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World Heritage Convention

Decision 38 COM 7B.53
Osun-Osogbo Sacred Groove (Nigeria) (C 1118)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 8B.23B, adopted at its 29th session (Durban 2005),
  3. Welcoming the continuing efforts of the State Party to improve the conservation of the property through the development of a Conservation Management Plan for 2010-2014,
  4. Notes with concern that in the nine years since inscription, urban development pressures in the wider setting have increased as have the scale and commercialisation of the annual festival and overall visitor numbers; and considers that development threats in the wider setting need to be curtailed;
  5. Regrets that the road through the property has not been diverted as requested at the time of inscription, and urges the State Party to ensure this is carried-out as soon as possible;
  6. Expresses concern that the Cultural Tourism Management Plan, also requested at the time of inscription, has not yet been developed; and also considers that such a plan is urgently needed in order to address ways to sustain the spiritual, symbolic and ritual qualities of the Grove in relation to the very large numbers of people visiting this property, particularly during the festival, through defining clearly and precisely the carrying capacity of the Grove, in relation to its spiritual atmosphere, physical fragility and pristine nature, as well as its connections to access routes, car parking, accommodation etc.;
  7. Also expresses concern that the natural qualities of the sacred grove, upon which its cultural values depend, and particularly the Osun River, appear to have been adversely affected by water-borne pollution;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property in order to consider with the State Party how approaches to urban development, cultural tourism management and the conservation of natural resources might be strengthened and also to consider the appropriate balance between conservation and development in relation to the OUV of the property;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2015 a progress report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the above issues, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.
Decision Code
38 COM 7B.53
Conservation, Reports
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2014 Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove
Report of the Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014)
Context of Decision