WORLD HERITAGE SPECIES
Welcome to our Cecil the Lion inspired citizen initiative dedicated to bringing awareness to the noble concept of “WORLD HERITAGE SPECIES” with intention of asking the UN/UNESCO to expand its present mandate and to establish a World Heritage Species PROGRAM along the lines of its very successful World Heritage Sites Program.
The purpose is to bring the world’s wildlife enhanced awareness and protection similar to that which the UNESCO World Heritage Sites program brought to remarkable places and architecture with the intention of the preservation of a legacy for future generations. The history and destiny of the world’s heritage species of animals are interwoven with human history. These species need protection in order to ensure their continued survival and place in history - and in culture.
This initiative is a “labour of love and dedication” of a group of citizens. People behind it are neither policy makers nor environmental lawyers - just a regular group of concerned citizens who deeply believe in the premise. This initiative is not sponsored by nor affiliated with any organization or group. This is a people's project through and through - by the people, for the people - in the name of our wildlife heritage.
We are thrilled and honoured to have Mr. Brent Stapelkamp on our team.
The initative was inspired by his words and would not exist had it not been for him. A lion man through and through, passionate about declaring our lions our global heritage.
The World Heritage Species project has a noble goal. It has the potential to bring out the best in the supporters of this movement and their communities. Together we can represent a growing momentum for practical action to be taken by the United Nations, including the circulation of a Global Petition, sharing ideas and forming a foundation for legislation and education.
Thank you for your interest in this outcome.
It is important to remember that the World Heritage Species movement will benefit more species than lions. Cecil is our special mascot and inspiration. Out of the tragedy of his demise a movement was born. However, he shares his Kingdom with many emblematic species deserving a chance to survive the encroachment of human activity. The deep reaching essence of this initiative is the establishment of a World Heritage Species program as an umbrella of protection over them all. Lions are proposed in the petition as the first title holder under the new protection protocol only as a starting point. Additional species will be brought under the umbrella. The call is to crown the King first and then take care of the rest of the Kingdom. We are going after the big picture here!
Should this Program become established, the beneficiaries will be all of earth’s heritage species including future generations of our own human family.
This version is our dream and hope.
Indeed, Will Travers of the Born Free Organization in his March 2015 blog offers this beautiful summary of the concept:
"To me, it is simple.
There are too many of us and too few of them (however you define them – elephants, rhino , lions, tigers, etc.) for us any longer to think we can try to justify our continued terminal exploitation of so many species by dressing it up as ‘sustainable use’. My view is we need to regard these species – maybe they should be called World Heritage Species – as a precious part of our common inheritance and we should, as a matter of obligation, provide the resources for their future protection and conservation (and the wild lands they need in order to flourish) regardless of whether we can ‘make them pay their way’.
Just as when, as nations, we invest in admiring and conserving great works of art for the common good of humanity, and are appalled when they are wantonly destroyed, so we should regard the living treasures of our natural world – and make the resources available to so discharge our responsibility for their long term survival."
[Source: Will Travers Blog. Born Free - March 2015]
Thank you for joining us in this journey to proclaim our wildlife our heritage.
A special mention of the World Heritage Species initiative in Travel Africa Magazine.
Pride of Place
As lion researcher and conservationist Brent Stapelkamp states: “The future of our most iconic animal requires the assistance of the international community to provide adequate funding for policy change to ensure the survival of Africa’s endangered wildlife.