Island of Mozambique, Mozambique

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Short description

In the Island of Mozambique, the application of HUL notion aimed to explore the impacts of the development patterns and legislative decrees on the integrity of the world heritage site since 1985. The workshop served as a common ground for the administrative stakeholders, community representatives and the partner institutions to determine an action plan for the urgent activities as well as improving information exchange, communication and coordination regarding the Island’s conservation management.



Land area

1,5 km²

Key challenges

Insufficient management of ownership issues by the legislative bodies; lack of adequate planning instruments; degradation of the historical fabric and the collapse of buildings; improvement of infrastructure; impact of socio-economic changes on the protection of the cultural heritage



Heritage Protection

National and Local regulation

  • Local Authorities of the Island of Mozambique
  • Office of Conservation of the Island of Mozambique (GACIM)

In accordance with No.  2 of Article 15 of Decree No.  27/2006  of 13 July 2006, on the Special Status of the Island of Mozambique, with its constitution, GACIM was given responsibility to manage the scientific activites, assess new construction projects as well as conservation and restoration projects, propose technical asssistance , promote heritage education, partnerships and cultural tourism etc.

Main Partners

UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands)

University of Minnesota (USA)

Lúrio University (Mozambique)

National Directorate for Cultural Heritage of Mozambique

City Council of the Island of Mozambique (Conselho Municipal da Cidade de Ilha de Moçambique)

Conservation Office of the Island of Mozambique (GACIM), Ministry of Culture

Main activities

[1991] The Island of Mozambique has been inscribed in the World Heritage List

[2010] The World Heritage Committee expressed the possibility of placing the property on the World Heritage List of Danger at its 34th session

[2010] Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission was invited by the State Party to assess progress of the Emergency Action Plan

[2011] The preparatory workshop on the Historic Urban Landscape in the Island of Mozambique was held between 10-15 July

[2012] Follow-up fieldwork was held in 1 November 2011 – 26 January 2012

[2013] Presentation at the conference “The Conservation of Historic Urban Landscapes and Sustainable Development”

Main resources

law-book1 Report on the Historic Urban Landscape Workshops and Field Activities on the Swahili coast in East Africa 2011-2012

law-book1 Codes of Postures – Codigo de Posturas (in Portuguese)

settings Island of Mozambique WHS

open-magazine Jopela, A. and Macamo, S. (2011). Workshop report on the UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) Approach in the Island of Mozambique, 11-15 July 2011. Unpublished report submitted to UNESCO – World Heritage Cities Programme at the World Heritage Centre. Maputo: National Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

open-magazine Hougaard, J. (2011). Enforcement of Planning Instruments for Conservation of Island of Mozambique. Paper presented at the Historic Urban Landscape Workshop, 10-15 July 2011, Island of Mozambique. Island of Mozambique: GACIM

open-magazine Roders, A. P., Aguacheiro, J. A. and Hougaard, J. (2012). Island of Mozambique Historic Urban Landscape In Perspective Part 1: Stone Town – 2011/2012. Eindhoven: Eindhoven University of Technology.

open-magazine Silva, A.T. et al. (2014) Cultural Heritage Management and Ownership Regime in Island of Mozambique. In Vernacular Heritage and Earthen Architecture (pp. 171-176). London: CRC Press.

open-magazine Jopela, A. (2016). Conserving a World Heritage Site in Mozambique: Entanglements between politics, poverty, development and governance on the Island of Mozambique. In Urban Heritage, Development and Sustainability (pp. 37-56). Oxon: Routledge.


Albino Pereira de Jesus Jopela

Ana Pereira Roders

Ana Tarrafa Silva

Jens Hougaard

Jaime Aguacheiro

Rob Derks

Sander Damen

Teun Metgod


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