#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 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. The following overview introcudes the 22 projects funded by the German Commission for UNESCO in 2020.

Funded projects

African countries are project locations

Logos Internationaler Hilfsfonds

Many UNESCO designated sites in African countries suffer from severe impairments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Numerous sites had to close for visitors and are in turn facing major losses of income. Due to massive financial losses, some sites no longer had the means to pay their staff in charge of protecting and managing the biosphere reserves. Consequently, in the absence of patrols, poaching and looting have therefore increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.

In order to help UNESCO designated sites to overcome existing impairments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the German Commission for UNESCO set up a special support programme: #SOSAfricanHeritage. The aim of #SOSAfricanHeritage is to contribute to preserving independent and sustainable organisational structures at African World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves as well as to secure spaces dedicated to education for global citizenship, sustainability, and cultural diversity.

Projects funded in 2020

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.

The selected activities included innovative digitisation and educational measures, methods to preserve the sites' endangered infrastructures, as well as approaches to create alternative touristic access to UNESCO World Heritage sites or UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Projects furthermore promoted new and sustainable income streams, thus helping to cushion the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. Many of the selected projects were dedicated to protecting World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves from poaching and looting.

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.

Projects funded in 2020:

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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.

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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 ensuring a decent World Heritage management even in times of "physical distancing", the Mozambique Island Conservation Office trains the local population in the use of digital platforms and social media thanks to the #SOSAfricanHeritage programme.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Ecosystem and Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda: Resilience through Intangible Cultural Heritage

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

With funds from the special programme #SOSAfricanHeritage, the national park management in the Saloum Delta World Heritage site will strengthen nature conservation, intensify the fight against poaching, and create alternative sources of income.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests: Multi-Generation Dialogue for Sustainability
Baumschule

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

With the support of young volunteers, Madagascar National Parks will take action against forest fires at UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Belo sur Mer - Kirindy Mité with funds from the special support programme #SOSAfricanHeritage.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mare aux Hippopotames: Fight against Poaching and Covid-19

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

At the Vallée de Mai World Heritage site in the Seychelles, the Seychelles Islands Foundation is investing #SOSAfricanHeritage project funds in technical equipment and training of its staff to maintain a minimum level of conservation measures and to protect the valuable Coco de Mer palm.
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UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Magaliesberg: Against poaching, forest fires, and plant theft

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

The management of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Reserve is using the #SOSAfricanHeritage funds for strengthening its guard patrols against poaching, robbery, and forest fires and for collecting data for improved protection and law enforcement.
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UNESCO World Heritage Site Mont Nimba: Mapping for Animal Welfare

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO World Heritage site Djenné: Renovation work on clay mosque

Urgent repair measures at the Great Mosque of Djenné can now finally be carried out by the Mission culturelle de Djenné through the special support programme #SOSAfricanHeritage.
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UNESCO World Heritage site Kilimanjaro: Tree Nurseries for Biodiversity

#SOSAfricanHeritage

UNESCO World Heritage site Kilimanjaro: Tree Nurseries for Biodiversity

The Kilimanjaro National Park uses the funds of the #SOSAfricanHeritage programme to remove invasive species from the lower mountain forest of the park to protect biodiversity.
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UNESCO World Heritage sites Twyfelfontein ǀUi-ǁAis and Namib Sand Sea: Digitising World Heritage

#SOSAfricanHeritage

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

In order to make the two Namibian World Heritage sites accessible even during the pandemic, Namibia's National Heritage Council digitally visualises them with funds from the special programme #SOSAfricanHeritage of the German Commission for UNESCO and makes them broadly accesible.
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Additional article

#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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