V.220 The Secretariat informed the Bureau on the findings of the mission carried out by a Centre staff to Ouadane and Chinguetti in April 2001 to assess the state of conservation and discuss with the national authorities possible measures to be taken for their safeguarding. The Bureau noted that the restoration works of the Mosque of Ouadane, funded under the World Heritage Convention, are proceeding according to schedule and should be completed by the end of the summer.
V.221 The Bureau noted the various problems gravely affecting these ancient cities despite the commendable efforts of the competent national authorities. These range from big climatic and socio-economic changes to lack of funds and trained human resources. The Secretariat informed the Bureau of its intention to develop a large project for the rehabilitation of the four ancient ksour, and to seek extrabudgetary funds for that purpose. The urgency of an intervention was further explained by the risk of adverse effects on the conservation of the ancient ksour caused by the rapidly growing tourism industry in this fragile area. The Bureau and ICOMOS supported the strategy proposed by the Secretariat, notably to elaborate urban conservation and development plans for the cities, including technical and juridical instruments to facilitate a policy of rehabilitation and re-appropriation of the old abandoned houses.
V.222 The Bureau recommended that urgent action be undertaken by the Mauritanian authorities, in close co-ordination with the Centre, to provide the ancient ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata with a technical and institutional framework for the implementation of appropriate management and conservation policies. This framework should integrate the various national and international efforts into a single coherent strategy to safeguard these unique sites and strengthening the capacity of the responsible national and local authorities.