoonoses in Times of Pandemics
Spielerisch lernen: Theaterstück über die Gefahr von Zoonosen

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UNESCO World Heritage site Taï National Park: Zoonoses in Times of Pandemics

Through targeted information events, improved conservation measures and a new database, the local population of the Taï National Park World Heritage site was sensitised to the links between environmental degradation and human health.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mono: Digitisation for Nature Conservation
Digitales Umweltmonitoring im Biosphärenreservat Mono Delta, Benin

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mono: Digitisation for Nature Conservation

Through targeted digitization and education measures for young people, the non-governmental organization Eco-Benin succeeded in alleviating the anthropogenic pressure on the Mono Biosphere Reserve as part of the #SOSAfricanHeritage programme.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Simien National Park: Jobs against Covid-19
Instandsetzung der Wanderwege im Simien-Nationalpark

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Simien National Park: Jobs against Covid-19

As part of a cash-for-work programme, the African Wildlife Foundation used the #SOSAfricanHeritage funds to implement urgently needed maintenance measures on tourist trekking routes and roads in the UNESCO World Heritage Simien National Park. Thereby, sources of income were created for the local population.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Kahuzi-Biega National Park: Digital Access to Biological Diversity
Gorilla

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Kahuzi-Biega National Park: Digital Access to Biological Diversity

To increase the visibility of the highly endangered Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the NGO KIVU TERRA NOVA developed the app "MyPNKB" with the help of funding from the German Commission for UNESCO. The app, which is available worldwide, makes it possible for tourists to explore the extraordinary biological wealth of the park even in times of a pandemic.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lubombo: A new Space for Dialogue and Nature conservation
Bau des Biosphärenreservatszentrums.

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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lubombo: A new Space for Dialogue and Nature conservation

With funding from the German Commission for UNESCO, Eswatini’s National Commission for UNESCO is creating an extension to the administrative office of the Lubombo Biosphere Reserve. The new building will serve to sensitise the local population to hygiene measures and nature conservation activities and to ensure that community members continue to use natural resources sustainably.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Mozambique Island: Management and Monitoring with the help of Social Media

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO World Heritage Site Mozambique Island: Management and Monitoring with the help of Social Media

For effective World Heritage management even in times of “physical distancing”, the Mozambique Island Conservation Office trained the local population in the use of digital platforms and social media as part of the #SOSAfricanHeritage project. This enabled them to build a digital communication network for the conservation of the World Heritage Site.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Ecosystem and Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda: Resilience through Intangible Cultural Heritage

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Ecosystem and Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda: Resilience through Intangible Cultural Heritage

With information campaigns and an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage on site, the site management strengthened the resilience of the National Park with funds from the German Commission for UNESCO.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Senegambian Stone Circles: Promotion of Women and Young People

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO World Heritage Site Senegambian Stone Circles: Promotion of Women and Young People

Empowering women and the youth was at the heart of the #SOSAfricanHeritage project of the Arts and Culture Centre in Gambia. Through handicraft and history lessons, their entrepreneurial skills and perspectives in the World Heritage Site were improved.
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Ziama Massif UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: Nature Conservation through Participation

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Ziama Massif UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: Nature Conservation through Participation

In the Ziama Massif Biosphere Reserve in Guinea, the MAB National Committee invested the #SOSAfricanHeritage funds in participatory awareness campaigns for more conservation and hygiene measures. Now, the population is better informed about the consequences of poaching, deforestation and COVID-19.
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UNESCO World Heritage site Saloum Delta: Creating Alternative Sources of Income

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UNESCO World Heritage site Saloum Delta: Creating Alternative Sources of Income

With funding from the #SOSAfricanHeritage special support programme, the national park management in the Saloum Delta World Heritage Site strengthened both nature conservation and health care, and created alternative sources of income.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests: Multi-Generation Dialogue for Sustainability
Baumschule

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests: Multi-Generation Dialogue for Sustainability

With the #SOSAfricanHeritage project, the National Museum of Kenya organised meetings between stakeholders of different age groups to involve them in the governance and sustainable management of the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests. The exchange of knowledge improved the community spirit and the appreciation of the cultural heritage.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mount Kenya: Sustainable Forest Management
Aufforstungsarbeiten

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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mount Kenya: Sustainable Forest Management

