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Ethiopia: Lake Tana reserve as World Heritage Site

The United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed Lake Tana biosphere reserve of Ethiopia as a World Heritage Site.Lake Tana biosphere reserve is among the twenty new sites added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere reserves bringing their total numbers to 651 sites, including 15 trans boundary sites in 120 countries.
These additions were made by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO during a meeting taking place in Paris from 8 to 12 June.
Lake Tana biosphere reserves include the country’s largest lake and has been inscribed as world cultural and natural heritage, said Mohammoud Gaaz, state minister of Science and Technology of Ethiopia.
The site covers a total area of 695,885 hectares and is a hotspot of biodiversity. Internationally known as an Important Bird area, it is also of global importance for agricultural genetic diversity.
The Lake Tana area was important in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in view of its role in maintaining the Christian faith against contemporary pressures, and the rise of the Solomonic Dynasty which patronized the building of churches and monasteries.
Many of the earliest manuscripts and precious examples of ecclesiastical art as well as royal objects were safely stored in their treasuries. At the same time, new religious arts were developed and displayed in the churches.
The oldest of these forty or so churches have their origins in the fourteenth century.
They reflect the native building tradition in their round shape, materials and building techniques. Each one consists of three parts: the inner sanctuary, the inner ambulatory and the outer ambulatory.
Lake Tana biosphere reserve is the fourth Ethiopia’s natural heritage inscribed by UNESCO.
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