by Brandy Dangelmayr
The Namib Sand Sea desert was nominated by Namibia to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. World Heritage Sites are unique places of cultural or natural significance. It is the World Heritage Center’s mission to encourage international cooperation in the conservation of the world’s history. By establishing these sites, countries invite the world to experience their heritage.
The Namib Sand Sea was nominated as a natural site that meets all four specific World Heritage criterium, which puts it in the ranks of sites like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef.
If the Sand Sea is adopted as a World Heritage Site, the local population would experience an influx of tourists. This increase would directly benefit job growth and the economy. The natural and spectacular dunes would also have better protection for future generations.
The Namib is also home to Gobabeb Training and Research Centre, which has been in operation for over 50 years. The center has a science-based education program for primary and secondary schools and wants to begin training teachers and community members in leadership. A three month research internship program for post-graduates is also offered. Currently, nine research topics are underway. They focus on the unique plants and animals and ways to preserve the environment.
So, you may be asking yourself, what the heck are we doing in a desert in Namibia? Well, we are actually spending most of our time in the computer lab at Gobabeb.
While in the Namib, we were asked to help the center advertise and educate Namibians about the benefits of becoming a World Heritage Site and the uniqueness of the Namib Sand Sea.
Hopefully, next year we will see Gobabeb on the UNESCO World Heritage list as one of their new World Heritage Sites.
Keep following to hear more about the exciting adventures of the Namibian Wild Thornberrys!