The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has registered Ethiopia's Gedeo Cultural Landscape as an official World Heritage Site.
The registration was announced on Sunday (September 17) at the 45th extended session of the World Heritage Committee currently under way in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the presence of Ethiopian Minister of Tourism Nasise Chale.
According to the Ministry, following the entry of Gedeo Cultural Landscape into Unesco's heritage site list, the number of Unesco-inscribed cultural and natural heritages in Ethiopia has reached ten, and it is the 100th in Africa.
The heritage comprised forest, which had been protected through generations, Chale said during the session.
She added that the site was also known for its multi-layer cultivation, which has been practised for centuries by the Gedeo people, who are also exemplary for their indigenous knowledge in conservation of the ecosystem and soil fertility.
The landscape had over 6 000 megalithic stelae, with their attractive images of interest to researchers, foreign and local visitors, Chale said.
Highlighting that the inscription of the Gedeo Cultural Landscape by Unesco would enable the heritage to get sustainable protection. Members of Unesco’s heritages committee affirmed that the registration would also help it to become a great tourism attraction.
The Gedeo cultural landscape lies along the eastern edge of the Main Ethiopian Rift, on the steep escarpments of the Ethiopian highlands.