Socotra to be added to World Heritage list [Archives:2006/937/Local News]

April 13 2006

SANA'A, April 9 ) International biodiversity expert Eduardo Zandri stressed the importance of preserving Socotra's rare biodiversity as a world heritage for all biodiversity and nature scientists, calling on Yemen's government not to make the same mistake as Africa's Greenhead Islands.

In a statement, Zandri said, “Arbitrary activities, economic projects that do not consider environmental effects and temporary use of resources all contribute to affecting the island's biodiversity and environmental safety. During our work in the Greenhead Islands, we realized the importance of biodiversity in Socotra. It is important to preserve such biodiversity, especially because Socotra will be added to the World Heritage list, as indicated by UNESCO in France.”

Zandri also said it is important to implement projects in Socotra in a way to preserve the safety of its biodiversity. “There should be a qualified local authority able to coordinate and communicate with concerned authorities for the sake of preserving the island's biodiversity. The importance of the island's biodiversity should be spread among its locals,” he added.

A UNESCO delegation will visit Yemen later in order to verify information contained in Socotra's file to be added to the World Heritage list. Zandri also expects UNESCO to add Socotra to the list.

Zandri still is on his visit to Yemen, which will last for a few days, in which he offers technical assistance to Yemen's government regarding Socotra's joining the World Heritage list.