IUCN welcomes the Kingdom of Lesotho as new State Member

21 January 2010 | News story

The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho has officially announced its decision to join IUCN by endorsing the IUCN Statutes.

IUCN extends its warmest welcome to the Kingdom of Lesotho, a country covering an area of approximately 30,300 square kilometres of which about one quarter is lowland country, and the remaining three quarters are highlands. It is in this country where two of the largest rivers in Southern Africa, the Orange (Senqu) and the Tugela, and tributaries of the Caledon, have their source. This phenomenon has caused Lesotho to be called the “sponge” of Southern Africa.

Acceptance of Lesotho as a Member of the IUCN family is an important step in the management of Lesotho’s environment and its natural resources. Above all it is an important step in our endeavour to implement the national policy on the Environment. “We are committed to the IUCN Statutes and are looking forward to fruitful cooperation with the institute” said the Minister of Tourism, Environment & Culture, Honourable Lebohang Ntšinyi.

According to the country’s Vision 2020, Lesotho aspires to have a well-managed environment by 2020. The country has signed and ratified several Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAS). The spectacular scenery of the Lesotho highlands, the country’s unique ecosystem, biodiversity and heritage offer a great potential for the country’s tourism opportunities.

Lesotho is implementing the ratified conventions and treaties for sustainable development and is strengthening institutions responsible for natural resources management. A further challenge is to strengthen environmental management, advocacy and awareness among Basotho.

The adhesion of the Kingdom of Lesotho as a State Member of IUCN will not only enhance its presence in the region but strengthen the Union’s capacity to influence governments, civil society and the private sector in the good governance of the world’s natural resources and environment” says Ali Kaka, IUCN Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.


Contact person: Hastings Chikoko, Head, Constituency Support and Communications, IUCN Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, Tel: +27 76 6821587, Email: hastings.chikoko@iucn.org