In January 2018, a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission took place at the World Heritage property “Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia” (Federated States of Micronesia).

The mission was requested by the World Heritage Committee to ‘agree on a Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSoC), based on the cultural attributes of Outstanding Universal Value and to be reached through a detailed assessment of the stability of the walls as a base for setting out a Conservation Strategy and corrective measures that can then be phased and costed. Efforts would then be made with the assistance of ICOMOS and UNESCO to find partners and donors to support this conservation project’. (Decision 40 COM 8B.22, Istanbul, 2016) 

The World Heritage property of Nan Madol was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2016. The site was also inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger due to threats, notably the siltation of waterways that is contributing to the unchecked growth of mangroves and undermining existing edifices.

Due to the complexity of threats affecting the property, a multi-disciplinary Reactive Monitoring mission team consisting of an archaeologist, stone expert, structural engineer and project management specialist was established, thanks to the financial support from the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust at the World Heritage Centre for “Technical Support for Nan Madol” under the World Heritage SIDS Programme.

Furthermore, in 2016 the State Party requested support of USD 30,000 of International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund for drafting a Conservation Plan and for carrying out preliminary work on clearing the waterways. This request was approved in March 2017. The archaeologist who is to draft the Conservation Plan was also part of the Reactive Monitoring Mission, as the development of the Conservation Plan will be carried out following the mission. Work on the waterways will be carried out in the first half of 2018.

The World Heritage Committee will review the state of conservation of the property at its 42nd session in June/July 2018.