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Stone Town of Zanzibar

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Financial resources
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Legal framework
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Environmental pressures in relation with the Malindi port project; Natural disasters and lack of risk-preparedness

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Development pressures;
  • Environmental pressures in relation with the Malindi Port project;
  • Natural disasters and lack of risk-preparedness;
  • Visitors/ tourist pressures;
  • Lack of resources;
  • Lack of legal framework.
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 1 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved : 15,000 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report. An executive summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/documents/.An ICOMOS Advisory Mission was carried out from 30 September to 3 October 2013, and the report is available along with the agreed-upon matrix and guidelines for the revised drawings and restoration of the Mambo Msiige Building at Shangani-Zanzibar as well as the State Party’s comments on the Advisory Mission Report, at:https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/documents/.

  • Mambo Msiige project: In 2011, information was received about a proposal to build a hotel using in part the Mambo Msiige historic building and the adjacent designated public space. The Committee expressed its concern about the potential impact of this development on one of the most emblematic buildings of the property and urged the State Party to continue working with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to ensure that potential new developments and rehabilitation of the historic building and its associated public space do not impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;.
  • Following the recommendations of the January 2012 Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA), discussions among the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the State Party were held in June 2012, after which a matrix and guidelines for a revised project design were agreed upon. The State Party indicates that revised drawings were submitted to the World Heritage Centre in November 2012. The World Heritage correspondence registry has no record that these drawings were received, however, and therefore no comments were made on the revised design.
  • In June 2013, a second meeting was held among the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the State Party, which led to an Advisory Mission being undertaken to the property in October 2013. The Advisory Mission was presented with the revised drawings and found that the ongoing construction was not in compliance with the agreed matrix and guidelines. It recommended halting the building works immediately and recommended measures to mitigate what it saw as potentially permanent, very negative impacts on the OUV of the property. A third meeting among the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the State Party was held on 22 January 2014 and a fourth on 19 March 2014, after which the State Party submitted copies of the revised drawings to the World Heritage Centre on 20 March 2014.
  • State of conservation: There has been limited progress in conservation efforts given financial and technical constraints. Actions implemented included an inventory of open spaces to assist in planning for improvement of these areas. Condition surveys have also been carried out in nine zones of the historic town and preliminary results indicate that close to 50% of Grade I buildings are in poor state of conservation. Preliminary measures have been identified for priority interventions and even for vacating buildings at risk of collapse. Technical advice was provided by the Advisory Mission on how to mitigate decay factors. In terms of development, the State Party report mentions that pressures are significant, although efforts are being made to concentrate new construction outside the property. It also mentions that a new traffic plan will be implemented in stages to address traffic issues at the property.
  • Monitoring system and illegal development: A new Urban Development Control Authority has been created to improve permit mechanisms and to enhance control capabilities at the property and buffer zone. The final draft of regulations is at the office of the Zanzibar Attorney General’s for final legal review. To enhance control, a Stakeholders Forum has been formed, which includes inhabitants of Stone Town, the business community and other partners so that they are actively engaged in heritage matters. A Heritage Board has also been formed to involve all stakeholders in decision-making for all submitted major development projects. In addition, a Special Committee has been appointed for the Mambo Msiige project.
  • Planning tools: A Heritage Management Plan is the main planning tool for the property. Conflicts do exist, however, between the Stone Town Authority and the Zanzibar Municipal Council, and insufficient human and financial resources have hindered the effective implementation of the plan. To address overlapping mandates, a Heritage Board has been established which will involve all stakeholders and streamline decision-making.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

It is recommended that the Committee, recognizing the high cultural significance of the Mambo Msiige building and its important contribution to OUV, strongly regret that the matrix and guidelines agreed upon by the World Heritage Centre, the Advisory Bodies and the State Party for interventions at Mambo Msiige were not respected, and that construction was undertaken without any considerations for the agreed upon parameters set out in those documents. In particular, concern should be expressed about the excessive six-storey height of the new hotel building (two stories above what was agreed), which overshadows both the Mambo Msiige and the Bushir Mosque (both Grade I buildings), the encroachment on public areas of the beach, and alterations to the existing structure.

The Advisory Mission found important impacts to the integrity and authenticity of this emblematic building generated from structural changes, the heightening of the existing parapets, and the addition of a large suite on its roof. The Mambo Msiige project as it now stands has a negative impact on the urban form and silhouette of the property and a substantial adverse impact on its OUV.

Taking into account this analysis, it is recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to halt the ongoing work, and urgently address the mitigation measures recommended by the Advisory Mission.

