1.         Stone Town of Zanzibar (United Republic of Tanzania) (C 173rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 15,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 24,000 for the inventory of the public spaces in Zanzibar (Netherlands Funds-in-Trust).

Previous monitoring missions

May 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission, January 2011: ICOMOS mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Development pressures;

b) Environmental pressures in relation with the Malindi port project;

c) Natural disasters and lack of risk-preparedness;

d) Visitors/ tourist pressures;

e) Lack of resources;

f) Lack of legal framework;

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 1 February 2012 that responds to the request made by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011).

a) Management system

The report notes the challenges faced to secure the resources for the operation of the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority (STCDA) and for the implementation of the Heritage Management Plan. However, with the new Act No. 4/2010, additional funding can be obtained from other sources to increase possibilities of implementing the Management Plan. Capacity building has also been partially addressed by training staff and hiring professional staff. Awareness building activities among different stakeholders have been carried out in relation to the conservation and development at the property.

b) State of conservation of the property

The State Party reports that a comprehensive condition assessment was undertaken; 18 buildings were found to be in poor condition while 108 are deteriorated. Based on results obtained, proposals have been developed to address conditions and raise funds for emergency cases. The assessment or proposal for intervention was not submitted nor was the expected timeframe for when emergency projects are expected to be implemented. Open spaces were also assessed, and a proposal was made to address the problems faced. This was also not submitted. As for street vendors, the State Party indicates that actions will be taken to enforce rules and regulations for the removal of street vendors. As for the use of inappropriate building materials, which poses a threat to the attributes of the property, a programme has been developed to enforce regulations for the use of traditional materials.

As for new construction, monitoring has been carried out to enforce sanctions on illegal or unauthorised construction. With the new Urban Development Control Authority, the situation of issuing permits is expected to improve permit mechanisms and enhance capabilities to better exercise control at the property and at the buffer zone. In regard to the tourism plan, the report notes previous planning efforts made that were not implemented. No further information is provided on how these prior initiatives will be updated to develop, adopt and implement a tourism policy for the property as requested by the World Heritage Committee.

c) Mambo Msiige building

Heritage Impact and Environmental Impact assessments were carried out by independent consultants to assess the potential impact of the proposed project. The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) was submitted to the State Party at the end of January 2012. The State Party indicates that the results of the HIA will be provided to the World Heritage Centre before any design work starts. Meanwhile, it is reported that no development work is being undertaken on site.

d) Other interventions at the property

The reorganisation of the North part of the Port pertains to the rehabilitation of the old Clove Oil distillery within the Zanzibar Port by Blue Horizon Investments. STCDA has requested that the proposal be revised to reduce the height of cello tanks, also an Environmental and Social Impact assessment is being carried out. As for the Sea Wall project, under preparation since early 2008, it is noted that the Aga Khan Trust for Culture has withdrawn its funding but drawings are still being prepared. As for the House of Wonders project, implemented under the Marine and Coastal Environmental Management Project (MACEMP) funded by the World Bank, STCDA has stopped interventions at the House of Wonders because of the poor quality of the works and because of the inappropriateness of the materials. Pending submission of new material samples, permits will be issued. As for the Tip Tippu House, a proposal is to be developed for the renovation. No timeframe for implementation for these projects has been provided. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the information provided by the State Party regarding efforts made to improve the management of the property. They wish, however, to highlight the persistent conservation issues of the property, since, although some work has been undertaken on condition assessments, no overall priority measures for interventions have been developed, nor has an effective monitoring system for illegal and new construction been established as requested by the Committee at its 34th session. They therefore recommend that the Committee expresses its concern. They also wish to highlight that no tourism plan has been developed as further requested by the Committee at its 34th session.

With regards to development proposals, they note that planned projects relating to the reorganization of the northern part of the port, the Seafront project part II interventions in the House of Wonders and at the Tippu Tip House, are currently not progressing. For the Mambo Msiige project, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in the absence of details of the HIA, have not been able to assess whether the proposed plans for the hotel might impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.  

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7B.49

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B,

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Notes the information provided by the State Party on the efforts made to improve the conservation and management of the property;

4.   Also notes that the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) has been undertaken on the proposed hotel complex development at Mambo Msiige and the adjacent designated public open space, and that it has been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

5.   Expresses its deep concern about the state of conservation of the property and the lack of significant progress in addressing the requests of the Committee;

6.   Reiterates its requests to the State Party to:

a)  Complete and submit a comprehensive condition assessment of the property and identify priority measures for intervention, including required resources for implementation,

b)  Establish an effective monitoring system to control and enforce sanctions on illegal construction and evaluate the adequacy of proposals for new construction and development, both at the inscribed property and within its buffer zone,

c)  Further develop the tourism development plan to effectively contribute to poverty alleviation and improvement of socio-economic conditions of the local population;

7.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014.