Year of inscription on the World Heritage List
Robben Island: 1999
Robben Island: (iii)(vi)
Previous Committee Decisions:
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective measures identified
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Approved: 0USD
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Tourism Pressure; Lack of monitoring system; Lack of presentation and interpretation.
Current conservation issues
Several threats to the Robben Island World Heritage site are noted, which if not managed or controlled, could potentially adversely impact on the integrity of the site. Most of these threats and opportunities had already been identified in specialist studies which have been conducted on the island, and concluded that the main challenge for site management was to implement existing recommendations. The threats include: progressive invasion by alien plants; uncontrollable fires; presence of unsuitable large herbivores; presence of feral cats, European rabbits and black rats; over-harvesting and/or poaching of abalone and other marine resources; impact of vehicles and residents/tourists on endangered fauna; littering by residents and visitors; solid waste in the form of discarded vehicles, machinery, building materials and rubble; solid waste from ships/marine litter; impact of marine sewer outfall; impact of vehicles on geological features; impact of infrastructure upgrades and development; exploitation of groundwater; impact of tourism.
IUCN, ICOMOS and ICCROM note that the key factors preventing effective implementation of the recommendations made in the aforementioned existing reports and specialist studies were:
a) Poor integration of the various management and policy documentation into a single, comprehensive Conservation Management Plan;
b) High staff vacancy rate (approximately 25%) resulting in reduced integrated management structures;
c) The lack of specific annual plans of operation addressing each priority management programme, with appropriate levels of accountability;
d) Difficulties associated with the operational aspects of maintenance and conservation implementation, leading to a serious lack of certainty of preventive maintenance funding and programming; and increasing deterioration of the sites built heritage.
e) Lack of proactive management of tourism pressure.
Decision Adopted: 28COM 15B.40The World Heritage Committee, 1. Noting the results of the IUCN/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission to Robben Island World Heritage property, its findings and recommendations, 2. Requests the State Party to implement the recommendations contained in the report of the IUCN/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission, and in particularly to: a) review and adopt as appropriate, and implement within an agreed timeframe, recent proposals for rationalization, consolidation and integration of the management structure of the Robben Island Museum, b) study, with a view to consolidate them into a single Conservation Management Plan, the source documents for the Conservation Management Plan Summary showing medium and long-term programmes identified; ensure that Annual Action Plans of Operation are prepared for conservation and maintenance work at the property; and implement the proposals contained in the Phase 1 Robben Island Tourism Development and Management Plan, c) conduct a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and constraints for tourism products based on the unique natural and cultural landscape character of the property, with a view to diversifying the visitor experience and ensuring that positive impacts are enhanced and negative impacts avoided or mitigated, d) explore linkages with other institutions and programmes such as South African National Parks and the Table Mountain National Park, the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, the City of Cape Town and Cape Action for People and the Environment to ensure that the wealth of expertise in the region regarding management of the natural and cultural landscape environments is available to the site’s management, e) establish a Memorandum of Understanding or similar formal relationship with the Public Works Department to strengthen programs' coordination for conservation and maintenance at Robben Island, f) set-up a statutory body for Robben Island with specific regulatory mechanisms as provided for by the World Heritage Convention Act (1999), for the managing and up keep of the property; 3. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2005, a detailed report on the progress on the implementation of the joint IUCN, ICOMOS, ICCROM mission recommendations for review by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.