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Stone Town of Zanzibar

United Republic of Tanzania
Factors affecting the property in 2011*
  • Changes to oceanic waters
  • Financial resources
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Legal framework
  • Marine transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Development pressures;

b) Environmental pressures in relation with the Malindi port project;

c) Natural disasters and lack of risk-preparedness;

d) Visitors/ tourist pressures;

e) Lack of resources;

f) Lack of legal framework;

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2011

Total amount provided to the property: USD 24.000 for the inventory of the public spaces in Zanzibar (Netherlands Funds-in-Trust).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2011
Requests approved: 1 (from 1998-1998)
Total amount approved : 15,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2011**

May 2008: Joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission, January 2011: ICOMOS mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

A report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party on 1 February 2011. From 23 to 31 January 2011, an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was carried out, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010). The mission report is available online at the following web address:https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/35COM.

 

a) Malindi Port

The State Party reports that works have now been completed and the Port is fully operational. Problems have arisen due to the lack of completion of the passenger terminal, which causes congestion, and the landing of craft at the Shangani Beach. It notes that this will be addressed by using another area within the Port for landing. The Zanzibar Port Corporation has agreed to carry out the environmental auditing, using the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Sea Wall extension as baseline documentation, but the State Party notes that funding might be requested from the World Heritage Centre to implement it. It is not clear how the results from the environmental audit will be used to put in place a 3-5 year monitoring project for the port area as requested by the World Heritage Committee. No timeframe has been provided for the implementation of this request.

The mission states that the monitoring of the project will be carried out by the Zanzibar Port Corporation and the first report is expected by March 2011, based on which the number and timescale of other reports will be defined. It notes that some environmental changes, like the increase in wave height, have been observed but these have yet to be monitored.

 

b) Sea Front Project Phase II

An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment on the planned Sea Front Project was submitted to the World Heritage Centre in July 2010 for review. The project, planned to begin in early 2011, will refurbish infrastructure for services (water and storm sewers, electricity and telecommunications) below Mizingani Road, resurface the road itself, and create a pedestrian area. The project is likely to receive financial support from the World Bank and the Aga Khan Development Network. 

The mission evaluated the proposal and noted that there is a need to harmonise future refurbishment projects at open spaces to ensure that visual harmony is maintained in consideration to the historic attributes of the property.

c) Management system and legislative arrangements

The State Party reports a new Act for the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority (STCDA) was passed in July 2010 and this is expected to significantly improve the conditions of the property by providing additional funding, capacity for enforcement of regulations and application of sanctions and the creation of a stakeholder’s forum to broaden consultation in regard to interventions at the property. 

The mission noted that due to the recent approval of the new arrangements, it is difficult to ascertain at this point how efficiently they operate. It underscored that cooperation between key institutions exists but communication can be improved. Human and financial resources remain limited for ensuring effective and sustainable implementation of the Heritage Management Plan.

d) Current conservation conditions

The State Party reports that work has continued on the implementation of the Heritage Management Plan; a series of goals have been identified for the preservation of built heritage and the historical environment and also to address tourism development pressures; a traffic management plan has been developed and is currently under review prior to implementation. No precise information is provided on the actual implementation of actions prescribed in the Heritage Management Plan.

The mission noted a series of factors that currently affect the property and which need to be adequately monitored. The monitoring process is expected to improve by implementing a Geographic Information System (GIS). Factors include pressures to meet the demands of tourism development, poverty and living conditions of the Stone Town inhabitants, over-occupation of buildings due to limited housing opportunities, changes in land uses, traffic congestion and management of waste. The mission also noted that decay of the historic fabric continues given the limited interventions carried out to date. Illegal constructions have also continued to affect the overall setting of the property. Further, the control and regulations in the buffer zone have yet to be fully addressed. The mission also noted that there are several planned projects for the property including the reorganisation of the northern part of the port and development for commercial activities, as well as interventions in the House of Wonders and at the Tippu Tip House. Because these projects entail major interventions, they need to be submitted for review prior to their approval and implementation, as per paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

As for new constructions, the mission expressed concern regarding a proposal by the Kempinski Group to build a hotel using in part the Mambo Msiige historic building and the adjacent designated public space. As per letters dated 19 January 2011, and 8 March 2011, the World Heritage Centre alerted the State Party to the potential risk of Danger Listing as the proposed development could fall under conditions set out in Paragraphs 178 and 179 of the Operational Guidelines and requested the Government’s position in this regard. At the time of writing this report, no response has been received. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made by the State Party in improving the management system for the property and welcome the participatory nature of these efforts. However, they note the lack of significant progress made in addressing long-standing issues such as the general state of conservation of the built fabric.

They recommend the World Heritage Committee to express its extreme concern at proposals to build a large hotel complex on a designated public space and adjoining the Mambo Msiige building, one of the most emblematic buildings of the property. This proposal could pose a serious threat to the authenticity and integrity of the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also note that the State Party has not provided any information on this project in spite of the requests made by the World Heritage Centre.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2011
35 COM 7B.45
Stone Town of Zanzibar (United Republic of Tanzania) (C 173rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.54, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party in implementing the requests made by the World Heritage Committee and urges it to secure resources for the operation of the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority (STCDA) and the sustained implementation of the Heritage Management Plan;

4. Notes the results of the January 2011 ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and endorses its recommendations;

5. Expresses its concern about the state of conservation of the property and requests the State Party to:

a) Carry out/update a comprehensive condition assessment of the property and identify priority measures for intervention, including required resources for implementation,

b) Establish an effective monitoring system to control and enforce sanctions on illegal construction and evaluate the adequacy of proposals for new construction and development, both at the inscribed property and within its buffer zone,

c) Further develop the tourism development plan to effectively contribute to poverty alleviation and improvement of socio-economic conditions of the local population;

6. Notes with satisfaction the commitment of the State Party to reassess current plans for the construction of a hotel in a designated public space and next to the Mambo Msiige building and urges the State Party to continue working with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to ensure that potential new developments and rehabilitation of the historic building and its associated public space do not impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies technical specifications on planned projects relating to the reorganisation of the northern part of the port, the Seafront project part II interventions in the House of Wonders and at the Tippu Tip House, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, for consideration and review before any commitment is made for their implementation;

8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, 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 36th session in 2012, with a view to considering, in the case of confirmation of the ascertained or potential danger to Outstanding Universal Value, the possible inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in Danger.

Draft Decision: 35 COM 7B.45

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.54, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party in implementing the requests made by the World Heritage Committee and urges it to secure resources for the operation of the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority and the sustained implementation of the Heritage Management Plan;

4. Notes the results of the January 2011 ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and endorses its recommendations;

5. Also urges the State Party to:

a) Carry out/update a comprehensive condition assessment of the property and identify priority measures for intervention, including required resources for implementation,

b) Establish an effective monitoring system to control and enforce sanctions on illegal construction and evaluate the adequacy of proposals for new construction and development, both at the inscribed property and within its buffer zone,

c) Further develop the tourism development plan to effectively contribute to poverty alleviation and improvement of socio-economic conditions of the local population;

6. Further urges the State Party to reverse its commitment to allow the construction of a hotel in a designated public space and next to the Mambo Msiige building as this will have a serious impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies technical specifications on planned projects relating to the reorganisation of the northern part of the port, interventions in the House of Wonders and at the Tippu Tip House, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, for consideration and review before any commitment is made to implementation;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, 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 36th session in 2012, with a view to considering, if the hotel project at Mambo Msiige is not halted, the possible inscription of the property on the World Heritage List in Danger.

Report year: 2011
United Republic of Tanzania
Date of Inscription: 2000
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(vi)
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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