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Timbuktu

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Occupation of the property by armed groups
  • Lack of management structure at the site
  • Armed conflict
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Occupation of the property by armed groups;
  • Absence of management;
  • Destruction of 14 mausoleums and degradation of the three mosques in the serial property.
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress 

Corrective Measures for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted: USD 100,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust; USD 55,000 from the UNESCO Emergency Fund; USD 1,000,000 from the Action plan Fund for the rehabilitation of cultural heritage and the safeguarding of ancient manuscripts in Mali

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 7 (from 1981-2012)
Total amount approved : 188,315 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

2002, 2004, 2005, 2006: World Heritage Centre missions; 2008, 2009 and 2010: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; May, October and December 2012: UNESCO emergency missions to Mali; June 2013: UNESCO assessment mission to Timbuktu

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

The State Party of Mali was unable to submit a state of conservation report of the property. Nevertheless, several technical reports have been acquired by the UNESCO Office in Bamako enabling the establishment of the following information:

  • The 14 mausoleums destroyed by extremist armed groups in 2012 have been completely rebuilt respecting traditional practices, by the Corporation of Masons of Timbuktu, which develop ancestral know-how transmitted from generation to generation. Reconstruction was preceded by a major compilation of archival material and detailed documentation of the destruction, architectural surveys and archaeological excavations to maximize existing building know-how. Initially, a pilot phase was undertaken on the first two most fully documented mausoleums to develop a methodology to better guide the reconstruction of the other mausoleums. The inauguration ceremony was held on 18 July 2015 in the presence of the UNESCO Director-General;
  • The Djingareyber Mosque and several libraries containing manuscripts were rehabilitated and restored;
  • The consecration ceremony of the Saints’ Mausoleums was held on 4 February 2016 in Timbuktu. This was the first such ceremony to take place since the 11th This ceremony was organized at the initiative of local communities and was the last stage in the cultural renaissance of Timbuktu following the destruction of the mausoleums. It was intended to call upon the divine mercy to restore peace, cohesion and tranquility.

An evaluation meeting on the state of conservation of the property was held in Bamako on 7 and 8 April 2016, as the security situation did not allow for a Reactive Monitoring mission as requested by the Committee. Based on all the technical missions, studies and activity reports carried out, as well as observations and witness accounts of site managers and local community representatives, this meeting was able to take stock of the actions carried out in the framework of the Mali Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage programme and to establish corrective measures and the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The main Malian experts, ICOMOS-Mali and the site manager attended this meeting.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

It is regrettable that the State Party was unable to submit its state of conservation report of the property to note the activities achieved. However, the presence of the UNESCO Office in Mali provides an effective means of gathering data and information about the implementation of the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage project.

The results achieved by the project are greatly salutary, as all the 14 destroyed mausoleums were completely reconstructed. It was a true architectural challenge, with some of the mausoleums dating back to the 13th century. Over and above the fact that the reconstruction work has enabled the mausoleums to recover their authenticity of use and functionality, and restore the integrity of a major component of the property, it contributes to restoring social cohesion and peace within the communities of Timbuktu. It is recommended that the Committee congratulate the State Party for this major accomplishment that contributes to energizing the cultural vitality of the property. It should be noted that this work was carried out based on architectural and archaeological studies and a reconstruction strategy prepared in consultation with the families associated with the mausoleums and the Corporation of Masons. In order to clearly document the principles that were adhered to in this reconstruction and the role of the Corporation of Masons, it would be desirable that this reference material be submitted to the World Heritage Centre.

Although the mausoleums have been rebuilt and some libraries for the manuscripts rehabilitated, the restoration of the two other mosques of Sidi Yahia and Sankore has  not yet been realized and should be considered in the same dynamic of urgency, fully involving local communities and in particular the Corporation of Masons. The partners who expressed their wish to engage with the State Party and UNESCO should be thanked and encouraged to continue their support to complete the Mali Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage project.

In view of the impossibility of sending a reactive monitoring mission to the property, the organization of a meeting in Bamako to prepare corrective measures and the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger is greatly appreciated and has enabled progress regarding a Committee request expressed at the time of inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012.

