Rwanda’s Nyungwe National Park has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, becoming the country’s first site to get the UN agency’s coveted status. The decision was made on Tuesday, September 19, during a session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee taking place in the Saudi capital Riyadh. “This serial property represents an important area for rainforest conservation in Central Africa,” UNESCO said in a description on its website. ALSO READ: What addition of Nyungwe park on World Heritage List means The nearly 102,000-hectare rainforest, located in southwestern Rwanda, is home to intact forests and peat bogs, moors, thickets, and grasslands, providing habitats to highly diverse flora and fauna. UNESCO said: “The Park also contains the most significant natural habitats for a number of species found nowhere else in the world, including the globally threatened Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), Golden Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis ssp. kandti) and the Critically Endangered Hills Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hillorum).” The UN agency added that Nyungwe National Park is home to 12 mammal and seven bird species that are globally threatened, with 317 species of birds recorded. “Nyungwe National Park is one of the most important sites for bird conservation in Africa,” UNESCO said. ALSO READ: Explainer: UNESCO heritage sites and why they matter ALSO READ: Why you should try Nyungwe Park guided nature walks ‘Significant designation’ Reacting to the development, Rwanda government spokesperson Yolande Makolo said Nyungwe’s inscription on UNESCO World Heritage List was “good news.” “This is a significant designation that will reinforce Rwanda's ongoing conservation efforts,” Makolo said in a post on X. Good news: Rwanda’s @NyungwePark has just become the first site in our country to be inscribed in @UNESCO's World Heritage List. This is a significant designation that will reinforce Rwanda's ongoing conservation efforts. #VisitRwanda #ConservationIsLife https://t.co/4TILMfJpcD — Yolande Makolo (@YolandeMakolo) September 19, 2023 ALSO READ: African Parks to manage Nyungwe park for 20 years In December 2021, the Rwandan government approved a request to UNESCO to list Nyungwe on its World Heritage List, a move lauded by conservationists as a step in the right direction. The national park feeds two of the world's longest rivers – River Nile and River Congo – and is the source of up to 70 per cent of Rwanda’s freshwater. Nyungwe’s monetary value is estimated at $4.8 billion, according to studies. ALSO READ: UNESCO boss backs bid to turn Rwanda's Genocide memorials into world heritage sites Until Nyungwe’s inscription, Rwanda was among 12 African countries which did not have a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Rwandan government has also requested the inscription of four memorial sites of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.