About The Bid
Outstanding Universal Value
According to UNESCO, “Outstanding Universal Value means cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.”
Natural sites, like the Okefenokee may be assessed according to at least one of four criteria which are:
(vii) to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
(viii) to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
(ix) to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
(x) to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
We believe the Okefenokee qualifies on at least three of these criteria:
Significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the development of ecosystems and communities of plants and animals
Containing the most important natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including threatened species
Featured Statements of Outstanding Universal Value
Okefenokee’s “Statement of Outstanding Universal Value” will be developed and refined over a period of intensive research, scrutiny and synthesis. It is an ongoing process that, in the case of the Okefenokee, began four decades ago and will end the day the United States submits our nomination package to UNESCO.
Meanwhile, we thank Professor Jean Goetz Mangan’s University of Georgia Law School’s Advanced Writing Seminar (January – April 2022) for their incredible work reviewing hundreds of pages of source material in an early attempt to synthesize some of the most exceptional attributes of the Okefenokee. Click on any of the following examples of a Statement of Outstanding UNiversal Value to enjoy a window into the awe-inspiring magic that is the Okefenokee and why we believe it will soon be one of the treasured natural sites inscribed by UNESCO.
Photos: Chris Funk, USFWS, Tom Wilson