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Timbuktu

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2011*
  • Flooding
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Solid waste
  • Other Threats:

    a) Inappropriate design and scale of new Ahmed Baba Cultural Centre in the vicinity of the Sankoré Mosque; lack of detailed drawings supplied to the Committee;

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Inappropriate design and scale of new Ahmed Baba Cultural Centre in the vicinity of the Sankoré Mosque; lack of detailed drawings supplied to the Committee;

b) Inappropriate approaches to the restoration of the Djingareyber Mosque;

c) Urban development pressure;

d) Flooding and rubbish disposal;

e) Lack of building regulations and land use plan;

f) Lack of adequate maintenance of the buildings. 

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2011

Total amount provided to the property: USD 100,000 (Italian Funds-in-Trust)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2011
Requests approved: 6 (from 1981-2004)
Total amount approved : 164,115 USD
Missions to the property until 2011**

2002, 2004, 2005, 2006: World Heritage Centre missions; 2008, 2009 and 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 2 February 2011, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. The report gives a brief overview of the ongoing conservation and management operations.

a) Conservation of the three mosques

The report provides an update of the current state of conservation of the three mosques, Sankoré, Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia. The Sankore mosque continued to be subject of special attention by the local community, the Imams and the guild of traditional builders. It also received technical support from the Italian Government and the World Heritage Centre. The report also provides information about a future urban rehabilitation in the framework of which the restoration of the mosque is an important component. The project, which is executed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is part of a cooperation agreement between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Government of Mali.

The restoration of Djingareyber mosquehas been finalized in July 2010 with the completion of paving in the vicinity of the mosque, and the provision of toilet facilities. Concerning the World Heritage Committee’s request for further information on the “possible project to demolish ruined houses northwest of the Djingareyber Mosque”, the State Party prefers to include these buildings into a proposed ‘pilot project for repairing and renovating houses’, although no details are provided. Only the restoration of the degraded structures of the Sidi Yahia Mosque remains for which architectural surveys have been undertaken in the framework of the same AKDN/Mali agreement.

The report does not provide information on the state of conservation of the 16 mausoleums, which form part of the property and are in need of urgent restoration works.

b) Conservation challenges of the urban context

The State Party notes the challenges to conserving the property in an urban environment: climate change and desertification, demographic change and visual influences of modern technology. The report mentions the development of detailed building regulations and a conservation manual, which are almost finalized. Also noted are development projects initiated by the Malian government and partners (including a bitumen road), the additional storey on the Institute of Ahmed Baba building, uncontrolled Medina building works and general preservation concerns. The State Party notes that the situation in Timbuktu is similar to global issues common to all World Heritage city sites. In this respect, the State Party optimistically hopes there will be an international colloquium for dialogue and engagement of technical partners, local population, elected representatives, potential financiers, etc. The State Party report mentions several organizations that have been, or still are, active in preservation issues, led by efforts of the AKTC, such as the elaboration of a Master Plan for Timbuktu and the urban rehabilitation of Sankoré neighbourhood. However, no further details are provided.

Furthermore, no details are provided on the development of a land use plan for the Old City and its buffer zone. Nor are details provided on any plan to address the need for waste removal or the proposed pilot project for renovating houses in the Old City.

c) Implementation of corrective measures requested by the World Heritage Committee:

The State Party has responded to only one of the corrective measures, namely the development of a Master Plan for the Old City of Timbuktu. It has not responded to the following: re-location of the amphitheatre away from the Sankoré Mosque, creation of an inter-ministerial coordinating committee for Timbuktu, a land-use plan for the property and buffer zones, a plan for the participation of the population in matters of heritage, extension of the boundaries of the World Heritage property to cover the whole of the Old City, and implementation of the short and medium term actions envisaged in the management plan. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2011

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies wish to highlight that the State Party’s report only provides information on some of the corrective measures agreed by the Committee at its 32nd session and only partially addresses the measures agreed by the Committee at its 34th session. Furthermore, the information provided does not adequately address the fundamental threats facing the property. Overall, very little progress has been made in site conservation and management, and in particular in addressing the continued disuse of the Ahmed Baba Cultural Centre and priority repair actions for Sidi Yahia Mosque.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies welcome the proposed project with the AKDN and the Government of Mali that will encompass a Master Plan for Timbuktu and a project for rehabilitation of the Sankore neighbourhood, but considers that details of the project need to be provided to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2011
35 COM 7B.40
Timbuktu (Mali) (C 119rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.48, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Expresses its utmost concern that very little progress has been achieved in implementing corrective measures;

4. Regrets that the Ahmed Baba Cultural Centre built near the Sankoré Mosque remains unused and is deteriorating and encourages the State Party to address this as a matter of urgency;

5. Reiterates its request for the following corrective measures to be urgently addressed:

a) Create an inter-ministerial committee for Timbuktu,

b) Re-locate the amphitheatre away from the Sankore Mosque,

c) Finalize and adopt urban building regulations and develop a land-use plan for the Old City and its buffer zone,

d) Submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies a plan for the participation of the population in matters of heritage,

e) Develop proposals for an extension of the property to encompass the Old City,

f) Implement the short and medium term actions envisaged in the management plan;

6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 31 October 2011, for review by the Adisory Bodies, details on the proposed urban rehabilitation project of the Sankore neighbourhood and on the proposed Master Plan to be implemented in cooperation with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and before any detailed plan is agreed upon;

7. Also requests the State Party to implement the priority actions for the repair work needed on the Sidi Yahia Mosque and to address the need for waste removal in the property;

8. Also encourages the State Party to attract the necessary resources to conduct a pilot project for repairing and renovating a dozen or so houses in the Old City with a training component for handcraft people;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, 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 37th session in 2013.

Draft Decision: 35 COM 7B.40

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.48, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Expresses its utmost concern that very little progress has been achieved in implementing corrective measures;

4. Regrets that the Ahmed Baba Cultural Centre built near the Sankoré Mosque remains unused and is deteriorating and encourages the State Party to address this as a matter of urgency;

5. Reiterates its request for the following corrective measures to be urgently addressed:

a) Create an inter-ministerial committee for Timbuktu,

b) Re-locate the amphitheatre away from the Sankore Mosque,

c) Finalize and adopt urban building regulations and develop a land-use plan for the Old City and its buffer zone,

d) Submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies a plan for the participation of the population in matters of heritage,

e) Develop proposals for an extension of the property to encompass the Old City,

f) Implement the short and medium term actions envisaged in the management plan;

6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 31 October 2011, for review by the Adisory Bodies, details on the proposed urban rehabilitation project of the Sankore neighbourhood and on the proposed Master Plan to be implemented in cooperation with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines and before any detailed plan is agreed;

7. Also requests the State Party to implement the priority actions for the repair work needed on the Sidi Yahia Mosque and to address the need for waste removal in the property;

8. Also encourages the State Party to attract the necessary resources to conduct a pilot project for repairing and renovating a dozen or so houses in the Old City with a training component for craftsmen;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, 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 37th session in 2013.

Report year: 2011
Mali
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 1990-2005, 2012-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 35COM (2011)
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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