Meru Forest used the funding from the German Commission for UNESCO to rehabilitate the Upper Imenti Forest ecosystem through tree nurseries and reforestation. New beehives and stoves strengthen the sustainable livelihood of community members.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Tsingy de Bemaraha: Better Protection through local committees

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Tsingy de Bemaraha: Better Protection through local committees

Through collaborative fire suppression campaigns and the involvement of local stakeholders, communities and authorities in the site management, Madagascar National Parks increased the resilience of the Tsingy de Bemaraha UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Belo sur Mer - Kirindy-Mite: Young volunteers against forest fires

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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Belo sur Mer - Kirindy-Mite: Young volunteers against forest fires

With the commitment of youth volunteers, Madagascar National Parks was able to take action against forest fires in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Belo-sur-mer – Kirindy-Mite with funds from the special support programme #SOSAfricanHeritage.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mare aux Hippopotames: Fight against Poaching and Covid-19

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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mare aux Hippopotames: Fight against Poaching and Covid-19

As part of the #SOSAfricanHeritage programme, the Burkinabe MAB National Committee worked to improve the management of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mare aux Hippopotames. The focus was on the fight against poaching, the revitalization of tourism and new environmental education opportunities for the local population.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai: Resilience through Knowledge and Technology
Samen der Coco der Mer Palme

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Vallée de Mai: Resilience through Knowledge and Technology

At the Vallée de Mai World Heritage Site, the Seychelles Islands Foundation invested #SOSAfricanHeritage project funds in COVID-19 protective material and technical equipment. This allowed the site to remain open and maintain a minimum level of tourism and conservation activities.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Magaliesberg: Against poaching, forest fires, and plant theft
Wildfallen werden entfernt

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Magaliesberg: Against poaching, forest fires, and plant theft

The management of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve strengthened its guard patrols against poaching, plant theft and forest fires through #SOSAfricanHeritage and collected data for improved protection and law enforcement.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont Nimba: Mapping for Animal Welfare

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont Nimba: Mapping for Animal Welfare

In the Guinean UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont Nimba, the Reserve Office used the #SOSAfricanHeritage funds for anti-poaching patrols, information campaigns, and mapping of ape habitats.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Djenné: Renovation Work on Clay Mosque
Durch gemeinschaftlichte Renovierungsarbeiten an der Großen Moschee von Djenné werden die traditionellen Lehmbautechniken weitergegeben.

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO World Heritage Site Djenné: Renovation Work on Clay Mosque

Urgent repair measures at the Great Mosque of Djenné could finally be carried out by the Mission Culturelle de Djenné through the special support programme #SOSAfricanHeritage. Now, the cultural heritage is restored to a good condition and traditional knowledge about the building techniques has been passed on.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Kilimanjaro: Tree Nurseries for Biodiversity
Baumsetzlinge zur Aufforstung mit heimischen Arten

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO World Heritage Site Kilimanjaro: Tree Nurseries for Biodiversity

To protect biodiversity, Kilimanjaro National Park used #SOSAfricanHeritage funds to remove invasive species from the lower mountain forest of the park and to reforest the area with native species.
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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Twyfelfontein ǀUi-ǁAis and Namib Sand Sea: Digitising World Heritage
Dreharbeiten im Welterbe Namib Sandmeer

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites Twyfelfontein ǀUi-ǁAis and Namib Sand Sea: Digitising World Heritage

To make the two Namibian World Heritage sites accessible to tourism even during the pandemic, Namibia's National Heritage Council digitally visualized them with funding from the #SOSAfricanHeritage programme. The resulting footage is intended to raise awareness of the sites among the population and attract more guests.
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Additional article

#SOSAfricanHeritage 2021 - Call for Project Proposals
Durch gemeinschaftlichte Renovierungsarbeiten an der Großen Moschee von Djenné werden die traditionellen Lehmbautechniken weitergegeben.

Meldung,

#SOSAfricanHeritage 2021 - Call for Project Proposals

The German Commission for UNESCO invites UNESCO World Heritage Sites and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Africa to submit proposals for projects that help them to overcome an existing impairment caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Up to 20,000 Euro financial support will be provided to the selected projects.

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#SOSAfrican Heritage Call for Proposals

Meldung,

#SOSAfrican Heritage Call for Proposals

The German Commission for UNESCO invites UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other UNESCO designated sites such as Biosphere Reserves in Africa to submit proposals for financial support projects that help UNESCO designated sites to overcome an existing impairment due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

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