1.         Stone Town of Zanzibar (United Republic of Tanzania) (C 173rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2000

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(vi)

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/173/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved: USD 15,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: 24,000 USD for the inventory of the public spaces in Zanzibar (Netherlands Funds-in-Trust)

Previous monitoring missions

May 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission; January 2011: ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission; September/October 2013: ICOMOS Advisory Mission; October/November 2014: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2015: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

On [15 March 2016], the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/documents. The State Party’s report responds to all points of the Committee´s decision and includes a table with the current state of conservation of Grade I and Grade II buildings. A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission visited the property in February 2016 (mission report available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/173/documents).

As for progress made:

The State Party has actively sought assistance and support from international partners and some other potential means were discussed during the 2016 mission. The mission noted that private initiatives and international partnerships have provided support for the STDCA professionals. However, the state of conservation of the property remains a concern, and the recommendations need to be urgently implemented.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The long-standing threats to the property have been highlighted in previous state of conservation reports and in past Reactive Monitoring missions. Although a conservation and management framework has been established in the past years, it has been largely ineffective in responding to growing development pressures and provisions have not been implemented in a comprehensive manner. In addition, the STCDA was not sufficiently empowered to effectively protect the World Heritage property through controlling development and reversing decay in the building stock. This has been evidenced by the insensitive rehabilitation and extension of the Mambo Msiige, and other projects that have affected the building stock. This vulnerability still remains given the potential for similar adverse interventions at other important buildings, such as Tippu Tib House and the serious conservation condition of the property.

In regard to Mambo Msiige, the mission was disturbed that no action had so far been taken to address the mitigation measures set out in the 2014 report and underscored that this project was a serious failure in terms of conservation. There is a need in the future to ensure that strong planning mechanisms are effectively implemented and adequate consultation undertaken to avoid similar negative outcomes.  An important test of this will be in the future conservation treatment of the Tippu Tip house. 

The 2016 mission has noted current efforts being made to streamline decision-making and improve coordination among different actors with mandates that influence the property, as well as in the update of regulatory measures and planning tools. In particular the creation of the DCU and the stakeholders’ forum should be commended. These institutions however are in their infancy and will need to be strengthened and supported in the immediate future to ensure that they will be able to carry out their mandates effectively. Sustained efforts and secure financial resources will be needed to ensure that these measures go beyond reactive, temporary interventions and effectively result in the smooth and efficient operation of the newly established management arrangements. In particular, there is a need to constitute the Heritage Board in order to provide a forum for all the major institutional stakeholders and to clearly define its relationship with the DCU and other crucial stakeholders. It will also be important to ensure that the STCDA has a decisive voice within these planning authorities in relation to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. It is of concern that the mission noted that the current staff of the STCDA is to be reduced. If this was to occur, the role of the STCDA could be further diminished and its ability to implement its mandate could be jeopardised.

Increasing awareness, particularly among developers and the local population, on the values of property and on the need to integrate heritage conservation with development, has to be prioritised. Also, there is a pressing need to enhance conservation practice and skills, through the implementation of appropriate guidance and principles for conservation and restoration interventions, driven by the attributes that embody the OUV of the property, and through capacity building. Both of these aspects need to be integrated into the updated Conservation Plan for the property, which should be finalized promptly and integrated into the Master Plan.

It is only through sustained and planned action, through the enforcement of regulatory measures, the regular monitoring of the conditions of the building stock, and the consistent implementation of planning tools, and through the operation of management arrangements, that a reversal of current conditions can occur. The proposed recommendations of the 2016 mission are geared toward ensuring the long-term protection of the property and including heritage conservation in development and town planning policies to effectively constitute a system that is able to respond to and manage change. Consequently, close monitoring will be required on the implementation of the proposed recommendations given the vulnerable state of conservation and the conditions that continue to exist that can threaten the OUV of the property.

Decision Adopted: 40 COM 7B.21

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.45, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Acknowledges the actions taken by the State Party to implement its recommendations and urges the State Party to secure the necessary resources for the full operation of the newly created management arrangements, including the Development Control Unit (DCU) and the strengthening of the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority (STCDA);
  4. Notes the results from the condition survey of the property and requests the State Party to continue its efforts on addressing the state of the building stock by implementing conservation and restoration projects, by developing appropriate methodological guidance and an effective monitoring system, and by increasing technical capacities and skills;
  5. Expressing concern at the shortcomings in the documentation submitted and the methodologies to be used for the proposed restoration of Beit-el-Ajaib (House of Wonders), highlighted by an Advisory Bodies technical review, also urges the State Party to halt all work on this building apart from urgent shoring, and to develop detailed documentation as indicated in the technical review, including archival research, and submit this revised documentation to the World Heritage Centre for further review by the Advisory Bodies before any work on the proposed project commences;
  6. Also notes the results of the 2016 Reactive Monitoring mission to the property and further urges the State Party to implement the agreed upon measures, in accordance with the proposed timelines, regarding the Specific Recommendations for Procedures to Adequately Control Development and Promote Conservation;
  7. Also requests the State Party to finalize consultations with the current property management of the Mambo Msiige building to implement all feasible mitigation measures, as outlined in the 2014 and 2016 mission reports, to lessen negative impacts of the hotel on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, and to provide a proposal for this work, including a timeline for implementation, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  8. Further requests the State Party to provide project proposals and details on the potential urban interventions for the Container Port, for any commercial space on the Darajani Corridor, for the proposed promenade along the Mizingani seawall, and for potential restoration interventions and use plans for the Tippu Tip House, and the Creek Road Chawl Building, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any permits are granted for implementation;
  9. Requests furthermore 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.