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Timbuktu

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Society's valuing of heritage
  • Other Threats:

    Lack of capacities in conservation techniques

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Sand encroachment (issue resolved)
  • Lack of financial resources (issue resolved)
  • Deterioration of the rainwater drainage system (issue resolved)
  • Need for appropriate laws (issue resolved)
  • Aeolian erosion 
  • Vulnerability of the mosques
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 5 (from 1981-1995)
Total amount approved : 114,115 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**

June-July 1990: expert missions; early 1994: UNESCO mission; 2002: UNESCO mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

WHC

The mosques of Timbuktu are one of the World Heritage sites that have been evaluated during the periodic reporting exercise for Africa. The three mosques of Sankore, Djingareyber and Sidi Yaya were placed in the list of World Heritage in Danger in 1990. While in situ actions have been on going since 1994 to improve their state of conservation, the old city of Timbuktu continues to face tremendous urban development pressures, insufficient awareness of urban heritage values, and difficulties to promote tourism.

In order to evaluate the situation, the World Heritage Centre was able to send a UNESCO mission to Timbuktu in 2002. The mission was organized within the Joint Declaration on Cooperation for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage between the Italian Government and UNESCO. The mission report highlighted the following problems facing Timbuktu old town:

·  Lack of a conservation and management plan for three World heritage sites;

·  Deterioration of the historic urban fabric;

·  Problems of boundaries delimitation and buffer zones for the three mosques;

·  Insufficient awareness programs among local population and religious authorities on urban heritage conservation.

 

Based on the above, the mission recommended a number of complementary activities, which aim at safeguarding the old town and the three mosques as one entity:

·  Organization of two workshops in Timbuktu on management plans elaboration of Malian World Heritage sites and on restoration of African earthen urban fabric;

·  Elaborate in partnership with Malian authorities, a management plan to define the long-term conservation objectives of the mosques including conservation of the historic town values;

·  Organization of a pilot work site for restoration of a sample of urban fabric;

·  Rehabilitation and improvement of access to mausoleums and cemeteries.

 

Finally, within the Africa 2009 Programme training activities, a professional working for the Cultural Mission of Timbuktu attended in 2000, in Benin, the 2nd Regional Course on Site Management and Conservation of immovable cultural heritage. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7A.16
Timbuktu (Mali)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting the report of the UNESCO mission undertaken in 2002, and the recommendations aimed at safeguarding Timbuktu Old Town and the three mosques inscribed in the List of World Heritage in Danger;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Italian Government for its support towards the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Africa;

3. Recalling the ICOMOS evaluation of the nomination dossier in 1987, recommending the inclusion of the Timbuktu Old Town in the World Heritage List;

4. Invites the State Party to implement to the extent possible the recommendations made by the UNESCO mission and contained in the Africa Periodic Report, such as considering the possibility of submitting a new nomination dossier to extend the current World Heritage property by including the entire Old Town of Timbuktu; elaborating management plans for the three mosques; organizing two workshops in Timbuktu on the elaboration of a management plan and on the restoration of earthen urban structures in African historic towns;

5. Decides to retain Timbuktu on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

27 COM 8B.2
Properties maintained on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-03/27.COM/7A),;

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

  • Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam, Afghanistan (27 COM 7A.21)
  • Butrint, Albania (27 COM 7A.26 )
  • Tipasa, Algeria (27 COM 7A.17)
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey, Benin (27 COM 7A.15)
  • Angkor, Cambodia (27 COM 7A.22)
  • Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park, Central African Republic (27 COM 7A.12 )
  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea (27 COM 7A.4)
  • Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2) 
  • Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo (27 COM 7A.2)
  • Sangay National Park, Ecuador (27 COM 7A.13)
  • Abu Mena, Egypt (27 COM 7A.18)
  • Simien National Park, Ethiopia (27 COM 7A.3)
  • Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, Honduras (27 COM 7A.14)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, India (27 COM 7A.9)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi, India (27 COM 7A.23)
  • Old City of Jerusalem & its Walls (27COM7A.29)
  • Timbuktu, Mali (27 COM 7A.16)
  • Air & Ténéré Natural Reserves, Niger (27 COM 7A.5)
  • Bahla Fort, Oman (27 COM 7A.19)
  • Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan (27 COM 7A.242)
  • Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Peru (27 COM 7A.28)
  • Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Philippines (27 COM 7A.25)
  • Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Senegal (27 COM 7A.6)
  • Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia (27 COM 7A.8)
  • Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Uganda (27 COM 7A.7) 
  • Everglades National Park, United States of America (27 COM 7A.11)
  • Historic Town of Zabid, Yemen (27 COM 7A.20)

Draft 27 COM 7 (a) 16

 

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting the report of the UNESCO mission undertaken in 2002, and the recommendations aiming at safeguarding Timbuktu old town and the three mosques inscribed in the World Heritage List in Danger;

2. Thanking the Italian government for its support towards the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Africa;

3. Recalling the nomination dossier’s ICOMOS evaluation of 1987, recommending to envisage the inclusion of the Timbuktu old town to the World heritage List;

4. Invites the State Party to implement as much as possible the recommendations made by the UNESCO mission and within the Africa Periodic Report, such as considering the possibility of submitting a new nomination dossier to extend the current World Heritage site by including the entire Old town of Timbuktu; elaborating management plans for the three mosques; organizing two workshops in Timbuktu on the elaboration of a management plan and on the restoration of earthen urban structures in African historic towns.

Report year: 2003
Mali
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 1990-2005, 2012-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)
Exports

* : 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.


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