Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Tomb of Askia

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2017*
  • 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
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2017

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 2017
Requests approved: 2 (from 2000-2012)
Total amount approved : 54,200 USD
Missions to the property until 2017**

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 2017

On 25 January 2017, in response to Decision 40 COM 7A.7, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1139/documents/, and supplemented by a more detailed evaluation report submitted on 3 May 2017, available at the same web address. These reports provide the following information:

  • Of the 10 corrective measures adopted by the Committee (Decision 40 COM 7A.7), three have begun to be implemented:
    • The rehabilitation of the property, comprising the renovation of the roof terrace (men’s mosque) and the elimination of the accumulated materials, has been undertaken. The slopes were also redefined in order to distribute the rainwater uniformly to all the existing gargoyles so as to guarantee the durability of the entire mosque,
    • Funding has been identified to revise and update the Conservation and Management Plan of the site before the end of 2017,
    • Operational capacities of the management body (Cultural Mission of Gao) for the property have been strengthened: a new site manager was appointed in March 2017. However, since the crisis of 2012, the functioning of the management body has slowed down;
  • The Tomb of Askia was inscribed in December 2016 on the List of Cultural Properties under Enhanced Protection in the framework of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Armed Conflict 1999;
  • The necropolis of the men’s mosque is progressively degrading due to water erosion caused by the heavy rains of August-September 2016;
  • The esplanade of the property is insalubrious due to the waste dumped daily by residents living on the site;
  • The security situation has deteriorated in the city and region of Gao and tends to hinder the local communities' conservation dynamics;
  • The cessation of tourism activity has contributed to further impoverish the local communities and to also reduce the community contribution to the conservation and management of the property.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2017

The efforts made by the State Party in a difficult security context to initiate the implementation of corrective measures to ensure the best conditions for the integrity and authenticity of the property should be noted.  The risk of partial collapse of the property has been reduced with the rehabilitation work carried out on the roof, and constitutes a major achievement in the conservation of its physical components. The appointment of a site manager is also welcomed, as is the future update of the Management Plan. Thus, the daily monitoring and protection of the property is expected to improve. It is therefore recommended that the Committee take note of the progress made and encourage the State Party to pursue these efforts.

Furthermore, the inscription of the Tomb of Askia on the List of Cultural Properties under Enhanced Protection is also welcomed. It provides an opportunity to strengthen synergies on the ground between the 1954 and 1972 Conventions.

Nevertheless, the low level of implementation of the corrective measures is to be noted. Only three out of seven have begun to be executed. Furthermore, the State Party was not able to finalize the proposal for a Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), as requested by Decision 40 COM 7A.7. The fragility of the security situation in northern Mali also prevented the organization of the UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission requested by this same decision of the Committee to assess the general state of conservation of the property and progress made in the implementation of corrective measures.

Moreover, in view of the problems raised by the degradation of the necropolis of the mosque and the insalubrity of the esplanade, urgent action must be taken in order to avoid an aggravation of the situation.

To this end, it is recommended that the Committee express its concern and urge the State Party to accelerate the implementation of the corrective measures and the finalization of the DSOCR with the support of its partners. The State Party could also be encouraged to request international assistance from the World Heritage Fund.

It is also regrettable that community involvement in the conservation of the site is declining. Thus, there is a need to consider alternative tourism activities, based on the development of other local potentials that could generate income.

