SOSSUSVLEI, 09 APR – Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa has expressed disappointment in tourists who do not obey rules and regulations at designated tourist sites.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Namib Sand Sea as a World Heritage site here Friday, Hanse-Himarwa said some tourist leave prohibited areas and do things that are forbidden at national heritage sites.
“It is not always about money. It is important for tourists to respect local rules as we need to preserve our heritage for future generations,” said Hanse-Himarwa.
She stressed that some sites such as the Namib Sand Sea are cultural and national heritage sites that possess a rich history and should be preserved.
“My call to the tourists is to respect, appreciate and value the importance of heritage sites with us so that we can preserve the pride for many years,” she added.
At the occasion, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Country Representative Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo said Unesco’s 1972 World Heritage Convention focuses on the preservation of cultural sites and deals with the conservation of nature.
“Namibia possesses a rich source of culture tourism for both international and local communities; hence it is important for everyone to embrace the culture and environment while protecting it,” said Ilboudo.
He further noted that culture is both an enabler and a driver of the economic, social and environmental dimension of sustainable development which need to be kept alive and should be continuously transmitted from one generation to another.
The Namib Sand Sea situated in the Namib-Naukluft National Park is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog, covering an area of over three million hectares.
It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2013 by Unesco.
The site is the second world heritage site in Namibia after Twyfelfontein in the Kunene Region, which is home to the world’s largest concentration of rock art. It was inscribed on the World Heritage Site List in 2007.