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Jebel Marra / Deriba Caldera (crater lake)

Date de soumission : 02/02/2021
Critères: (vii)(viii)(ix)(x)
Catégorie : Naturel
Soumis par :
Permanent Delegation of Sudan to UNESCO
État, province ou région :
Central Darfur State, Darfur
Coordonnées N12 95 E24 27
Ref.: 6519

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Jebel Mara is located in Darfur region, the western part of Sudan between latitudes 12° 25' and 13° N and longitudes 24° 10' and 24° 12' E, extending along 135 km in the north-south direction with a maximum width of about 80 km in the southern third of the mountain. Total area is estimated to be about 2000 km². It lies within a plain of semi-desert with desert to the north. The natural vegetation habitats are characterized by rich plant and tree composition and include the gallery and riverian forests, savanna grassland with scattered trees, savanna woodlands and Boswellia mixed stands on hillside. Deriba Caldera (crater lake), is at the highest point of Jebel Mara located at latitude 12° 95' N - longitude 24° 27' E at an elevation of 3,042 m  (9,980 ft), Darfur, western Sudan. The 5-kilometre wide Deriba Caldera was formed by explosive eruption of the Jebel Mara Volcano approximately 3,500 years ago. The volcano is considered dormant, rather than extinct, as hot springs and fumaroles (gas and steam vents) are still present. While Jebel Mara is high enough (3,042 meters) to have a temperate climate and high precipitation, these lakes may be fed by hot springs as well as rainwater.

Justification de la Valeur Universelle Exceptionnelle

The distinctive feature of Jebel Marra is the high volcanic mountain up to 3042 m.a.s.l giving better soil, lower temperature and higher rainfall than the arid and savanna zones around the mountains. It is unique in its position relative to the rest of Africa and to its relation to the semi-desert around it. Jebel Marra mountain consists of a large crater, a 5-kilometre radius cavity, beneath the summit. The carter contains two basin-shaped volcanic depressions called the caldera. The beautiful view of Jebel Marra volcanic caldera shows the collapsed mouth of the ancient volcano forming the present two lakes. The lakes are characterized by interesting features from ecological and social values. Bath lakes are saline but differ markedly in chemical characteristics and in their physical and biotic features. The biodiversity of the crater including the two lakes adds to the great richness of the Jebel Marra habitats and provide a virgin area for research in aquatic life. Deriba Caldera highest part of Sudan, and has water in several streams and in the two Deriba lakes at the summit. It is believed that the area has many archaeological sites that need more investigation. The communities living around the Jebel developed their own techniques of building and irrigation methods in a friendly environment way which allowed them to sustain soils for crop production for centuries. 

Criterion (vii): Deriba Caldera is a natural phenomena and a site of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic value and importance. It is a region that dominates the landscape with outstanding scenic beauty and pleasant climate. The diversity of forest types along the altitudinal gradient of Jebel Marra, hot springs and Niertiti waterfall of Jebel Marra attract visitors from the local, national and international groups who are interested in a mosaic of colours of plants and trees. Deriba Crater Lake have always been given particular attention by the local communities, and considered locally and internationally as being one of the most ten beautiful Crater Lakes in the World.

Crîterion (viii): The mountain is most central in Africa being the place most distant from all the coasts and mountainous regions of the continent. It has floral elements from each of coasts. It is refuge for plants, animals and man since long time and has special place in human history as a result. The very nature of their topography offers a wide variety of ecological conditions, representing major stages of Earth' s history, including significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms and physiographic features and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including threatened species of outstanding universal value.

Criterion (ix): The mountain holds outstanding examples representing major geological formation and volcanic activity; hot springs, fresh water, and salty waters. It has several main ecosystem types and many minor vegetation groupings summarized in seventeen classes of land uses and land cover types. The exceptional environmental conditions of the mountain make it the most suitable place for in-situ conservation of biological diversity. The beautiful view of Jebel Marra volcanic caldera shows the collapsed mouth of the ancient volcano forming the present two lakes. The lakes are characterized by interesting features from ecological and social values.

