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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.29
Bandiagara Cliffs (Land of the Dogons) (Mali) (C/N 516)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.72 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Notes with satisfaction the various measures taken by the State Party for the conservation of the heritage and the reconciliation and social cohesion of communities with the support of MINUSMA and other partners, and requests it to strengthen these measures;
  4. Reiterates its great concern about the continuing very unstable security situation due to intra- and inter-community tensions and armed conflicts which are driving local populations to abandon villages and take refuge in more secure towns in the country, which affects conservation and management of the property, exacerbated by the COVID-19 health crisis, and welcomes the confirmation by the State Party of the slight improvement in the security situation and the gradual but very precarious return to peace;
  5. Taking note of the State Party's claim that the cultural and natural values are still preserved, expresses its great concern that the integrity and authenticity of the property have been affected and considers that a return to peace and security is a necessary condition to avoid continued degradation of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Notes with appreciation the intention to establish a multidisciplinary working group for the development of an emergency action plan as recommended by the 2019 mission, and requests the State Party to set it up as soon as possible in order to coordinate all community and government initiatives and to strengthen the traditional social, technical and economic practices that underpin the existence of this extensive and very fragile cultural landscape, and which are today under considerable threat;
  7. Notes with satisfaction the operational launch of the “Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of the Built Heritage of Bandiagara” project, financed by the Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH) that has already carried out the inventory and evaluation of the buildings and movable heritage objects affected in three villages, and has rehabilitated a large number of houses and granaries;
  8. Also notes with satisfaction the various community actions that support and mobilize local communities in safeguarding their heritage, in particular those of the Association Dogon Initiative (ADI), and encourages the State Party to continue to support and back these initiatives financially;
  9. Welcomes the launch of the Government programme for the reconstruction of built heritage, which also provides for infrastructure projects, as well as efforts to mobilize additional funds to intervene in various aspects of the heritage, tangible and intangible, and requests the State Party to provide more information on these different interventions as soon as possible and to take stock of the achievements in its future reports on the state of conservation of the property;
  10. Welcomes the efforts of the State Party to organize the ritual ceremony of “Sigui” which only takes place every 60 years, and to initiate preparations for its celebration in 2027, including the identification of infrastructure needs, such as boreholes with a water supply system and the rehabilitation of degraded village camps; recognizing the great importance of this ceremony for the Dogon communities and the opportunity that the "Sigui" represents to strengthen and renew the identity of the communities within the property, strongly encourages the State Party to provide all measures favouring the safeguarding of this heritage, including in particular under the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
  11. Expresses its concern as regards the limits of the intervention capacities of the Cultural Mission and the insufficiency of human and financial resources which continue to weigh negatively on the effective management of the property, and reiterates its request to the State Party to increase its efforts to further support the Cultural Mission;
  12. Notes that the management and conservation plan for the property expires in 2022, and requests the State Party to submit the updated draft management plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  13. Requests the State Party to provide information regarding the state of the natural values of the property in order to allow a better analysis of the impact of the current situation on these values;
  14. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite, as soon as circumstances allow, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property to examine the state of conservation of the cultural and natural heritage and the overall management of the property in the context of the current security crisis;
  15. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2024, a progress report, and by 1 December 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 47th session.
Context of Decision