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Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of approved boundaries for the property and buffer zones linked to the land-use plans and appropriate protection;
  • Deterioration of the architectural heritage fabric;
  • Sea wave erosion;
  • Theft of stone from ruins for use as building material;
  • Lack of functioning local consultative committee;
  • Lack of implementation of the conservation and management plans
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Deterioration and decay leading to the collapse of the historical and archaeological structures for which the property was inscribed 

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1586

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1586

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1586
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: 201,390 USD from the Norwegian Funds-in-Trust for UNESCO rehabilitation project.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 4 (from 1983-2009)
Total amount approved : 46,340 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

February 2004: ICOMOS mission; June 2008, March 2009, and December 2013: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission visited the property in December 2013 (mission report available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/documents/). Subsequently, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 27 January 2014. An executive summary of this report is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/documents/. The report indicates progress on the following:

  • Management system: A Management Plan for Kilwa was developed in 2004 and is being implemented particularly in relation to restoration efforts and to strengthening management processes. It is reported that the Plan is currently under review to update it in relation to new conditions and will be finalised in March 2014. The Management Structure is in place since 2009. Site interpretation has improved and efforts have been made in awareness raising leading to the creation of local ruins committees. A project to strengthen social and economic development through the promotion of heritage sites was launched in 2014. This includes both infrastructures for services, promotion of other heritage assets and land planning to protect the Kilwa skyline. In terms of legislative arrangements, the State Party reports that a new law for cultural heritage is in the process of development.
  • Conservation of architectural heritage: Inventory and documentation of the intangible and tangible heritage of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara, as well as the condition survey of all monuments and sites has been completed. The State Party reports that conservation of heritage monuments has achieved significant progress and has reached the 70% benchmark. Training of local communities in conservation has been undertaken. Interventions have been undertaken to halt sea-wave action and planting of mangrove seedlings is foreseen.
  • Boundaries and extension of the property: The State Party reports that although boundaries have not been clearly defined, there is recognition of the importance of the property and that encroachment is not a threat. Land Use Plans are to be completed by April 2014 and the boundaries of the property will become clear after these exercises. The State Party indicates that a draft proposal for the extension was submitted in 2005.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

Significant progress has been made by the State Party in implementing the corrective measures for the property that included the development of the Management Plan and Land Use Plans, the operational management system, the establishment of the boundaries and a buffer zone. The results from the December 2013 monitoring mission that verified the progress in terms of restoration of heritage remains should be noted, together with the actions to halt sea wave erosion and the progress in planning tools for the property, which are expected to conclude by June 2014. The mission also noted that a strong relationship has been established with the local communities and that awareness has been raised with regards to conservation and protection needs.

It is considered that significant progress has been made in the implementation of the corrective measures and that the conditions that justified Danger Listing have largely been addressed. However, the State Party still has to comply with several measures to ensure the long-term success with regards to the protection of the property. These include the final definition of the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones, the updating and adoption of the updated Management Plan and finalisation of the Land Use Plans for Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara. The management structure currently in place needs to be maintained and reinforced, and resources secured to ensure the sustainability of conservation and maintenance interventions as well as the functioning of the management system. In addition, a sustainable tourism development and management plan needs to be drafted to guide current and future activities.

Given the progress achieved to date, the Committee may consider removing this property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. It might also wish to commend the State Party for the progress made in the conservation of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.27
Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) (C 144)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures;
  4. Considers that the State Party has made considerable progress in meeting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  5. Notes however that several actions are currently in planning stages, rendering the property vulnerable, and urges the State Party to implement the following:
    1. Finalize the process for establishing the boundaries of the property, of the buffer zones and their regulatory measures and submit, by 1 February 2015, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance to Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines , for examination by the World Heritage Committee,
    2. Finalize the updated Management Plan, including the formulation of a draft Sustainable Tourism Development Plan, and the elaboration of Land Use Plans for Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara and provide an electronic and three printed copies of the updated Management Plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
    3. Maintain and reinforce the management structure and secure resources for its adequate and efficient functioning;
  6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including a 1-page executive summary, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  7. Decides to remove Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.
38 COM 8C.3
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (removed sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to remove the following property from the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (Decision 38 COM 7A.27)
Draft Decision:    38 COM 7A.27

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),

3.  Commends the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures;

4.  Considers that the State Party has made considerable progress in meeting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

5.  Notes however that several actions are currently in planning stages, rendering the property vulnerable, and urges the State Party to implement the following:

a)  Finalize the process for establishing the boundaries of the property, of the buffer zones and their regulatory measures and submit, by 1 February 2015, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance to Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee,

b)  Finalize the updated Management Plan, including the formulation of a draft Sustainable Tourism Development Plan, and the elaboration of Land Use Plans for Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara and provide an electronic and three printed copies of the updated Management Plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,

c)  Maintain and reinforce the management structure and secure resources for its adequate and efficient functioning;

6.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including a 1-page executive summary, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;

7.  Decides to remove Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2014
United Republic of Tanzania
Date of Inscription: 1981
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)
Danger List (dates): 2004-2014
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
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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