A celebration of Southern Africa’s rich and diverse heritage
Today, Southern Africa’s diverse heritage faces a rising number of challenges which need to be addressed, including climate change, natural disasters, conflicts, urban development and tourism pressures. The region currently has 42 World Heritage sites and 24 Living Heritage elements inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, making it a vibrantly rich home to cultural diversity and human creativity. However, more work needs to be done to further recognize the value of Southern Africa’s multifaceted heritage and enhance its protection in the face of increasing threats.World Heritage sites in the region continue to play an essential role in the lives of the communities who live in and around them, as they constitute a source of pride, history and knowledge, a powerful driver of local economic development, and a vital resource for reconciliation, social integration and sustainable peace. Similarly, Southern Africa’s living heritage elements provide communities with a strong sense of identity and help create a favorable environment for nurturing cultural diversity and human creativity.Inviting you on a journey of discovery from Angola’s Mbanza Kongo to Zimbabwe’s Mbende Jerusarema dance, this publication provides a new outlook on the exceptional heritage that can be found in the countries of the Southern African Development Community region and emphasizes the need for its long-term protection and safeguarding as a shared responsibility.