Island of Mozambique (Mozambique) (C 599)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1991
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 209,880
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount provided to the property: For the rehabilitation of the Saint Sebastian Fortress: USD 1,108,078 by Japan Funds in Trust; USD 526,015 by UCCLA; USD 397,122 by Portugal/IPAD; USD 270,000 by Flanders Funds in Trust; USD 729,729 by the Netherlands Funds in Trust. For other conservation and management projects: USD 50,000 by World Heritage Cities Programme (Netherlands); USD 89,000 by IPAD; USD 23,175 by Africa 2009; USD 13,450 by the African World Hertiage Fund (AWHF)
Previous monitoring missions
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: World Heritage Centre missions; February 2007: ICOMOS mission; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2010: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Management Plan not yet finalized
- Growing number of collapsed or seriously dilapidated buildings
- Threats to authenticity through inappropriate repairs
- Lack of development control
- Lack of adequate sewage and water systems
- Lack of adequate financial and human resources
Illustrative material see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016
On 1 December 2015, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/599/documents. Progress in a number of issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:
- Restoration and rehabilitation work continues, mostly for private buildings, and is creating a more positive environment. As a result, the island is attracting more permanent residents and more tourism. A particular problem concerns traditional makuti (palm frond) roofing being replaced with corrugated zinc. In response, a “HOMESTAY” awareness initiative has been started, with 12 makuti houses currently being rehabilitated under this programme;
- An awareness campaign has also been initiated to stop the use of open-pit latrines. Public toilets have been constructed and the system for solid waste is being improved by the municipal council;
- The planned Documentation Centre (CEDIM), which was to be located at San Sebastian Fortress, has been moved to a room at the municipal library. Rehabilitation work was still ongoing when the State Party prepared its report, but is expected to be completed sometime in 2016;
- The project for the redevelopment of the Mozambique Island Hospital and the São Lourenco Fortress as a cultural centre and tourism facility is currently being developed. Little information has been provided in the report, which stated that, following recommendations from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the project would be sent to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- A project to renew the Management and Conservation Plan (2010-2014) has started. Terms of reference have been developed, and funding will be allocated by the Government in 2016. Funds are also being sought from the UNESCO Maputo Office. The main scope of this work will be to add an element on Risk Preparedness and an Action Plan. Other management activities include the development of a new legal instrument to regulate interventions to the built heritage, which, together with the Regulation for the Protection of Immovable Heritage, awaits approval by the Cabinet in 2016;
- A revised buffer zone was developed in 2011, but the State Party wishes to engage an expert to examine the proposed buffer zone and to take into account any underwater archaeological heritage before submitting it to the World Heritage Centre.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The State Party continues to make progress on the conservation and rehabilitation of buildings within the World Heritage property, although there is concern about the overall state of conservation of the building stock, which is understood to still be poor. The development of awareness programmes (on the use of Makuti and on the issue of solid waste) is also a positive step from the State Party, as is the ongoing effort to update the legislative protection of the property.
There is also concern about the pace of progress in updating the Management and Conservation Plan, as only the Terms of Reference for this project have been finalized. The updating process should begin as soon as funding is available. It will indeed be important to add the element on Risk Preparedness to the management framework, as stated in the report; however, the framework should also address the other challenges laid out in the report, including the population increase on the island, continued strengthening of the Conservation Office of Mozambique Island (GACIM), the coordination between various institutional stakeholders, and the need to promote more interaction with partners for technical assistance and fundraising.
The report makes only a brief mention of the rehabilitation project at the Mozambique Island Hospital and the São Lourenco Fortress, for which information was requested by the Committee at its 38th session. The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies will be ready to review the details of the proposal as soon as they are forwarded by the State Party. In conformity with Paragraph 110 of the Operational Guidelines, a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for this proposed intervention is also required. The State Party is encouraged to refer to the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties (2011).
While recognizing the State Party’s desire to incorporate the underwater archaeological heritage within the buffer zone, it would be more efficient at this point to submit the revised buffer zone to the World Heritage Centre as it was drawn up in 2011, in order to immediately gain the benefits of the protection it would afford. Once work on the underwater archaeology is completed, a newly revised buffer zone that takes into account the underwater aspect could again be submitted.
Finally, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the state of conservation of the property, including inside the recently renovated San Sebastian Fortress.
Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.15
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.51, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
- Takes note of the ongoing progress on the restoration and rehabilitation of buildings within the World Heritage property;
- Also notes that, to date, only the Terms of Reference have been finalized for the revision of the Management and Conservation Plan for Mozambique Island (2010 – 2014), and reiterates its request that the revised Plan be duly evaluated and updated with the close participation of all stakeholders, including local communities, and that it include issues related to disaster preparedness, population increase on the island, continued strengthening of the Conservation Office of Mozambique Island (GACIM), coordination between various institutional stakeholders, and the need to promote more interaction with partners for technical assistance and fundraising;
- Further notes that the State Party demarcated a revised buffer zone in 2011 but has not yet submitted it to the World Heritage Centre pending a study of the existing underwater archaeology, and urges the State Party to finalize and adopt a revised buffer zone, in conformity with Paragraph 107 of the Operational Guidelines, at the earliest opportunity;
- Also reiterates its request to the State Party to approve the updated legislation for the protection and conservation of heritage;
- Requests the State Party to forward details of the project for the rehabilitation of the Mozambique Island Hospital and the São Lourenco Fortress, along with a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the project in conformity with Paragraph 110 of the Operational Guidelines, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, and also to inform the Committee, through the World Heritage Centre, about any future projects that may potentially affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its authenticity or integrity, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse;
- Also requests the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the state of conservation of the overall building stock of the property;
- Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, a progress report and, by 1 December 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 42nd session in 2018.