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Strengthening different parts of the nomination dossier of the Diy Gid Biy Cultural Landscape of the Mandara Mountains (extension of the Sukur Cultural Landscape) on the World Heritage List

Geographical focus
© Ishanlosen Odiaua

The Diy Gid Biy Cultural Landscape (DGB) is a set of sixteen (16) dry stone sites distributed in seven (7) villages in the Far North Region of Cameroon. The DGB sites are complexes of terraces and platforms spread over the Mandara Mountains mountain chain, which is shared between Cameroon and Nigeria. This site is classified as a national heritage site and has been on Cameroon's Tentative List since 2006 and revised in 2017.

The state party of Cameroon is proposing this site as an extension to the Sukur Cultural Landscape (Nigeria), a site inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999.

However, while the two sites are architecturally similar, differences remain. For example, the cultural landscape of Diy-Gid-Biy (DGB) is uninhabited and therefore considered a relic Site, while Sukur is inhabited.

In order to succeed in proposing this extension, the State Party of Cameroon has requested technical and financial support from UNESCO for the preparation of the nomination dossier. To this end, experts from Cameroon and Nigeria (cartographer, archaeologist and museologist documentalist) worked on mapping the site, inventorying the artefacts and strengthening the comparative analysis and the declaration of authenticity and integrity all of which, should be based on documentary research, results of field visits and anthropological studies.

This project contributed to support and strengthen the technical capacities of the national team of Cameroon in charge of the preparation of the nomination dossier, in view of its submission to the World Heritage Centre in January 2021.

The project was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Chinese Government's Fund for Capacity Building and Cooperation for World Heritage in Africa.

Progress made
  • From 12 to 23 December 2019 and from 10 to 20 February 2020, two missions took place on the DGB sites.
  • The overall objective of these missions was to strengthen the different parts of the nomination dossier by (i) assessing the attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and (ii) collecting information on the oral traditions of the Mafa people as well as geographical, iconographic, ethnographic, anthropological, historical, sociological and archaeological data.
  • The experts (Cameroon and Nigeria) concluded in their final report that (i) although the DGB site was considered to be a relic site, the documentation consulted and the oral discourse certifies that the Mafa people living in the vicinity of the DGB bring the site to life through the cultural practices they practice there; (ii) the attributes of OUV identified on the DGB Cultural Landscape are identical to the Sukur Cultural Landscape; (iii) the ancestors of the community at the DGB 8 Site, located in the village of Moustikar Ldagam are believed to have come from Sukur; (iv) the extension of the Sukur Cultural Landscape to the Diy Gid Biy Cultural Landscape will surely have a positive impact in the process of building sustainable peace in this area threatened by terrorism.
  • Both missions were beneficial in strengthening the different parts of the nomination of the DGB Cultural Landscape on the World Heritage List.
  • The provisional Statement of Authenticity and Integrity and the provisional comparative analysis are available and the final choice on the possibility of extension with the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Nigeria is known.
  • The missions also enabled to obtain photographs and the exact location of all the sites, as well as a topographical map on a scale of 1/50000 of the DGB cultural landscape.
  • Cameroon updated their Tentative List on 23/06/2020 by adding the Diy Gid Biy Cultural Landscape of the Mandara Mountains (extension of the Sukur Cultural Landscape)

The final report can be downloaded here.

Name of the property: Diy Gid Biy Cultural Landscape of the Mandara Mountains (extension of the Sukur Cultural Landscape) (Tentative List)

State party: Cameroon

Amount: 10,000 USD

Implementation period: December 2019 – June 2020 (7 months)


  • National: State Party of Cameroon
States parties 1
Geographical focus