Assistance internationale d’urgence pour la protection renforcée des biens « Tombouctou » le « Tombeau des Askia » et les « Villes anciennes de Djenné » inscrits sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO
The armed conflict that erupted in 2012 in Mali had various negative impacts on World Heritage in this country: destruction of parts of properties, particularly in Timbuktu; lack of regular maintenance caused by the massive displacement of populations including leading stakeholders; closure of cultural missions, responsible for the protection and conservation of these properties. The authenticity, integrity and cultural significance of the sites were affected, dangerously undermining their Outstanding Universal Value.
This project aimed to:
- Create synergies and improve information sharing between all national and international stakeholders, for the protection and safeguarding of the properties of Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia;
- Train stakeholders and representatives of humanitarian organizations and NGO in order that their interventions and activities in periods of crisis and post crisis are appropriate for the conservation of the properties concerned;
- Undertake an inventory as well as some restoration at the archaeological sites of Djenné.
- The first mission was carried out in Timbuktu by a multidisciplinary team of Malian experts (31 May to 3 June 2013); it was followed by a second mission in Bamako and Timbuktu, this time by a team of international experts (3 to 8 June 2013). Exchanges with administrative, military and community authorities (religious authorities, coordination of neighborhood leaders and representatives of the corporation of masons) and field visits (mausoleums, mosques, cemeteries) helped to explain them all the efforts made since the beginning of the crisis by the Government of Mali and its partners, including UNESCO, for enhanced protection of cultural heritage and ancient manuscripts, current actions and strategies for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the destroyed cultural properties and revitalization of intangible elements, as well as effective community involvement.
- A training workshop in humanitarian support and protection of cultural heritage was held on 13 August 2013 in Bamako. After the training, participants (10 representatives of Malian administrative services; representatives from the World Food Programme and the High Commissioner for Refugees ; the representative of the Veterans UN Volunteers Association ; 25 members of the humanitarian emergency thematic Group of the Forum of international NGOs in Mali) were able to master the basic concepts of heritage, international conventions ratified by Mali, national laws and regulations governing the protection of cultural heritage both tangible and intangible, and aspects of humanitarian law and cultural heritage law. They were able not only to appreciate the importance of safeguarding, protecting and enhancing cultural heritage, but they were also committed to put into practice the knowledge acquired upon return to their respective areas of intervention.
- At Djenné, stone barriers were set up on the archaeological sites of Kaniana, Tonomba, Jenne-Jeno and Hambarketolo. It involved arranging stones according to the water flow slope on the sites to reduce water erosion and recover soil. Trees were also planted as hedges for biological edge protection of archaeological sites to curb water erosion during floods.