Preparatory assistance for the inscription of Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba, Togo
The Koutammakou landscape in north-eastern Togo, which extends into neighboring Benin, is home to the Batammariba people whose remarkable mud tower-houses have become a symbol of Togo. In this landscape, nature is strongly associated with the rituals and beliefs of the society. Despite recent transformations and persistent threats linked to foreign influences, as well as scarcity and absence of building materials (wood and straw), the original layout of the site, as well as management of the territory, expertise, authenticity, tradition and historical, cultural, religious, aesthetic, technical and economic values have been preserved. It is of considerable local, national and international importance.
In January 2002, the World Heritage Centre, working within the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, sent an expert from CRAterre-ENSAG (international centre for earth construction-Grenoble National School of Architecture) to assess the Outstanding Universal Value of Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba, the current state of conservation and management, protection measures and resources expended. The expert assisted the Togo authorities and the directorate of museums, sites and monuments in the preparation of a nomination.
The mission assisted in the establishment of a conservation and management plan appropriate for the natural and cultural heritage revalorization policy oriented to ecotourism and cultural tourism for sustainable development of the area. The property of Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004.