Robben Island World Heritage Site and Le Morne Cultural Landscape signed a twinning agreement yesterday at Atlantic Imbizo. Picture: Robben Island Museum
Cape Town - Two Unesco World Heritage Sites have signed a twinning agreement that will solidify their links.

Robben Island Museum and Le Morne Cultural Landscape, in Mauritius, have joined forces.

Both these sites are a symbol of cultural diplomacy.

“As a World Heritage Site, continuous innovation and capacity building is key as stipulated by its Capacity Building Strategy, adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2011,” says Robben Island Museum's chief heritage officer Pascall Taruvinga.

“The strategy responds to the identified needs of a diverse and growing audience for capacity building for World Heritage conservation and management activities.

Through collaborative programmes between the two sites, capacity around world heritage in areas of research, conservation and management will be fostered.

‘‘Development of resource materials such as best practice case studies and communication tools are among the activities foreseen by the strategy.

"Therefore, the twinning agreement between the museum and Le Morne Cultural Landscape is a fulfilment of this strategy.

"Through collaborative programmes between the two sites, we will be able to build capacity around world heritage in areas of research, conservation and management,” said Taruvinga.

Robben Island Museum is considering many new options for tourists, which could also provide employment opportunities. Picture: David Ritchie

Mauritian Minister of Sports and Culture Prithvirajsing Roopun equally expressed his delight in partnering with Robben Island Museum because of their many and common shared objectives.

Roopun added that he is happy to see this day finally come to fruition.

Tamassa Resort, an all-inclusive 4-star beach hotel in Mauritius, is surrounded by mountains and verdant sugar cane fields.

The day included cultural performances by Ilitha LeLanga Marimba Ensemble that kept guests entertained and feeling proudly South African.

“Recognition and appreciation of cultural diversity is essential for purposeful coexistence.

‘‘As RIM, we are appreciative of this historic event that unfolded today in the year that RIM celebrates 20 years as a museum.

‘‘We hope it is exemplary to other world heritage sites that through unity and collaboration we stand an even better chance of championing heritage preservation,” said Taruvinga.

Cape Times