It is recommended that the Committee approve the prepared corrective measures and invites the State Party to finalize, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and submit as soon as possible, the Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7A.6
Timbuktu (Mali) (C 119rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.21, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party was unable to submit a state of conservation report of the property, as requested by the Committee;
  4. Congratulates the State Party for the significant work undertaken in the reconstruction of the 14 Saint mausoleums destroyed during the occupation period of Timbuktu in 2012 and thanks the partners who provided support in the framework of the Mali Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage project and requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the reconstruction strategy that guided this work and the architectural and archaeological studies carried out, so that the principles underpinning this reconstruction work are clearly documented and the role of the Corporation of Masons fully appreciated;
  5. Expresses its concern regarding the fragility of the security situation at Timbuktu preventing the State Party from inviting the requested joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property;
  6. Notes with satisfaction the organization in Bamako of an evaluation meeting on the state of conservation of the property based on all the technical missions, studies and activity reports carried out, as well as observations and comments of the site managers and representatives of local communities, enabling the preparation of corrective measures and the preparation of a Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Adopts the following corrective measures to ensure the conditions of integrity and authenticity of the property:
    1. For the conservation of the physical components of the property:
      1. Carry out the restoration/rehabilitation work for the two mosques of Sankoré and Sidi Yahia to strengthen their stability and safeguarding, and establish a participatory management mechanism closely involving the Imams,
      2. Establish and implement control measures concerning the silting up of the physical components of the property,
      3. Rehabilitate fencing around the cemeteries where the World Heritage mausoleums are located in order to strengthen security,
    2. For the protection and management of the property:
      1. Revise and implement the management and conservation plan for the property and the buffer zones, taking into account risk management, threats concerning the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and a plan for preventive and remedial conservation activities for the components of the property,
      2. Identify short- middle- and long-term funding sources to guarantee the implementation of the management plan,
      3. Prepare a geo-referenced map indicating the boundaries of the buffer zones for each of the components,
      4. Update and implement urban regulations in the periphery of the inscribed property, the ancient fabric and buffer zones and evaluate their efficiency,
      5. Prepare a maintenance manual and conservation plan for the reconstructed mausoleums,
      6. Re-energize the Management Committee for all components of the property involving the municipal authorities concerned,
      7. Strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the actors and professionals involved in the management and conservation of the property,
      8. Strengthen the operational capacities of the management structure of the property: allocation of necessary budget for urgent conservation activities,
      9. Improve the security situation at the mosques and mausoleums and more generally throughout the entire town;
  8. Calls upon the international community to support the State Party, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in any way possible for priority conservation and management measures, and capacity building programmes;
  9. Requests the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures, once the situation in northern Mali is stabilized;
  10. Also requests the State Party to finalize, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the DSOCR proposal and a precise timetable for implementation, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2017, as far as is possible, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  12. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  13. Also decides to retain Timbuktu (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
40 COM 8C.2
Update of the list of World Heritage in Danger (retained 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/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 40 COM 7A.26)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 40 COM 7A.27)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 40 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 40 COM 7A.1)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 40 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 40 COM 7A.9)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 40 COM 7A.28)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.48)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 40 COM 7A.10)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.11)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 40 COM 7A.12)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 40 COM 7A.13)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 40 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 40 COM 7A.6)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 40 COM 7A.7)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 40 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 40 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 40 COM 7A.15)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 40 COM 7A.3)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 40 COM 7A.4)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 40 COM 7A. 30)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 40 COM 7A.49)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 40 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 40 COM 7A.17)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 40 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 40 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 40 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 40 COM 7A.21)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 40 COM 7A.8)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 40 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.47)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.50)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 40 COM 7A.5)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 40 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 40 COM 7A.24)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 40 COM 7A.25).
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7A.6

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.21, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party was unable to submit a state of conservation report of the property, as requested by the Committee;
  4. Congratulates the State Party for the efforts undertaken in the reconstruction of the 14 Saint mausoleums destroyed during the occupation period of Timbuktu in 2012 and thanks the partners who provided support in the framework of the Mali Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage project and requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the reconstruction strategy that guided this work and the architectural and archaeological studies carried out, so that the principles underpinning this reconstruction work are clearly documented and the role of the Corporation of Masons fully appreciated;
  5. Expresses its concern regarding the fragility of the security situation at Timbuktu preventing the State Party from inviting the requested joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property;
  6. Notes with satisfaction the organization in Bamako of an evaluation meeting on the state of conservation of the property based on all the technical missions, studies and activity reports carried out, as well as observations and comments of the site managers and representatives of local communities, enabling the preparation of corrective measures and the preparation of a Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Adopts the following corrective measures to ensure the conditions of integrity and authenticity of the property:
    1. For the conservation of the physical components of the property:
      1. Carry out the restoration/rehabilitation work for the two mosques of Sankoré and Sidi Yahia to strengthen their stability and safeguarding, and establish a participatory management mechanism closely involving the Imams,
      2. Establish and implement control measures concerning the silting up of the physical components of the property,
      3. Rehabilitate fencing around the cemetaries where the World Heritage mausoleums are located in order to strengthen security, 
    2. For the protection and management of the property:
      1. Revise and implement the management and conservation plan for the property and the buffer zones, taking into account risk management, threats concerning the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and a plan for preventive and remedial conservation activities for the components of the property,
      2. Identify short- middle- and long-term funding sources to guarantee the implementation of the management plan,
      3. Prepare a geo-referenced map indicating the boundaries of the buffer zones for each of the components,
      4. Update and implement urban regulations in the periphery of the inscribed property, the ancient fabric and buffer zones and evaluate their efficiency,
      5. Prepare a maintenance manual and conservation plan for the reconstructed mausoleums,
      6. Re-energize the Management Committee for all components of the property involving the municipal authorities concerned,
      7. Strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the actors and professionals involved in the management and conservation of the property,
      8. Strengthen the operational capacities of the management structure of the property: allocation of necessary budget for urgent conservation activities,
      9. Improve the security situation at the mosques and mausoleums and more generally throughout the entire town;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the implementation of the corrective measures, once the situation in northern Mali is stabilised;
  9. Also requests the State Party to finalize, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the DSOCR proposal and a precise timetable for implementation, and to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2017, as far as is possible, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  10. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  12. Also decides to retain Timbuktu (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
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 40COM (2016)
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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