In view of all these conservation issues, it is recommended that the Committee maintain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2017
41 COM 7A.30
Tomb of the Askia (Mali) (C 1139)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.7, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures adopted at its 40th session in a difficult security context in northern Mali, and encourages it to pursue its efforts with the support of its partners;
  4. Expresses its concern about the unstable security situation in Gao, which did not allow the joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to be organized in order to assess the general state of conservation of the property;
  5. Also expresses its concern at the problems of degradation of the necropolis of the men’s mosque due to water erosion caused by heavy rains in August-September 2016, and also encourages the State Party to request international assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the rehabilitation of this necropolis;
  6. Notes with satisfaction the granting of the status of Enhanced Protection to Tomb of Askia under the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Armed Conflict, and the opportunity thus offered to strengthen synergies on the ground between the 1954 and 1972 Conventions;
  7. Taking note of the decline in community participation in the conservation of the site, requests the State Party to take measures to promote the latter;
  8. Calls upon the international community to support the State Party, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in all possible ways, for the conservation and protection of the property;
  9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite, when the security situation in the northern region of Mali is stabilized, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to assess the overall state of conservation of the property, and the progress made in the implementation of the corrective measures;
  10. Also requests the State Party to finalize, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the proposal for the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a clear implementation timetable, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2018 for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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;
  12. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  13. Also decides to retain the Tomb of Askia (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
41 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/17/41.COM/7A, WHC/17/41.COM/7A.Add and WHC/17/41.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 41 COM 7A.54)
    • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 41 COM 7A.55)
    • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 41 COM 7A.2)
    • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 41 COM 7A.23)
    • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.4)
    • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 41 COM 7A.24)
    • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.6)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.7)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.8)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.9)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.10)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.11)
    • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 41 COM 7A.32)
    • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.3)
    • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.18)
    • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 41 COM 7A.33)
    • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 41 COM 7A.34)
    • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 41 COM 7A.35)
    • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 41 COM 7A.36)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 41 COM 7A.37)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 41 COM 7A.38)
    • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 41 COM 7A.39)
    • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 41 COM 7A.40)
    • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 41 COM 7A.41)
    • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 41 COM 7A.14)
    • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 41 COM 7A.28)
    • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 41 COM 7A.29)
    • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 41 COM 7A.30)
    • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 41 COM 7A.56)
    • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 41 COM 7A.15)
    • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 41 COM 7A.42)
    • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 41 COM 7A.43)
    • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 41 COM 7A.25)
    • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 41 COM 7A.26)
    • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.16)
    • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 41 COM 7A.21)
    • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 41 COM 7A.19)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 41 COM 7A.44)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 41 COM 7A.45)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 41 COM 7A.46)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 41 COM 7A.47)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 41 COM 7A.48)
    • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 41 COM 7A.49)
    • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 41 COM 7A.31)
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 41 COM 7A.22)
    • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 41 COM 7A.17)
    • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 41 COM 7A.1)
    • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 41 COM 7A.57)
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 41 COM 7A.27)
    • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 41 COM 7A.51)
    • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 41 COM 7A.52)
    • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 41 COM 7A.53)
      Draft Decision: 41 COM 7A.30

      The World Heritage Committee,

      1. Having examined Document WHC/17/41.COM/7A,
      2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7A.7, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
      3. Takes note of the efforts made by the State Party in the implementation of the corrective measures adopted at its 40th session in a difficult security context in northern Mali, and encourages it to pursue its efforts with the support of its partners;
      4. Expresses its concern about the unstable security situation in Gao, which did not allow the joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to be organized in order to assess the general state of conservation of the property;
      5. Also expresses its concern at the problems of degradation of the necropolis of the men’s mosque due to water erosion caused by heavy rains in August-September 2016, and also encourages the State Party to request international assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the rehabilitation of this necropolis;
      6. Notes with satisfaction the granting of the status of Enhanced Protection to Tomb of Askia under the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Armed Conflict, and the opportunity thus offered to strengthen synergies on the ground between the 1954 and 1972 Conventions;
      7. Taking note of the decline in community participation in the conservation of the site, requests the State Party to take measures to promote the latter;
      8. Calls upon the international community to support the State Party, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, in all possible ways, for the conservation and protection of the property;
      9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to invite, when the security situation in the northern region of Mali is stabilized, a joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to assess the overall state of conservation of the property, and the progress made in the implementation of the corrective measures;
      10. Also requests the State Party to finalize, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, the proposal for the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and a clear implementation timetable, and to submit them to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2018 for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in 2018;
      11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2018, 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;
      12. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
      13. Also decides to retain the Tomb of Askia (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
      Report year: 2017
      Mali
      Date of Inscription: 2004
      Category: Cultural
      Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
      Danger List (dates): 2012-present
      Documents examined by the Committee
      SOC Report by the State Party
      Report (2017) .pdf
      arrow_circle_right 41COM (2017)
      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.


      top