Considered to have potential as a future World Heritage Site
Location and Area: The Succulent Karoo biome extends across a wide swathe of South Africa and Namibia, covering some 116,000km2. A suitable representative network of priority areas is being identified for a serial world heritage listing, which is likely to include some existing national parks (see map).
Inscription Status: The Succulent Karoo is included on South Africa’s Tentative List (2015).
Important Values: The Succulent Karoo, which consists primarily of winter rainfall desert, is one of only two desert biodiversity hotspots in the world. For an arid region, it has extraordinarily high plant diversity and endemism, including the world’s richest succulent flora. Some 40 percent of the 6,356 plant species occur nowhere else on the planet.
Slideshow of Succulent Karoo
Comparison with other sites:
Possible constraints to world heritage listing: Most of the area is used for commercial livestock grazing. Work on the selection of priority sites for conservation has been undertaken and the South African authorities are actively creating new reserves (and extending existing ones) through land acquisition. A nomination could now be prepared, with the option of later extension as new areas come under conservation management.
Links: Google Earth | UNEP-WCMC Site Description |Official UNESCO Site Details | WWF Project News | Birdlife IBA