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Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons)

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Financial resources
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Insufficient site management means
  • Illicit trafficking of cultural property
  • Instable security situation
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 7 (from 1988-2011)
Total amount approved : 98,640 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On 11 February 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/516/documents/. It provides information on the following issues:

  • The Cultural Mission of Bandiagara has continued its management functions and carried out urgent conservation measures. The rehabilitation of villages in Youga and the mosque at Nando were implemented with financial support of ISESCO and the Dogo Initiative Association. The State Party identified measures that need to be taken to address the increasing threat to the cultural heritage, which includes awareness raising and education to reaffirm the importance of preserving the cultural diversity and immaterial heritage, as well as updating the management and conservation plans;
  • Illegal excavations, illicit trade of cultural objects and vandalism have been reported especially at the site of Bidi, where pillagers have been intercepted. In order to address the lack of knowledge of the regulations and laws, and to increase awareness among communities of the importance of heritage, the authorities propose to enforce the formal ban on illegal excavations through installation of signage, communication and awareness-raising, and to carry out rescue excavations at the affected sites.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

In spite of the prevailing instability in Mali and the difficulties encountered in maintaining the property, the Cultural Mission of Bandiagara has continued to fulfill its task in ensuring as best possible the conservation and management of the property. It is recommended that the Committee commend the dedication and preparedness of the Cultural Mission, local professionals and the communities in taking measures to safeguard their heritage during these difficult times. Their efforts to strengthen capacity, through awareness-raising and education to secure the protection and conservation of heritage are invaluable and will contribute to the sustainable conservation of the Cliffs of Bandiagara.

The measures proposed by the authorities to prevent illegal excavation and illicit trade in local cultural artefacts are welcome. However, steps should also be taken to enhance the monitoring and protection of vulnerable sites. It is recommended that the Committee call on all States Parties to support Mali in its fight against illicit trafficking, in the framework of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970).

In this respect, it is crucial to continue the collaboration with the local communities and to raise awareness to ensure that the different stakeholders participate in the maintenance and monitoring of this heritage.  Equally important is the updating of the management and conservation plan taking into account the current circumstances, in order to support traditional maintenance and conservation of the sites by the local communities, through the active participation of all stakeholders, and to enhance measures to support sustainable livelihoods.

It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, as soon as circumstances allow, in order to discuss ways to support and enhance the sustainable management of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.64
Cliff of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons) (Mali) (C/N 516)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.60, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the efforts and committment of the State Party in the conservation and preservation of the property, at a time of great instability;
  4. Welcomes the measures taken by the State Party to prevent illegal excavation and illicit trafficking of local cultural artefacts, particularly in the site of Bidi, and urges the State Party to take all necessary measures to enhance the protection and monitoring of vulnerable sites;
  5. Also urges the State Party to continue the collaboration with the local communities to raise awareness of the value of local cultural artefacts to the property and to ensure that the different stakeholders participate in the maintenance and monitoring of this heritage;
  6. Appeals to all States Parties to ratify and implement the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property to support Mali in the fight against illicit trafficking;
  7. Requests the State Party to commence the process for the updating of the management and conservation plan with the active participation of all stakeholder to include measures to support sustainable livelihoods, and to identify financial support for its implementation, and to submit the draft revised plan to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also requests the State Party to invite, when circumstances allow, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to review the overall management of the property, and particularly ways to reinforce traditional practices and diversify sustainable development opportunities for local communities;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an interim report on the state of conservation 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.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.64

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.60, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Commends the efforts and committment of the State Party in the conservation and preservation of the property, at a time of great instability;
  4. Welcomes the measures taken by the State Party to prevent illegal excavation and illicit trafficking of local cultural artefacts, particularly in the site of Bidi, and urges the State Party to take all necessary measures to enhance the protection and monitoring of vulnerable sites;
  5. Also urges the State Party to continue the collaboration with the local communities to raise awareness of the value of local cultural artefacts to the property and to ensure that the different stakeholders participate in the maintenance and monitoring of this heritage;
  6. Appeals to all States Parties to ratify and implement the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property to support Mali in the fight against illicit trafficking;
  7. Requests the State Party to commence the process for the updating of the management and conservation plan with the active participation of all stakeholder to include measures to support sustainable livelihoods, and to identify financial support for its implementation, and to submit the draft revised plan to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Also requests the State Party to invite, when circumstances allow, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to review the overall management of the property, and particularly ways to reinforce traditional practices and diversify sustainable development opportunities for local communities;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an interim report on the state of conservation 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.
Report year: 2016
Mali
Date of Inscription: 1989
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (v)(vii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
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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