Technical Assistance for the protection and development of Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Morocco, is a fortified village of adobe buildings and is an interesting example of earthen architecture in North Africa. It contains barns and dwellings within its defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou in the Ouarazate province of Morocco was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987.

The CERKAS (centre for conservation and rehabilitation of the architectural heritage of the atlas and sub-atlas zones) and the Moroccan authorities requested the World Heritage Centre’s support in the implementation of a management plan. Funded under the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, a team from CRAterre-ENSAG was sent in June 2008. Mission activities included analysis of the condition of the property, establishing recommendations, defining plans of action, as well as technical recommendations for the fortification wall built on the upper side of the rock and the building constructed at the summit of the rock (popularly known as “Ighrem n iqddarn”, or community barn).

Implementation of a management plan enabled significant achievements: an Arabic translation of the management plan was widely distributed and stakeholders met regularly to adjust and decide on activities to undertake. Since it was distributed and discussed during meetings, the management plan became a reference document for decisions concerning activities to be carried out on the ksar. Furthermore, special budgets were allocated by the government (Ministry of Culture of Morocco) and several of the plan’s actions were launched and received funding.

World Heritage Sites
Strategic objectives
  • Conservation
  • Capacity Building
  • Communication