October 23, 2023

Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, becoming the country’s first site to get the UN agency’s coveted status.

The decision was made on Tuesday, September 19, during a session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee taking place in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“This serial property represents an important area for rainforest conservation in Central Africa,” UNESCO said in a description on its website.

The nearly 102,000-hectare rainforest, located in southwestern Rwanda, is home to intact forests and peat bogs, moors, thickets, and grasslands, providing habitats to highly diverse flora and fauna.

UNESCO said: “The Park also contains the most significant natural habitats for a number of species found nowhere else in the world, including the globally threatened Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis ssp. kandti) and the Critically Endangered Hills Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hillorum).”

The UN agency added that Nyungwe National Park is home to 12 mammal and seven bird species that are globally threatened, with 317 species of birds recorded.

“Nyungwe National Park is one of the most important sites for bird conservation in Africa,” UNESCO said.