UB and UNESCO complete training on developing a Heritage Place Lab

RuthThe United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Chair on African Heritage Studies and Sustainable Development at the University of Botswana recently completed training on developing a Heritage Place Lab through development of research practice teams for a world heritage leadership programme.

The programme is run by ICCROM in collaboration with IUCN and the World Heritage Centre. Launched May 2021, the Heritage Place Lab is a capacity building activity focused on strengthening networks across research and site management within the context of implementing the World Heritage Conversation. It aims at facilitating and supporting research practice teams in defining practice-oriented research agendas for World Heritage properties.

The teams comprise of university of Botswana staff and Botswana National Museum staff working on the Okavango Delta World Heritage site as their Heritage Place Lab

UNESCO Chair holder, Dr Susan Keitumetse, responded to a call for participation in 2021 and submitted a proposal that saw the birth of the Okavango Delta team comprising colleagues from the University of Botswana and Botswana National Museum. The proposal was successful and the Okavango team was selected to take part in this training (2021-2022).  

The University of Botswana group comprised UNESCO Chair holder, Dr Keitumetse, Dr Katlego Mwale from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Dr Kgosietsile Velempini from the Department of Education and a member from community, Mr Mambo Ntema, from Matsaudi village in Maun

The Botswana National Museum group comprised its Director, Mr Stephen Mogotsi, Mr Vasco Baitsiweng, from Archaeology Division, Department of Environmental Affairs Coordinator, Mr Jobe Manga and member of the Basarwa community, Mr Gasemotho Satau.

The team was deliberately established such that it was representative of stakeholders engaged in conservation and management of the Okavango Delta World Heritage Site.

Dr Keitumetse emphasised that the engagement in the training was one way through which the UNESCO Chair on Heritage at the University of Botswana was building international networks for heritage conservation knowledge and skills development in Botswana

She further noted that the UB strategy required impact of academia by engaging with policy makers such as Botswana National Museum and ICRCROM, the University of Botswana UNESCO chair on Heritage in creating opportunities for research.

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