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World Heritage Convention

Decision 39 COM 7B.45
Stone Town of Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of) (C 173rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.45, 36 COM 7B. 49, and 38 COM 7B.55, adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 36th (Saint-Petersburg, 2012) and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Deeply regrets that the State Party did not halt work on the Mambo Msiige project as requested in the abovementioned decisions, and allowed the developer to complete the project without taking into account the recommendations of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and the jointly agreed upon matrix and guidelines for a revised design;
  4. Considers that the newly completed six storey hotel (two stories above the agreed matrix and guidelines and encroaching onto the public beach and protected open space) has a significant adverse impact on the urban form and silhouette of the property and a substantial adverse impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and notes that the State Party, itself, recognizes in its 2015 state of conservation report, the negative impacts of the encroachment;
  5. Urges the State Party to work with the current property management to undertake all feasible mitigation measures, as outlined in the 2014 mission report, to lessen the negative impacts of the hotel on the OUV of the property, and to provide a proposal for this work, including a timeline for implementation for submission to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Also notes that the State Party recognizes the lack of effective management procedures, as evidenced by the fact that the 2008 Heritage Management Plan and the 2010 Stone Town Conservation and Development Act have not yet been implemented, and requests the State Party to begin their implementation as soon as possible;
  7. Further notes that the State Party has taken steps to improve governance of the property through the setting up of a Development Control Authority, the Heritage Board and the Stakeholders Forum, and also requests the State Party to act with urgency to establish these organizations and ensure their effective implementation with appropriate guidance from the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further requests the State Party not to undertake any development projects until they have been reviewed according to the Management Plan, in collaboration with the proposed new management structures above-mentioned and guided by HIAs, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to engage with urgency in the implementation of the approved Traffic Plan;
  10. Calls upon the international community to provide assistance to the State Party to improve the management capacity and systems for the property;
  11. Invites the State Party to request International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund to strengthen the management and conservation of the property;
  12. Also regrets that the State Party has not complied with all the requests expressed by the Committee in Decision 38 COM 7B.55, in particular related to the lack of significant progress in implementing the conservation plan and in reversing the decay in most of the building stock, in spite of the recommendations of the Committee over several sessions since 2007, leading to the poor overall state of conservation of the property;
  13. Also considers that the serious conservation condition of the property and the lack of effective management and adequate governance has led to inappropriate development such as the completion of the Mambo Msiige project;
  14. Requests moreover the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop a set of corrective measures, a timeframe for their implementation, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  15. Requests in addition the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to the property in 2015 to develop corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation to be presented to the World Heritage Committee at the next session in 2016 with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  16. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.
Decision Code
39 COM 7B.45
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2015 Stone Town of Zanzibar
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015)
Context of Decision