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Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda
Site number:
Type of site: Mixed
Date: Prehistoric
Date of Inscription: 2007
Location: Africa, Gabon, Ogoué-Ivindo and Ogoué-Lolo Province
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Description: Demonstrating an unusual crossing of dense and well conserved tropical rainforest with relict savannah environments, the Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda encompasses a great diversity of habitats and species, among them various large endangered mammals. The site demonstrates ecological and biological processes of the adaptation of species and habitats to post-glacial climatic changes. The site retains evidence of successive communities who have left vast amounts of quite well preserved habitation remains around the site’s hilltops, caves and shelters, with examples of iron-working and a significant collection of about 1,800 petroglyphs (rock carvings).The country’s first World Heritage site’s collection of Neolithic and Iron Age spots, together with the discovered rock art, reveal a key migration route of Bantu and other West African peoples. Their movements along the River Ogooué valley to the north of the dense evergreen Congo forests and then to central east and southern Africa, have shaped the development of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Lopé National Park is a national park in central Gabon. Although the terrain is mostly rain forest, in the north the park contains the last remnants of grass savannas created in Central Africa during the last Ice Age, 15,000 years ago. It was the first protected area in Gabon when the Lopé-Okanda Wildlife Reserve was created in 1946. In 2007, the Lopé-Okanda landscape was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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