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Timbuktu

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Occupation of the property by armed groups
  • Lack of management structure at the site
  • Armed conflict
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Occupation of the property by armed groups
  • Absence of management
  • Destruction of 14 mausoleums and degradation of the three mosques in the serial 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

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6622 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2018

Total amount granted: USD 100,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust; USD 55,000 from the UNESCO Emergency Fund; USD 2,100,000 from the Action plan Fund for the rehabilitation of cultural heritage and the safeguarding of ancient manuscripts in Mali

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 8 (from 1981-2018)
Total amount approved : 189,352 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

2002, 2004, 2005, 2006: World Heritage Centre missions; 2008, 2009 and 2010: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring missions; May, October and December 2012: UNESCO emergency missions to Mali; June 2013: UNESCO assessment mission to Timbuktu; April 2017: UNESCO Expert mission to assess the state of conservation of Mali's World Heritage properties

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 31 January 2018, in response to Decision 41 COM 7A.30, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, supplemented by a report submitted on 3 March 2018; these reports are available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119/documents/, providing the following information:

  • A new 2018-2022 Management and Conservation Plan was developed in close cooperation with the local community;
  • A mulidisciplinary commission was established to propose solutions for the conservation of the ancient fabric;
  • The implementation of the urban regulation suffers from persistent insecurity, causing weak presence of the local authorities and technical service agents, and lack of civic spirit on the part of the local population. Also, the proliferation of containers and houses made of sheet metal in the midst of garbage and blocked gutters threaten the ancient urban fabric;
  • The uncontrolled refuse dumps adjacent to the Djingareyber Mosque and the mausoleums of the three saints have been evacuated;
  • The ablutions building of the Djingareyber Mosque has been rehabilitated and a green area, previously used as a domestic waste dump, has been developed on the southern side;
  • A Maintenance Guide of the reconstructed and rehabilitated mausoleums of Timbuktu has been developed;
  • Rehabilitation work on the Sankoré and Sidi Yahia mosques, and enhancement of the collections of the Municipal Museum and the Al Mansur Korey Museum are ongoing;
  • The Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research (IHERI-AB) has benefited from extension work to the administrative buildings;
  • The military presence and the establishment of military protection barriers up to the base of the walls of some buildings, notably the Djingareyber Mosque, represent a major risk caused by the redirection of traffic to nearby streets and listed buildings; the vibrations caused degrade the earthen buildings;
  • The need to rehabilitate the enclosures of the cemeteries containing mausoleums continues, highlighting the absence of guards and public lighting;
  • The Timbuktu Cultural Mission (MCT) lacks staff, in particular qualified technicians for the conservation of the earthen buildings, as well as a vehicle for work supervision missions;
  • Due to security conditions, the UNESCO/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was not organized. However, in April 2017, a cultural heritage expert was assigned by UNESCO to carry out a field mission to continue this work and assess the situation at site (the mission report is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119/documents/).
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The progress achieved by the State Party in the rehabilitation and conservation of the property at several levels and the implementation of the corrective measures adopted by the Committee (Decision 40 COM 7A.6), despite the security situation, is warmly welcomed. The report submitted demonstrated that of the 12 corrective measures, nearly 10 of them are being implemented and it is recommended that the Committee congratulate the State Party.

In this context, the development of a new 2018-2022 Management and Conservation Plan constitutes major progress, however, the implementation will depend on the mobilization of sufficient means. This achievement, like the establishment of a Multidisciplinary Committee, demonstrates the increased involvement of the local community that remains very active. The continuation of rehabilitation and safeguarding works, in particular for the three mosques, the El-Farouk monument, the libraries of manuscripts and the museums, or also the extension of the IHERI-AB are again visible signs for the local population of the dynamic action being undertaken, mainly thanks to the contribution of the European Union to the second phase of the Rehabilitation Programme.

Despite this dynamic and the progress achieved, the unstable security situation still remains an important concern, all the more so since the military presence and the vibrations caused by the military vehicles constitute a new threat to the buildings. It is recommended that the State Party, in consultation with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), studies reorganization options for traffic adjacent to the listed buildings in order to reduce the potential negative effects.

Moreover, notwithstanding the planned interventions at the two cemeteries, for the repair and reconstruction of the enclosure walls and development work for the evacuation of rainwater, additional security measures at all the cemeteries containing mausoleums of saints are necessary, specifically the recruitment and training of guards for each cemetery and the installation of public lighting.

A further concern is the insufficient capacities of the Timbuktu Cultural Mission (MCT), in particular the need for logistic means (vehicles and motorbikes), human resources and funds and the rehabilitation of the disused premises of the MCT that remain unoccupied following acts of vandalism sustained during the occupation of the town in 2012. The State Party is encouraged to increase the budgetary means available to the MCT to better fulfil its central function and ensure the implementation of the new Management and Conservation Plan. In the same way, it is recommended that the Committee renew its appeal to the international community to contribute to the implementation of the second phase of the Action Plan for the rehabilitation of the cultural heritage and safeguarding of the ancient manuscripts of Mali (2017-2020). 

