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Royal Hill of Ambohimanga

Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Storms
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 2 (from 2000-2003)
Total amount approved : 68,300 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003


On 26 February 2003, the President of Madagascar met with the Director-General of UNESCO. One of the points discussed was the situation of the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, some important parts of which were seriously damaged by a tornado on 31 January 2003. A report submitted by the site manager (Mrs. Marie-Hortense Razafindramboa) to the authorities explains the following:

·  The supporting wall of the footbridge linking the “kings tomb” to the “quiet palace” partially collapsed;

·  The waterproof system roof of the “council room” is damaged with the consequence that the roof is not waterproof;

·  The wooden stair of the “quiet palace” is seriously deteriorated.

Attached to the site manager’s report is a technical study undertaken by a local “Bureau d’Etude” in which it is explained that the collapsing of the supporting wall was due to leakage from the old sewer system which in turn provoked water infiltration in the wall.

The Centre held a meeting with the Madagascar Delegation to UNESCO during the 6th Extra-ordinary session of the Committee, during which the situation of Ambohimanga was confirmed. Madagascar has submitted to the Centre an Emergency Assistance request of US $50,000 to undertake emergency rehabilitation measures for safeguarding of the property. This request was not ready at the time of finalizing the Committee’s report on International Assistance, as Madagascar had not submitted to the Centre the details of the budget, and a workplan. The Ministry for Culture has undertaken the following preliminary measures regarding the use of the site: - The damaged parts have been closed to the public and are surrounded by a coloured ribbon and a sign has been placed to prohibit entrance to the area; - Some emergency works were carried out such as the installation of a temporary wooden support to sustain the footbridge and the placing of a plastic sheet on top of the supporting wall to limit water infiltration. Early in 2003, several States Parties in the east Indian Ocean region were seriously hit by severe torrential rains that affected World Heritage sites such as the Ambohimanga, Valley de Mahé in the Island of Seychelles and the Island of Mozambique in Mozambique, and also some islands in Mauritius. These States Parties have neither early warning systems nor contingency plans to address such problems once they occur.


Congratulates the State Party for the steps taken to respond to the urgent problems posed by the Glass Pavilion, the Tranquillity Palace (“quiet palace”) and the End of the 18th Century Palace that sustained damage caused by climatic conditions. Additional work could be undertaken in the framework of a conservation and maintenance activity.  ICOMOS also wishes to encourage the State Party validate the property’s management structures that had been set up at the beginning of the process for the preparation of the nomination dossier (notably the Site Commissions and the Master Plan Commission), the importance of which had also been acknowledged during the inscription of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.32
Royal Hill of Ambohimanga (Madagascar)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting with concern that several properties in islands of the Indian Ocean have been severely damaged by natural catastrophes,;

2. Congratulates the Malgache authorities for their efforts to protect the property from further damage and for having informed the Secretariat of the state of conservation of the property;

3. Invites Madagascar to undertake urgent restoration work to preserve the World Heritage value of the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga.

Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 32

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting with concern that several sites in the Indian Ocean islands have suffered severe damage caused by natural disasters,

2. Congratulates the Malagasy authorities for the efforts undertaken to secure the site against further damage and for informing the Secretariat on the site’s state of conservation,

3. Invites Madagascar to undertake urgently restoration works to preserve the World Heritage values of the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga, if necessary requesting emergency assistance under the World Heritage Fund, and inform the Committee thereupon. 

Report year: 2003
Date of Inscription: 2001
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)

* : 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.