The ongoing work is a clear departure from the requirements of the Management Plan, the HIA, and existing building regulations, as well as the agreed-upon design parameters within the matrix and guidelines. This lack of compliance appears to reflect a lack of adequate management and development control at the property as a whole. The adopted Management Plan has been only partially implemented and it is not being used to effectively guide decision-making at the property. A strategy and work plan, with clear goals and clarity in the priority for interventions has yet to be developed. This work plan should be the basis for the development of integrated planning tools and mechanisms to ensure the adequate protection of the property, including control of significant development pressures, such as the Mambo Msiige project.

As a result of the lack of adequate resources and lack of effective governance arising from conflicts within the management structure that are acknowledged by the State Party, and the lack of implementation of the management plan, there is serious concern that the current conditions at the property have remained largely unaddressed. No significant progress has been made in terms of reversing the decay in most of the building stock, in spite of recommendations by the Committee over several sessions since 2007.

The poor overall state of conservation of the building stock, as well as the lack of implementation of the management and conservation plans, and issues with governance arrangements, constitute serious and specific dangers to the OUV of the property.

It is strongly recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to invite a reactive monitoring mission to the property as soon as possible in 2014 to assess the implementation of mitigation measures for the Mambo Msiige and the overall state of conservation of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7B.55
Stone Town of Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of) (C 173rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.49 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3. Deeply regretsthat in spite of extensive dialogue among the State Party, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, a new hotel and internal alterations at the Mambo Msiige building were carried out in contravention of the agreed upon matrix and guidelines for a revised design; and considers that the new six storey hotel, at two stories above the agreed matrix and guidelines, and encroaching onto the public beach, will have a significant adverse impact on the urban form and silhouette of the property and a substantial adverse impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4. Urges the State Party to halt the ongoing work, and urgently implement the mitigation measures recommended by the Advisory Mission, which include lowering the overall height of the new building by two stories; and also considers that if these are not implemented then the property will meet the conditions for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in conformity with Paragraphs 177 and 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5. Further considers that as the current structure of the Mambo Msiige is not in compliance with the Management Plan, the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and buildings regulations, this reflects a serious lack of adequate management and development control at the property;
  6. Notes that the State Party acknowledges the lack of adequate resources and effective governance as result of conflicts within the management structure, and that the adopted Management Plan has been only partially implemented and it is not being used to effectively guide decision-making and development control;
  7. Reiterates its concern that the current critical conditions at the property have remained largely unaddressed with no significant progress having been made to reverse the decay in most of the building stock, in spite of recommendations of the Committee over several sessions since 2007; and considers furthermore that the poor overall state of conservation of the property, the lack of implementation of the management and conservation plans, and issues with governance arrangements constitute serious and specific dangers to the OUV of the property;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2014 to assess the implementation of mitigation measures and the state of conservation of the property with the aim to assess whether the condition of the property meets the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

Draft Decision:   38 COM 7B.55

The World Heritage Committee,

  1.   Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2.   Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.49 adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
  3.   Deeply regrets that in spite of extensive dialogue among the State Party, the Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre, a new hotel and internal alterations at the Mambo Msiige building were carried out in contravention of the agreed upon matrix and guidelines for a revised design; and considers that the new six storey hotel, at two stories above the agreed matrix and guidelines, and encroaching onto the public beach, will have a significant adverse impact on the urban form and silhouette of the property and a substantial adverse impact on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  4.   Urges the State Party to halt the ongoing work, and urgently implement the mitigation measures recommended by the Advisory Mission, which include lowering the overall height of the new building by two stories; and also considers that if these are not implemented then the property will meet the conditions for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in conformity with Paragraphs 177 and 179 of the Operational Guidelines;
  5.   Further considers that as the current structure of the Mambo Msiige is not in compliance with the Management Plan, the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) and buildings regulations, this reflects a serious lack of adequate management and development control at the property;
  6.   Notes that the State Party acknowledges the lack of adequate resources and effective governance as result of conflicts within the management structure, and that the adopted Management Plan has been only partially implemented and it is not being used to effectively guide decision-making and development control;
  7.   Reiterates its concern that the current critical conditions at the property have remained largely unaddressed with no significant progress having been made to reverse the decay in most of the building stock, in spite of recommendations of the Committee over several sessions since 2007; and considers furthermore that the poor overall state of conservation of the property, the lack of implementation of the management and conservation plans, and issues with governance arrangements constitute serious and specific dangers to the OUV of the property;
  8.   Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2014 to assess the implementation of mitigation measures and the state of conservation of the property with the aim to assess whether the condition of the property meets the criteria for inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9.   Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.
Report year: 2014
United Republic of Tanzania
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
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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