Criterion (x): The site includes an outstanding diversity of habitats and plant communities that support its globally significant species and ecosystem diversity. Jebel Marra habitats are rich in floral and faunal diversity from its foot to its summit. A significant proportion of the flora occur in the area. Plant families represented by significant natural habitats. Jebel Marra is very rich in biodiversity. 932 taxa of flowering plants and 32 ferns, 500 plants and woody species. Abundant and diverse 295 bird species, including small and large forest birds, savannah species, grasslands birds, wetland species, raptors and ground birds as well as palaearctic migrants. Crater lakes, waterfalls and wetlands that hold exceptional high levels of species diversity to be found in semi-desert region.

Déclarations d’authenticité et/ou d’intégrité

Jebel Mara has spectacular variations in habitat, biodiversity, health status, and degree of endemism, intactness and resilience, which make it valuable site of global importance. To the current date, Deriba lakes were well maintained, by both the local community and govemment authorities. As for the community, it represents a cultural and ritual value; and for the authorities it represents a site of natural heritage and it has to be preserved. It has also great potential for agricultural and forestry development in the lower plains surrounding the jebel. While the jebel springs and waterfalls are a major source of water for the down stream catchments areas. There is no acts or by-laws protecting the site. The local communities provided the necessary modest protection and management of the site. But it is proposed by Govemment to be a National Park, and soon will be under the process of declaration as protected area.

Comparaison avec d’autres biens similaires

In comparing it with other global heritage sites of similar values, the first site is Mount Etna (Italy) which is an iconic site encompassing 19,237 uninhabited hectares on the highest part of Mount Etna, on the eastem coast of Sicily. Mount Etna is the highest Mediterranean island mountain  and the most active strato volcano in the world. The eruptive history of the volcano can be traced back 500,000 years and at least 2,700 years of this activity has been documented. The almost continuous eruptive activity of Mount Etna continues to influence volcanology, geophysics and other Earth science disciplines. The volcano also supports important terrestrial ecosystems including endemic flora and fauna and its activity makes it a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological  processes. The diverse and accessible range of volcanic features such as summit craters, cinder cones, lava flows and the Valle de Bove depression have made the site a prime destination for research and education. It is high volcanic mountain up to 3,042 m.a.s.l giving better soil, lower temperature and higher rainfall than the arid and savanna zones around the mountains. Jebel Marra mountain consists of a large crater, a 5-kilometre radius cavity, beneath the summit.The carter contains two basin-shaped volcanic depressions called the caldera.

Jebel Marra could be compared with El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altat Biosphere Reserve (Mexico). The 714,566 hectare site comprises two distinct parts: the dormant volcanic Pinacate Shield of black and red lava flows. It has ten enormous, deep and almost perfectly circular craters, believed to have been formed by a combination of eruptions and collapses, also contribute to the dramatic beauty of the site whose exceptional combination of features are of great scientific interest. Differ only because has desert pavements to the east, and, in the west, the Gran Altar Desert with its ever changing and varied sand dunes that can reach a height of 200 metres. This landscape of dramatic contrast notably features linear, star and dame dunes as well as several arid granite massifs, some as high as 650 metres. The dunes emerge like islands from the sea of sand and harbour distinct and highly diverse plant and wildlife communities, including endemic freshwater fish species and the endemic Sonoran Pronghorn, which is only to be found in northwestern Sonora and in southwestern Arizona (USA).

