VII.35 Forts and Castles of Ghana (Ghana)
The Forts and Castles of Ghana, as inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979, consist of three castles, 15 forts in a relatively good condition, ten forts in ruins and seven sites with traces of former fortifications. All sites are protected monuments in the custody of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), with the exception of James Fort, Accra and Fort William, Anomabu, which are still being used as prisons. The sites are periodically inspected, however, their regular maintenance and conservation is severely affected by the limited financial resources of the GMMB.
During the period 1992-1997 major conservation works were carried out on Cape Coast Castle in Cape Coast, St. George's Castle and Fort St. Jago in Elmina within the scope of the Historic Preservation component of the "Central Region Integrated Development Programme" funded by UNDP and USAID.
The main threats to the sites can be confined to three principal areas: environmental pressures; lack of buffer zones and development pressure and lack of adequate funding for the regular maintenance and conservation of the sites.
- thanked the national authorities in Ghana for their efforts in preservation of the World Heritage sites in Ghana and congratulated them on the recent conservation works carried out in Cape Cost and Elmina;
- urged the national authorities to ensure that all the Forts listed as World Heritage are not used for unrelated purposes such as prisons and that their World Heritage values are preserved;
- recommended priority be given to sustainable conservation and not to the rehabilitation of buildings for tourism purposes;
- recommended that action be taken urgently to define buffer zones around the properties, as well as other protective measures to stop further environmental degradation of the areas in the direct vicinity of the World Heritage sites;
- recommended that the national authorities in Ghana submit an Emergency Assistance request with regard to the urgent conservation works on some of the Forts;
- encouraged the authorities to implement awareness building activities among the population.