New Project: Local Dynamics and Integration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Outstanding Universal Value: Evidence from Cultural Landscapes in Ethiopia and Kenya

Photo by Mulugeta Wolde

July 07, 2021.  

Researchers study endangered cultural heritage

"Volkswagen Foundation supports scientific projects of the University of Bonn in Africa and the Amazon region

In Africa and in the Amazon rainforest, people have adapted to their environment over centuries and adjust their livelihoods accordingly. This coexistence with nature has created valuable cultural landscapes that are also listed by UNESCO. In two scientific projects, researchers from the University of Bonn are now working with local institutions to investigate how these landscapes can be better protected. The Volkswagen Foundation is funding these projects with several million euros.

Over the course of many centuries, man has learned how to make even inhospitable, dry and rocky environments usable for himself. They built stone terraces in order to be able to cultivate fields. With sophisticated irrigation systems and shady trees, he ensured that these areas became fertile. "The forests tended by the Mijikenda people on the coast of Kenya and Tanzania are an interesting example of how people and nature coexist in a changing and challenging context," says Dr. Girma Kelboro Mensuro of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn."

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