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Tomb of Askia

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of site management
  • Armed conflict
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Occupation of Gao city by armed groups;
  • Inability to ensure daily management in the protection and conservation of the property;
  • Risk of collapse of the 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
In progress
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted: UNESCO Emergency Fund: USD 40,000; Action plan for the rehabilitation of cultural heritage and the safeguarding of ancient manuscripts in Mali: USD 50,000

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 2 (from 2000-2012)
Total amount approved : 54,200 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

May 2012: Emergency UNESCO mission to Bamako; October and December 2012: World Heritage Centre monitoring missions to Bamako; February 2014: UNESCO assessment mission to Gao

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

The State Party of Mali was unable to submit a state of conservation report on the property. However, the UNESCO Bureau in Bamako that coordinates the project for the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the State Party has been able to collect information. This information concerns the following points:

  • Each of the components of the property (prayer rooms for men and women, pyramidal tower, inside courtyard, necropolis) suffer from issues of integrity, and notably the degradation of several wooden structures, lack of preventive and remedial maintenance, water leaks in the roof, the formation of dunes, water erosion;
  • The property also experiences authenticity issues due to the difficulty in finding restoration materials and the use of some inappropriate materials, such as metal doors and tin water spouts;
  • Protection and management measures encounter several difficulties including the absence of an operational management structure, an updated Conservation and Management Plan and a risk management mechanism. Impoverishment of the local communities limiting their support in the conservation and management of the property also constitutes a concern.
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 report on the state of conservation of the property and provide information on the actions undertaken. Nevertheless, the presence of the UNESCO Office in Mali provides an efficient means of gathering information and assessing the level of implementation of the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage project. This information is not reassuring as it indicates that the property is still under threat as regards its architectural components and its conservation and management mechanism.

In the event that a property manager is present, there are no means available to ensure protection and management missions.  Planning and management tools are also lacking.  It is therefore recommended that the Committee express its concern in the light of this situation and encourages the State Party to accelerate the implementation of the project for the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage at Gao.

As a Reactive Monitoring mission was unable to visit the property, the initiative to organize a meeting in Bamako to prepare the corrective measures and draft a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), is greatly appreciated and has enabled progress to be made regarding the request expressed by the Committee at the time of the 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, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to complete and submit the DSOCR as soon as possible. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7A.7
Tomb of the Askia (Mali) (C 1139)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.22, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party was unable to submit a state of conservation report on the property, as requested by the Committee;
  4. Expresses its concern regarding the unstable security situation at Gao 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;
  5. Also expresses its concern that the property remains under threat as regards its architectural components and the conservation and management mechanism and requests the State Party to accelerate, together with support from its partners, the implementation of the project for the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage at Gao;
  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, and notes and comments of site managers and representatives of the local communities, enabling the establishment of corrective measures and the initial preparation of the Desired state of conservation for 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. Implement the restoration and rehabilitation work for the different components of the property to ensure their stability and consolidation,
      2. Establish and implement control measures relating to the silting up of the physical components of the property and carry out drainage and sand removal from the courtyards of the property;
      3. Safeguard and preserve the cultural and symbolic characteristics of the necropolis: 1) secure its stability with regard to the erosive action of rainwater, 2) correct the repair errors on the enclosure that affect its authenticity, 3) promote its integration into a coherent ensemble with the white stone square,
      4. Improve the amenities of the buildings, in this case, the men’s prayer rooms,
      5. Safeguard and preserve the architectural characteristics (typo-morphological) of the buffer zone,
    2. For the protection and management of the property:
      1. Revise and implement the Conservation and Management Plan for the property and the buffer zones, taking into account a risk management plan, threats to the outstanding universal value of the property and a timetable for the preventive and remedial conservation of the components of the property,
      2. Identify funding sources for the short-, medium- and long-term, to guarantee the implementation of this management plan,
      3. Prepare a conservation guide for the components of the property indicating the periodic evaluation mechanism for its state of conservation,
      4. Strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the actors and professionals involved in the management and conservation of the property,
      5. Strengthen the operational capacities of the management structure of the property: allocation of a budget required for urgent conservation activities,
  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. Also 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 accomplished in the implementation of the corrective measures, once the situation in northern Mali is stabilized;
  10. Further requests the State Party to complete, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the proposed DSOCR and a clear timeframe for implementation, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre, if possible, by 1 February 2017, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Requests furthermore that the State Party 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, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  12. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism of the property;
  13. Decides to retain Tomb of Askia (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. 7

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A22, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party was unable to submit a state of conservation report on the property, as requested by the Committee;
  4. Expresses its concern regarding the unstable security situation at Gao 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;
  5. Also expresses its concern that the property remains under threat as regards its architectural components and the conservation and management mechanism and requests the State Party to accelerate, together with support from its partners, the implementation of the project for the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage at Gao;
  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, and notes and comments of site managers and representatives of the local communities, enabling the establishment of corrective measures and the initial preparation of the Desired state of conservation for 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. Implement the restoration and rehabilitation work for the different components of the property to ensure their stability and consolidation,
      2. Establish and implement control measures relating to the silting up of the physical components of the property and carry out drainage and sand removal from the courtyards of the property;
      3. Safeguard and preserve the cultural and symbolic characteristics of the necropolis: 1) secure its stability with regard to the erosive action of rainwater, 2) correct the repair errors on the enclosure that affect its authenticity, 3) promote its integration into a coherent ensemble with the white stone square,
      4. Improve the amenities of the buildings, in this case, the men’s prayer rooms,
      5. Safeguard and preserve the architectural characteristics (typo-morphological) of the buffer zone,
    2. For the protection and management of the property:
      1. Revise and implement the Conservation and Management Plan for the property and the buffer zones, taking into account a risk management plan, threats to the outstanding universal value of the property and a timetable for the preventive and remedial conservation of the components of the property,
      2. Identify funding sources for the short-, medium- and long-term, to guarantee the implementation of this management plan,
      3. Prepare a conservation guide for the components of the property indicating the periodic evaluation mechanism for its state of conservation,
      4. Strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of the actors and professionals involved in the management and conservation of the property,
      5. Strengthen the operational capacities of the management structure of the property: allocation of a budget required for urgent conservation activities,
  8. Also 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 accomplished in the implementation of the corrective measures, once the situation in northern Mali is stabilized;
  9. Further requests the State Party to complete, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the proposed DSOCR and a clear timeframe for implementation, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre, if possible, by 1 February 2017, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  10. Requests furthermore that the State Party 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, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  11. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism of the property;
  12. Decides to retain Tomb of Askia (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Mali
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 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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