1.         Island of Mozambique (Mozambique) (C 599)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1991

Criteria  (iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2009)
Total amount approved: USD 209,880
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: For the rehabilitation of the Saint Sebastian Fortress: USD 1,108,078 by Japan Funds in Trust; USD 526,015 by UCCLA; USD 397,122 by Portugal/IPAD; USD 270,000 by Flanders Funds in Trust; USD 729,729 by the Netherlands Funds in Trust. For other conservation and management projects: USD 50,000 by World Heritage Cities Programme (Netherlands); USD 89,000 by IPAD; USD 23,175 by Africa 2009; USD 13,450 by AWHF.

Previous monitoring missions

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: World Heritage Centre missions; February 2007: ICOMOS mission; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; April 2010: ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 4 February 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/documents/. The report highlights the progress made in a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions, including:

Challenges remain concerning a number of other conservation issues, including the continued degradation of State Properties (such as the Hospital and Courthouse) and ruins (many privately owned); lack of funds for conservation; absence of a legal framework for heritage management; and abandonment of traditional building techniques used for macuti houses.

Two project proposals have been developed: one for the rehabilitation of the Mozambique Island Hospital into a hotel and cultural centre, and a second for the conversion of São Lourenco Fortress into a tourist resort. UNESCO’s and the Advisory Bodies’ endorsements are being sought prior to their implementation.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The State Party has made significant progress towards the sustainable conservation and development of the property. The increase in the number of staff members will help ensure and improve the property management. Their participation in training activities to improve conservation and risk management should continue to be encouraged, as well as the development of close working relationships with the new Officer in charge of the National UNESCO Office in Maputo and the UNESCO regional Office in Harare.

The signing in 2013 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the Mozambique Island Conservation Office (GACIM), the University of Lurio and UNESCO for the establishment of a Documentation Center in Saint Sebastian Fortress, which will help ensure the conservation and dissemination of scientific knowledge about the property, should be emphasized.

Concerning the second MoU signed in 2013 for the rehabilitation of the Mozambique Island Hospital, the State Party reports that it is awaiting feedback from the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies on the project; however, an official request for comments together with copies of the project documents have not yet been received by the World Heritage Centre. Moreover, the State Party reports that another rehabilitation project by a private investor aims to transform the São Lourenco Fortress into a tourist resort. It is therefore recommended that documents describing these two projects be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible, along with the associated Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments.

The State Party should also give priority to formalizing and adopting the buffer zone without further delay; and that it considers requesting International Assistance for this task, if needed, to ensure its timely completion.

Although the State Party reports that particular attention was given in 2012 and 2013 to updating legislation about the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, no specific details are given in its report, and should be provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies. The State Party is also reminded that any new legislation should be submitted to UNESCO for inclusion in the Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws.

The State Party’s efforts for the successful implementation of the Management and Conservation Plan for Mozambique Island (2010 – 2014) are well noted; and it is suggested that the Plan be duly evaluated and updated in 2015 with the close participation of all stakeholders, including local communities.

Despite progress made, sanitation remains a significant concern, especially on the beaches.Traditional building techniques used for the construction of macuti houses are being abandoned due to lack of macuti and changes in lifestyle; however, the progress made in reviving this tradition through an education and awareness-raising programme, which has led to plans to rehabilitate 12 macuti houses, should be applauded. In addition, the preliminary guidelines on macuti construction, provided to the State Party in 2010, should be considered for the rehabilitation of the Island’s buildings in Stone Town and Macuti Town. Efforts to raise awareness among Government entities and stakeholders about the need for sustainable heritage conservation should be continued.

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.51

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.46, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Commends the State Party for its efforts and progress made in improving the state of conservation of the property, including increasing the number of technical staff hired for the Conservation Office of Mozambique Island (GACIM), and signing two Memorandums of Understanding in 2013 for the Creation of the Documentation Centre in Saint Sebastian Fortress and for the Rehabilitation of the Mozambique Island Hospital;
  4. Encourages the State Party to finalize efforts to formalize and adopt the buffer zone in conformity with Paragraph 107 of the Operational Guidelines, and to update the legislation for the protection and conservation of heritage;
  5. Recommends that the Management and Conservation Plan for Mozambique Island (2010 – 2014) be duly evaluated and updated in 2015 with the close participation of all stakeholders, including local communities;
  6. Takes note of the intention of the State Party to submit the development plans for the Mozambique Island Hospital and the São Lourenco Fortress to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, and also recommends that the State Party submit, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , these and any other large-scale conservation or infrastructure projects planned for the property along with their associated Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage advice note on Environmental Assessments and with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage Cultural Properties;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.