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 1994-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 134,880
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: Japan Funds in Trust: USD 1,108,078; UCCLA: USD 526,015 and Portugal/IPAD: USD 102,900.

Previous monitoring missions

2005: World Heritage Centre missions; 2006: World Heritage Centre missions; February 2007: ICOMOS mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Delay in implementing rehabilitation of the San Sebastian Fortress;

b) Management plan not yet finalised;

c) Buildings threatened with collapse;

d) Lack of development control and threats to authenticity;

e) Lack of adequate sewage system.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

In its report submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 1 February 2008, the State Party presented the progress in implementing the decisions of the World Heritage Committee:

Emergency Action Plan

An Emergency Plan has been prepared for the Cabinet of Conservation of Mozambique Island and it includes the following major activities:

1. An inventory of immovable properties existing in the Island. The inventory indicates that there are 1,192 immovable properties in Macuti town, 557 in the Stone town and 42 ruins;

2. A letter directed to the owners of the ruins to sensitize them about their obligations to restore and make use of them.

As a result, the report states that many ruins have been now properly maintained with a better appearance. No further details are provided for the Plan or for any short-term remedial actions.


Management plan

A request has been made to the Africa 2009 Programme to assist with the preparation of a conservation and management plan. This request will be considered by the Africa 2009 steering committee at its next meeting.

The State Party also reported that in 2007, the Portuguese Government allocated USD 250,000 to the African Development Bank for the preparation of a Master Plan to be started in 2008. No further information has been received on this allocation. There is clearly a need, if this project goes ahead, for the Master Plan to be strongly linked to the proposed management plan.


Timetable for the restoration of the San Sebastian Fortress

Based on an architectural survey, an implementation strategy has been devised for 2007-8 and for a budget of USD 1 million. This includes:

a) removal of all invasive vegetation;

b) structural consolidation and repair;

c) rehabilitation of the original water collection and storage system;

d) construction of a new cistern to provide a source of water for use by the local population;

e) provision of basic infrastructural services and facilities;

f) restoration of one building to accommodate facilities, to set restoration standards and to provide on-the-job training for local craftsmen.

g) appointment of a site manager in January 2008, the letting of a main contract in January 2008 and fund-raising for a subsequent phase II. Phase I is due for completion in December 2008.


Raising awarenees on World Heritage values

No progress has yet been made on this but a project to sensitise stakeholders on the value and significance of the Island of Mozambique, and on the Convention, has been included as part of an International Assistance request.

The State Party also reported on the completion of the restoration project for Casa Girassol one of the main monuments on the island. This has been accomplished with the support of the City of Bergen and will act as an exemplar for conservation work on the Island.

Overall progress has been made in addressing the conservation of the San Sebastian Fortress and in applying for assistance for finalizing the conservation and management plan and these, together with the work on Casa Girassol are to be welcomed.

At its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007), the World Heritage Committee reaffirmed its great concern “that the Island of Mozambique continues to be threatened by serious degradation of its historical monuments and urban structure and is in danger of loosing its authenticity”. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned that very little progress has been made in addressing the fundamental problems affecting the outstanding universal value of the property. They consider that there is a need to raise the profile of this property in order to mobilize support for a coordinated action from the international community. They recommend a reactive monitoring mission from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in order to assess the extent of the degradation of the property and the threats affecting its outstanding universal value. The mission would also identify, in consultation with the relevant authorities, a Desired state of conservation, the corrective measures needed and the timeframe for implementation.

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


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.51

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.48, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Notes the progress made in phase 1 of a project for the rehabilitation of the San Sebastian Fortress, and the completion of the restoration of Casa Girassol;

4. Expresses its concern that no progress has been made with the Conservation and management plan but acknowledges that an application for help in finalizing the Plan has been submitted to the Africa 2009 Programme for promoting a better understanding of World Heritage values;

5. Also expresses its serious concern that there has been little progress in addressing the serious degradation of historical monuments and urban structures, which is threatening the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Urges the State Party to address the most severe degradation and put in place short-term remedial actions, including capacity building, in collaboration with all the stakeholders;

7. Calls upon the international community, in collaboration with UNESCO, to support the creation of partnerships to allow an integrated approach to the sustainable development of the property;

8. Requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, to develop a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

9. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to examine the state of conservation of the property and determine if it is under ascertained or potential threats, as defined by Paragraph 179 of the Operational Guidelines;

10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a report on the progress made in implementing the Emergency Action Plan and in undertaking short-term remedial actions, and on the preparation of the Conservation and management plan, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009, with a view to considering, in the absence of substantial progress, the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.