The Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) received its first Unesco Biosphere Reserve on June 21.
The Lubombo Biosphere Reserve is one of the 18 new sites in 12 countries that were added to World Network of Biosphere Reserves by Unesco's Man and the Biosphere programme.
Located in the Lubombo Mountain Range, the reserve forms Eswatini’s eastern border with Mozambique and South Africa. The 294 020 hectare-reserve is part of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot.
Twenty of the 88 mammal species in the area can only be found in the Lubombo region. Among these are leopard, White rhino, tsessebe, Roan antelope, Cape buffalo and Suni.
The Lubombo Biosphere Reserve's ecosystems include forest, wetland and savannah. The reserve is home to conservation and monitoring projects, as well as commercial enterprises, industry, agriculture, animal farming, and forestry.