The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Secretariat has released initial emergency assistance budget for Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park as part of its effort to rehabilitate the the park.Located in northern part of the country, Simien Mountains National Park is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites and more than 10,000 hectares of its forest resources was destroyed by wild fire last month.
The initial assistance is meant for the hiring of international and local experts to assess the situation and make recommendations on future actions to protect the park by benchmarking best practices, according to Ethiopian Embassy in Paris, France.
However, the amount of UNESCO’s intial financial support has not been yet disclosed.
The wild fire was put under control with the support of fire fighting helicopters from neighboring Kenya.
The wild fire was allegedly set by some individulas who are currently under investigation by courts in the Amhara regional state.
In a related development, representatives from Ethiopia, France, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and ICCROM on the safeguard of the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela met at the UNESCO Headquarters today.
The meeting was conducted with the aim of assessing the state of Lalibela, a world heritage site, and looking for solutions of preserving the peculiar tourist site.
On the occasion, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to France, Henok Teferra was qouted as saying that the joint team of Ethiopian and French experts will evaluate the state of the world heritage site to come up with solution for the preservation of site.
French president Emmanuel Macron last March assured Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that France would extend technical and financial support to preserve the site.