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Island of Mozambique

Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Solid waste
  • Storms
  • Other Threats:

    Precarious state of conservation of the stone

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Need for a detailed programme for the recuperation / rehabilitation of the island
  • Storm in 1994
  • Lack of funding (issue resolved)
  • Precarious state of conservation of the stone
  • Solid waste collection
  • Presence of squatters in the Stone City
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 4 (from 1994-1999)
Total amount approved : 104,900 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**

July 1995: UNESCO expert mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations:

Twenty-second session of the World Heritage Committee - Chapter VII.36:

The Committee requested the authorities to report at its twenty-third session on the results of the donor's meeting and on the progress made in the implementation of the "Programme for Sustainable Human Development and Integral Conservation".


New information:As a result of the Programme for Sustainable Human Development and Integral Conservation, 50 micro-projects in such areas as: water and sanitation, tourism development and heritage restoration, were developed with the co-operation of local experts. These projects were presented at the Donors’ meeting organised in Maputo by the Ministry of Culture, as well as UNESCO and UNDP offices on 30 June 1999.

Theresults of the Donors’ meeting in Maputo can be commendable in terms of:

·  A positive and committed attitude by the Government of Mozambique in the persons of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture and the Regional Governor of Napula to consider the Island a priority project, and to issue a special decree on the Special Status for the Island and the establishment of an inter-ministerial group under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture.

·  A positive, interested and enthusiastic attitude by the private sector of Mozambique to participate in the funding of some components and the execution of the proposed programme and its projects, and also an interest and alliance by national business groups other than the tourism private sector to actively be involved in specific issues of the built, cultural and socio-religious aspect of the Island.

·  Positive reactions from bilateral donors e.g. Portugal, France, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Egypt, among others, who are presently studying ways and means to contribute to the Programme.

·  Interest by the World Bank to include Ilha Mozambique in existing projects of coastal management, transport, if the requests are established according to the modus operandi of the World Bank i.e. Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

·  Interest and commitment by a number of international foundations e.g. Aga Khan-Lisbon, to participate in social/health projects. And interest and project identification missions to finance micro projects from a number of  NGO’s and foundations (e.g. Prince Claus Fund – The Hague, World Monument Fund, Gulbenkian Foundation and foundations in Brazil).

·  Interest and wish of various World Heritage cities e.g. Bergen, Evora, Bern, among others, to collaborate at the local level.

·  During 1999, several micro projects have been completed with the European Union and UNESCO contributions, and a number of public spaces in the Stone Town have been cleared and renovated. For the first time the population living in the Macuti (African city) is using the public spaces of the Portuguese city.


Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 COM X.B.46
State of conservation reports of cultural properties noted by the Committee

X.46 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) and included in Annex VIII of this report on the following properties:

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (Argentina and Brazil)

The Jesuit Mission of Santa Ana (Argentina)

The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)

City of Quito (Ecuador)

The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that the volcano Pichincha had erupted on 5 October and November 26 1999 and that the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) and the Municipality of Quito had taken preventive measures to protect the population and the monuments.

Historic Centre of Tallin (Estonia)

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)

Roman Monuments, Cathedral and Liebfrauen Church in Trier (Germany)

Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)

Churches and Convents of Goa (India)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)

Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)

The Observer of HMG of Nepal assured the Committee that the conservation of the Maya Devi Temple would be undertaken following international conservation norms prescribed by the World Heritage Convention. He informed the Committee that HMG of Nepal would be grateful to receive expert suggestions from UNESCO concerning the draft conceptual design for the Maya Devi Temple conservation work, as such advice would be a guideline for elaborating the details of the design under preparation. The Observer assured the Committee that the designs for the works at Maya Devi Temple, once completed, would be transmitted to UNESCO, as assured by HMG of Nepal. The Observer informed the Committee that a technical cooperation request for the organization of an international technical meeting to discuss the proposed project for the conservation, restoration, and presentation of the Maya Devi Temple, would be submitted, following the request of the Bureau at its twenty-third session.

Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru)

City of Cuzco (Peru)

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)

The Observer of the Philippines assured the Committee that the long-term integrated development plan of the site, including a tourism development plan for the site, would be submitted in due course to UNESCO, preferably before 15 September 2000. To ensure that the authenticity and sustainable conservation of this fragile site is maintained, the Observer stated that his Government would avail of the generous offer of the Committee to provide technical expertise under the World Heritage Fund.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)

The Sokkuram Grotto and Pulguksa Temple (Republic of Korea)

Alhambra, Generalife and Albaycin, Grenada (Spain)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

The Observer of Turkey thanked the Bureau for the sympathies expressed for the victims of the earthquake this year. The Observer stated that Istanbul is the only one among the nine World Heritage sites in Turkey located in the region impacted by the August 1999 earthquake. While the damage can only be measured over time, initial assessment has noted minor cracks in several historic monuments including the Hagia Sophia, and four museums. Severe cracks have, however, been noted in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the conservation laboratory which is housed in an historic monument, in two historic library buildings, and in more than ten tombs as well as in the city walls (ramparts). The Committee was informed that the impact report of the second earthquake (in November 1999) on World Heritage sites had not been received by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey from its regional offices. The Observer said that a detailed report would be submitted to the Committee through the Secretariat as soon as it is completed.

With regard to the urban conservation plan of the historic peninsula of Istanbul, the Observer informed the Committee that the 1/5000 scale plan has just been completed and submitted to the Greater Istanbul Council and upon approval, will be transmitted to the Regional Conservation Council for clearance. As soon as this is officially approved, the 1/1000 scale plan will be prepared for the Fatih and Eminonu municipalities. In addition, the 1/500 scale detailed conservation plan for the Zeyrek district prepared by Istanbul Technical University, which was co-funded by the World Heritage Fund is about to be completed, and will be submitted to the Fatih Municipality for approval. The Observer thanked the UNESCO World Heritage Centre for having mobilized international support for the conservation of Istanbul's urban heritage, and in this regard, expressed particular appreciation for the financial support extended by the European Commission and the Government of France.

The Observer concluded her intervention by saying that due to the need to finance earthquake rehabilitation activities, the budget of all government services had been severely cut, including that of the Ministry of Culture. While on-going joint conservation projects with the municipalities of Istanbul will be continued, no expansion in the area of work or additional activities will be possible for 2000.

The Delegate of Greece called upon the Committee to provide support to Turkey in the rehabilitation of the earthquake damage. In this regard, she recalled her statement at the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau, which pointed to the need to prioritize the object of international support in view of the vast conservation needs of the Istanbul World Heritage area. The Chairperson, in his personal capacity stated that this spirit of collaboration and solidarity expressed by Greece in favour of Turkey was a demonstration of the spirit of the World Heritage Convention.

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting :

“The Bureau congratulates the Mozambican authorities for their efforts to preserve the Ilha de Mozambique by taking into account the social and economic aspects of the site and the successful donor’s meeting, and calls upon the donor’s community to provide a wide support to this endeavour, by making contributions to the UNDP-UNESCO Trust Fund, or by implementing projects on a bilateral basis, or by taking into account the Programme for Sustainable Human Development and Integral Conservation in order to achieve better synergy with the projects that have already been funded.”

Report year: 1999
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 23COM (1999)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.