The Greater Blue Mountains Area (GBMA) is a deeply incised sandstone tableland that encompasses1.03 million hectares of eucalypt-dominated landscape just inland from Sydney, Australia's largest city, in south-eastern Australia. Spread across eight adjacent conservation reserves, it constitutes one of the largest and most intact tracts of protected bush land in Australia. It also supports an exceptional representation of the taxonomie, physiognomic and ecological diversity that eucalypts have developed: an outstanding illustration of the evolution of plant life. A number of rare and endemic taxa, including relict flora such as the Wollemi pine, also occur here. The geology and geomorphology studies are still going on. Ongoing research continues to reveal the rich scientific value of the Greater Blue Mountains Area as more species are discovered. Research is also ongoing on the upper cliffs between the upper and massive elevations of Jebel Mara. It contains important natural habitats for the conservation of biological diversity, including the best forest habitats not found on the dry habitats surrounding the Jebel. The geology and geomorphology of the property, which includes 300 metre cliffs, slot canyons and waterfalls, provides the physical conditions and visual backdrop to support these outstanding biological values. The property includes large areas of accessible wildemess in close proximity to 4.5  million people. Its exceptional biodiversity values are complemented by numerous others, including indigenous and post-European-settlement cultural values, geodiversity, water production, wilderness, recreation and natural beauty. Jebel Mara has a buffer zone all around the Jebel core zone where the indigenous communities live.

Kilimanjaro National Park: At 5,895 m, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains, with its snowy peak looming over the savannah. As in case of Jebel Marra the mountain is encircled by mountain forest. Numerous mammals, many of them endangered species, live in Kilimanjaro NP. Kilimanjaro National Park covering an area of some 75,575 ha protects the largest free standing volcanic mass in the world and the highest mountain in Africa, rising 4877m above surrounding plains to 5895m at its peak. With its snow-capped peak, the Kilimanjaro is a superlative natural phenomenon, standing in isolation above the surrounding plains overlooking the savannah. Similarly Jebel Marra appear to stand with its spectacular attribute as a natural phenomenon stand in isolation in a seini-arid ecosystem.

Another site to be compared is Vredefort Dome Natural heritage site (2005) is about 100km  southwest of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater. This area, near the town of Vredefort in the Free State, is known as the Vredefort Dome. The meteorite, larger than Table Mountain, caused a thousand­ megaton blast of energy. The impact would have vaporised about 70 cubic kilometres of rock - and may have increased the earth's oxygen levels to a degree that made the development of multicellular life possible. The world has about 130 crater structures of possible impact origin. The Vredefort Dome is among the top three, and is the oldest and largest clearly visible meteorite impact site in the world. The original crater, now eroded away, was probably 250 to 300 kilometres in diameter. It was larger than the Sudbury impact structure in Canada, about 200km in diameter. Jebel Marra is an outstanding example representing major geological formation and volcanic activity; hot springs, fresh water, salty waters. Jebel Marra mountain consists of a large crater, a 5-kilometre radius cavity, beneath the  summit. The carter contains two basin-shaped volcanic depressions called the caldera.

Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) is a protected area covering approximately 2,200 km² of the south-eastern Ethiopian highlands. Its volcanic peaks, formed by ancient lava outpourings, and later dissected by the Great Rift Valley, create a dramatic landscape and large altitudinal gradient. From the Harenna forest at approximately 1500m above sea level, up to the Sanetti Plateau reaching 4377m at its peak, Bale Mountains like Jebel Marra encompasses a variety of habitats and climates, which in turn supports an array of unique species. Bale Mountains Park is internationally recognized for having one of the highest incidences of animal endemicity of any terrestrial habitat in the world. According to the geology of the Bale NP, the volcanic outpourings covered all underlying rock formations, creating a vast lava plateau with at least six volcanic cones. The plateau predominantly consists of trachytes, but also includes rhyolites, basalts and associated agglomerates, and tuffs. The unique geology of the Bale Mountains has given rise to dramatic escarpments, sweeping valleys, glacial lakes, deep gorges and spectacular waterfalls. The Sanetti Plateau itself covers the largest area higher than 3000m above sea level in Africa, and its 4377m volcanic peak, Tulu Dimtu, is the second highest peak in Ethiopia. This harsh, high altitude environment creates an aesthetically remarkable landscape. Jebel Marra is an outstanding example representing major geological formation and volcanic activity; hot springs, fresh water, salty waters Like Jebel Mara, the Bale massif plays a vital role in hydrology and climate control in the region.