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Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of the architectural heritage fabric

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 2016

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

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 5 (from 1983-2015)
Total amount approved : 72,240 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

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 2016

On 1 December 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/documents/ and provides the following progress:

  • The Land Use Plan for Songo Mnara is now in place and was submitted to the World Heritage Centre in April 2016 together with the Integrated Management Plan;
  • The Land Use Plan for Kilwa Kisiwani has not been prepared owing to a change of status from village to a suburb. However, the State Party proposes to prepare either a general management plan or interim Land Use Plan and has indicated that the site is not vulnerable to destruction because of the absence of the Land Use Plan;
  • The updated Management Plan is not yet finalized, but is nearing completion;
  • A further five years will be required by the State Party to complete physical works to the remaining 30% of ruins, particularly Husuni Ndogo, and to control sea wave erosion. This work will require substantial international support;
  • There are no plans for major works at the property other than ongoing construction of amenities at the German Rest House in Kilwa Kisiwani
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

In view of the substantial progress made towards the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) adopted in 2008 (Decision 32 COM 7A.14), the property was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger (Decision 38 COM 7A.27) in 2014.

Although the target benchmark of 70% of monuments being conserved has been achieved, protective works and physical conservation are continuing. In April 2016 the State Party submitted a report on works to strengthen the coastal Sea Wall on the Gereza Fort in Kilwa Kisiwani, and to protect the structure from destructive wave action. This work was supported by funding from UNESCO in response to an International Assistance Request.

However, a number of actions and programmes identified in the report of the joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission which occurred in December 2013 (mission report available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/144/documents/) are still required to ensure that the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property is preserved. These include:

  • definition of the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones;
  • finalization and completion of the updated Management Plan;
  • formulation of a draft Sustainable Tourism Development Plan;
  • finalization of the Land Use Plan for Kilwa Kisiwani.

In addition, the current management structure of the property should continue to be maintained and supported and additional resources are required to ensure the sustainability of conservation and maintenance interventions. It is important that the momentum and achievements over the last decade be continued, so that the OUV of the property is conserved.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.20
Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) (C 144
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7A.22 and 38 COM 7A.27, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes the progress made by the State Party in responding to the previous recommendations of the Committee and in meeting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), following such removal in 2014;
  4. Congratulates the State Party on the continuing programme of protective and physical conservation works at the property;
  5. Requests the State Party to finalize the process for establishing the boundaries of the property, its buffer zones and their regulatory measures and submit, by 1 December 2017, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance to Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
  6. Also requests the State Party to finalize and submit, by 1 December 2017, the updated Management Plan and completed Land Use Plan for Kilwa Kisiwani, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
  7. Further requests the State Party to implement the full set of recommendations of the December 2013 mission;
  8. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, 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.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.20

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decisions 37 COM 7A.22 and 38 COM 7A.27, adopted at its 37th (Phnom Penh, 2013) and 38th (Doha, 2014) sessions respectively,
  3. Notes the progress made by the State Party in responding to the previous recommendations of the Committee and in meeting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), following such removal in 2014;
  4. Congratulates the State Party on the continuing programme of protective and physical conservation works at the property;
  5. Requests the State Party to finalize the process for establishing the boundaries of the property, its buffer zones and their regulatory measures and submit, by 1 December 2017, a proposal for a minor boundary modification, in accordance to Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, for examination by the World Heritage Committee;
  6. Also requests the State Party to finalize and submit, by 1 December 2017, the updated Management Plan and completed Land Use Plan for Kilwa Kisiwani, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies,
  7. Further requests the State Party to implement the full set of recommendations of the December 2013 mission;
  8. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, 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.
Report year: 2016
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 (2015) .pdf
Report (2015) .pdf
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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