Finally, it is recommended that in response to the extremely difficult conditions prevailing at the site and the comparative isolation of staff, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies explore the possibility of setting up a short-term distance support programme in order to allow dialogue on capacity-building and the drafting of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

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

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.14
Timbuktu (Mali) (C 119rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes with satisfaction the progress achieved in the implementation by the State Party of the corrective measures adopted at its 40th session, in a continuingly difficult context in northern Mali, notably the rehabilitation and safeguarding work of the three mosques, the private libraries and the museums, the El-Farouk monument and the development of Independence Square, and also the extension of the HERI-AB;
  4. Congratulates the State Party for the preparation of the new 2018-2022 Management and Conservation Plan, and the increased involvement of the local community in activities carried out for the benefit of the property;
  5. Warmly welcomes the interventions foreseen for the security of two cemeteries, and recommends the State Party to broaden the scope of its efforts to include all the cemeteries containing the mausoleums of saints through additional measures, in particular the recruitment and training of guards for each cemetery, as well as public lighting;
  6. Expresses its concern as regards the continuing unstable security situation and notably certain impacts due to military presence, such as the potentially negative effects of vibrations caused by military vehicles to the listed buildings, and also recommends that the State Party study, in consultation with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), reorganization options for traffic adjacent to the concerned buildings to reduce these effects;
  7. Encourages the State Party to increase the financial, logistical and human resources of the Timbuktu Cultural Mission, to enable an improved fulfilment of its central function and ensure the implementation of the new Management and Conservation Plan;
  8. Launches an appeal to the international community to provide support to the efforts of the State Party and contribute towards the implementation of the second phase of the Rehabilitation Programme for Cultural Heritage and the safeguarding of the ancient manuscripts of Mali;
  9. Also encourages the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to explore the possibility of setting up a short-term distance support programme, in order to allow dialogue on capacity building and on drafting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019;
  11. Decides to pursue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  12. Also decides to retain Timbuktu (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
42 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/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.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 42 COM 7A.1)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 42 COM 7A.2)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 42 COM 7A.5)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 42 COM 7A.8)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.45)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 42 COM 7A.9)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.46)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.47)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.48)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.49)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.50)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.51)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 42 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.44)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.40)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 42 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 42 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 42 COM 7A.21)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 42 COM 7A.22)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 42 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 42 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 42 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 42 COM 7A.26)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 42 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 42 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 42 COM 7A.14)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 42 COM 7A.15)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 42 COM 7A.3)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 42 COM 7A.54)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 42 COM 7A.27)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 42 COM 7A.29)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 42 COM 7A.28)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 42 COM 7A.10)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 42 COM 7A.11)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.55)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 42 COM 7A.6)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 42 COM 7A.41)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 42 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 42 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 42 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 42 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 42 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 42 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 42 COM 7A.16)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 42 COM 7A.7)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.56)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.42)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 42 COM 7A.4)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 42 COM 7A.12)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 42 COM 7A.37)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 42 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 42 COM 7A.39)
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.14

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Notes with satisfaction the progress achieved in the implementation by the State Party of the corrective measures adopted at its 40th session, in a continuingly difficult context in northern Mali, notably the rehabilitation and safeguarding work of the three mosques, the private libraries and the museums, the El-Farouk monument and the development of Independence Square, and also the extension of the HERI-AB;
  4. Congratulates the State Party for the preparation of the new 2018-2022 Management and Conservation Plan, and the increased involvement of the local community in activities carried out for the benefit of the property;
  5. Warmly welcomes the interventions foreseen for the security of two cemeteries, and recommends the State Party to broaden the scope of its efforts to include all the cemeteries containing the mausoleums of saints through additional measures, in particular the recruitment and training of guards for each cemetery, as well as public lighting;
  6. Expresses its concern as regards the continuing unstable security situation and notably certain impacts due to military presence, such as the potentially negative effects of vibrations caused by military vehicles to the listed buildings, and also recommends that the State Party study, in consultation with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), reorganization options for traffic adjacent to the concerned buildings to reduce these effects;
  7. Encourages the State Party to increase the financial, logistical and human resources of the Timbuktu Cultural Mission, to enable an improved fulfilment of its central function and ensure the implementation of the new Management and Conservation Plan;
  8. Launches an appeal to the international community to provide support to the efforts of the State Party and contribute towards the implementation of the second phase of the Rehabilitation Programme for Cultural Heritage and the safeguarding of the ancient manuscripts of Mali;
  9. Also encourages the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to explore the possibility of setting up a short-term distance support programme, in order to allow dialogue on capacity building and on drafting the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019;
  11. Decides to pursue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the property;
  12. Also decides to retain Timbuktu (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Mali
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 1990-2005, 2012-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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