1.         Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) (C 144)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2004-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1983-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 41,370
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

ICOMOS mission, 23 to 27 February 2004.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

- Ruins damaged by sea erosion; collapsing monuments;

- lack of clear boundary of property and buffer zone; population pressure;

- no participation of community;

- unclear management systems leading to inactivity; old legal framework.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The World Heritage Centre received in October 2004 from the French NGO Chantiers Histoire & Architectures Médiévales (CHAM), a report on their three-year semi permanent work programme at the Kilwa Kisiwani property. The programme for the restoration and enhancement of the property, with a view to develop tourism in the region, started in 2002, upon the request of the Tanzanian Ministry for Tourism and Natural Resources through the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ ’Priority Solidarity Fund’ (FSP). The programme is part of the joint partnership of Tanzania, Japan, France and UNESCO for the development of the Kilwa Kisiwani World Heritage property started in 2001 and amounting to US$ 1,438,000.

The World Heritage Centre noted that besides the work-training project, the programme activities for the development of the property and of tourism include: the establishment of a visitor centre and museum; the construction of boat jetties; conservation awareness events for the local population; reinforcing legislation to protect the monument; training site guides and a research programme.

The World Heritage Centre further noted that the global aims for the property’s development are: to stimulate sustainable development in the region through promoting tourism leading to job creation, improvements in services and infrastructures and a rise of local living standards; to preserve and present the archaeological, architectural and historic material; to improve visitor facilities, site interpretation and educational tools on the site and to increase and ensure wide-ranging diffusion of knowledge and research about the sites’ history. CHAM further aims to transmit technical know-how in the preservation and maintenance of historic monuments among the local population; to train the site manager and work supervisor (district officers), in technical, administrative and financial aspects for site management so that they can continue the work effectively after the termination of the project; to consolidate the most threatened architectural features and control the deterioration of the remains of the monuments through restoration work and to make the property more accessible and understandable to visitors.

The World Heritage Centre received in March 2005 for its comments drafts of the Management Plan, the Tourism Master Plan including draft promotional materials, as well as a report on the intangible aspects and the proposed extension to include Kilwa Kivinje. These reports will be submitted by the State Party in their final form at the time of the 29th session of the Committee in 2005.

The World Heritage Centre notes that the State Party is putting many efforts in establishing plans for the conservation, proper management and sustainable development of the site involving the local community as well as the international donor community. The final documents could facilitate the involvement of interested donors in the continued need for support for the urgent conservation works at the property. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7A,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.41, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party of United Republic of Tanzania for the efforts undertaken to establish a management and conservation plan and a Tourism Master Plan for the property, and invites the State Party to submit the final documents;

4. Notes with appreciation the continued support provided by the Governments of France and Japan to address some of the problems facing this property;

5. Encourages the State Party to implement the management plan and tourism master plan for the protection, conservation and development of the property;

6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2006, a report on the state of conservation of the property including follow up action on the recommendations of the ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission of 2004, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

7. Decides to retain Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-05/29.COM/7A and WHC-05/29.COM/7A.Add),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: