1.         Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons) (Mali) (C/N 516)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1989

Criteria  (v)(vii)

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/516/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 93,640
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/516/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Need to improve the conservation of both natural and cultural heritage (issue resolved)

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/516/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

The State Party, in an E-mail addressed to the Centre dated 8 April 2003, confirmed an earlier report of severe famine facing Bandiagara. The State Party described the situation as catastrophic and in need of a rapid emergency food programme. The State Party reported that, as a consequence of famine and in order for the local communities to survive, massive selling of cultural objects has taken place. Within the Joint Declaration on Co-operation concerning World Cultural and National Heritage Protection between the Italian Government and UNESCO, a team of three Italian Experts undertook a mission to Mali in July 2002. During the mission, the team had the opportunity to visit the Timbuktu, Djenne and Cliff of Bandiagara World Cultural Heritage sites. As regards Bandiagara, the team made specific recommendations in their report to the Centre, as follows:

i) the urgent need to elaborate a management plan for the site;

ii) the need to review the actual site limit to include some of the sensitive areas of the Bandiagara territory;

iii) the need to find a solution to the villages' abandonment by the active population due to the drought. International Assistance, amounting to US$20,000, was approved by the Chairperson and provided in 2002 to enable Mali to sensitize the local communities through a series of workshops on the protection of the World Heritage site: to rehabilitate the Arou Temple which was looted, and to promote local tourism activities in order to generate revenue for the local population and at the same time activities geared towards the protection of the site.

Within the Africa 2009 Programme training activities, one of the professionals working for the Cultural Mission attended, in 2002, the 4th Regional Course on Management and Conservation of immovable cultural heritage. In its efforts to preserve the site, the State Party created, in 2001, a National Directorate of Cultural Heritage to which the Cultural mission of Bandiagara is now attached. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.27

The World Heritage Committee [17],

1. Noting the actions undertaken so far by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to improve and assist Bandiagara,;

2. Considering the importance to undertake all necessary measures for preventive action to protect a property inscribed on the World Heritage List,;

3. Requests the Director-General of UNESCO to bring to the attention of the Director-General of The World Food Programme the severe famine reported in Bandiagara.

[17]  Decision adopted without discussion.