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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7A.53
Old Towns of Djenné (Mali) (C 116rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.13, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Congratulates the State Party for all the efforts undertaken to strengthen the conservation and management of the property placing emphasis on the full involvement of stakeholders and the local population, through visits to inspect the state of the property with the Management Committee, the media (local radio) and district Councellors, and awareness-raising measures with the local population, particularly the youth;
  4. Expresses its keen acknowledgement, notably of the population of Djenné for its willingness and mobilization in the conservation of its built heritage, demonstrated in the plastering, maintenance and drainage initiatives, and calls upon the State Party to continue awareness-raising activities, information and liability of house owners in order to clarify the roles of all concerned parties, including the State institutions and UNESCO, to avoid any misunderstanding and issues that might occur at the time of restoration interventions;
  5. Commends the restoration of several monumental houses thanks to the International Assistance, as well as the architectural diagnostic of the Great Mosque and the installation of new electrification with financial support from the Spanish Developing Cooperation Agency, but recommends the State Party to take adequate measures to absorb the increased number of worshippers during prayer times and avert any possible impact on the mosque;
  6. Also expresses its satisfaction on the census and inventory measures of the plaster- rendered houses, but remains concerned as regards the continuing threats to the built heritage, in particular the collapse of houses during the rainy season, their abandonment due to inheritance issues or the use of inappropriate material such as cement for the plugging of the houses of banco, and requests the State Party to continue the inventory work, notably for the abandoned houses;
  7. Also requests the State Party to prepare a maintenance handbook for the houses with a view to initiating a programme which will attract international support and enable the granting of subsidies for the restoration and reconstruction work of the houses in ruins on a fair basis;
  8. While appreciating the publication of the notice requesting the registration of the four archaeological sites of Djenné in the official journal Essor to provide ownership titles, expresses its concern with regard to the continued illegal excavations at these sites and also recommends that the State Party erects fencing to control access and avoid degradation caused by animals and people, and to resume the work of updating the maps to identify all their components;
  9. Notes that the capacities and the means of the Cultural Mission remain insufficient, and recalls to the State Party the importance of further strengthening these capacities, and to also develop, with support from the World Heritage Centre, the UNESCO Office at Bamako and the Advisory Bodies, including the actors and concerned parties regularly collaborating with the Cultural Mission, the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, 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 44th session in 2020;
  11. Decides to retain Old Towns of Djenné (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
43 COM 7A.53
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2019 Old Towns of Djenné
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision