United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization convention concerning the protection of the world



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ARAB STATES
16. Tipasa (Algeria) (C 193)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1982

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 2002

Criteria: C (iii) (iv)
Previous international assistance:

Total amount (up to 2004): US$91,731


Previous Bureau/Committee debates:

26 COM 21(b) 34

27 COM 7A.17
Conservation issues:

At its 27th session, the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2004, on progress achieved on the recommendations elaborated following the Centre's mission in September 2002, which were as follows:


a) The immediate delimitation of the official perimeter of the World Heritage site and its buffer zone, based on the existing archaeological studies, and the issuing of a temporary official Decree freezing all constructions within those boundaries;
b) The establishment of a plan, including a timeframe, to relocate approximately 100 families presently living within the perimeter of the property, in consultation with them and with the local authorities;
c) The strengthening of the human and financial resources of the local Inspectorate, possibly providing it with an annual operational budget (excluding staff and running costs), if possible equivalent to US$50,000;
d) The repairing of the roofing of the storages, which are currently in a critical condition, and where important objects are kept;
e) Urgent preventive conservation measures for mosaics and other exposed structures, including more effective visitor control;
f) The adoption of a legal text on the "protection and presentation of archaeological sites and their buffer zones" and the elaboration of a plan that establishes the construction, architecture, urban-planning and land-use regulations for the Tipasa site, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre;
g) The preparation, in the above framework, of a Management Plan for the site, also in consultation with the Centre.
While drafting the present report, no information had reached the World Heritage Centre yet from the officials responsible for implementing the above-mentioned recommendations.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.16
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Strongly encourages the State Party to take the necessary measures for the urgent application of the recommendations included in the report of the mission of the Centre elaborated in September 2002;
2. Requests the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005, on the progress achieved on the above recommendations for review by the Committee at its 29th session, in 2005;
3. Decides to retain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

17. Abu Mena (Egypt) (C 90)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1979

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 2001

Criterion: C (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

2001: US$14,000, technical co-operation (Ancient Thebes and Abu Mena)



Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

26 COM 21 (b) 44

27 COM 7A.18
Conservation issues:

At the request of the Egyptian Authorities, in September 2002, a World Heritage expert hydrologist carried out a mission to the World Heritage property of Abu Mena in order to evaluate the solutions proposed by the Supreme Council of Antiquities to counter the negative impact on the property of the rising level of groundwater. The mission had produced some recommendations, endorsed by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session, including:


a) The establishment, within the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), of a Cultural Planning Unit (CPU) responsible for liaising with other Governmental Agencies to coordinate, plan and control the impact of development projects on cultural heritage sites;
b) The review of the proposed engineering measures, taking into account the existing land reclamation activities and agricultural practices, to ensure that they are sustainable and cost-effective;
c) The development of an Action Plan for Abu Mena, including provisions for a monitoring system with appropriate indicators and benchmarks, in consultation with all institutions involved, in particular with the Groundwater Research Institute, local authorities and farmers.
The Secretariat received from the State Party, with an accompanying letter dated 27 February 2004, an undated report on the state of conservation of the site (in Arabic). According to this report, the property of Abu Mena faced a new rise in the groundwater level, which led to further sliding of the soil in unexcavated areas, as well as near the cistern of the Cathedral and the eastern part of the tomb of Abu Mena. Most of the lower parts of the site have been filled by small lakes, which now surround the warehouse of the Antiquities Department as well as the rest house of the German Archaeological Mission. The draining trenches excavated around the site have been deepened, in co-operation with the Egyptian authority in charge of the water supply, so as to reduce the level of the ground water and enable the access to the site for archaeologists and visitors.
The report submitted by the State Party did not provide information on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee at its 27th session.


Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.17
The World Heritage Committee,


  1. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party, and expresses its concerns over the deterioration of the property caused by rising groundwater levels and other threats;




  1. Commends the State Party for the efforts made in order to solve the problems related to the rising ground water in the area;




  1. Reiterates, however, the urgency to adopt more long-term and sustainable measures in coordination with the relevant national institutions and in accordance with the recommendations contained in the UNESCO Mission Report of September 2002;




  1. Requests the State Party, in consultation with the institutions concerned and, if necessary, requesting assistance from the World Heritage Fund, to develop an Action Plan including provision for a monitoring system with appropriate indicators and benchmarks;




  1. Further requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2005, a report on the progress of these recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005;




  1. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.



18. Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (C 1130)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 2003

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 2003

Criteria: C (iii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance:

2003: US$50,000, technical co-operation


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

27 COM 8C.45

27 COM 8C.46
Conservation issues:

Further to the inscription of Ashur on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, at its 27th session, the World Heritage Committee approved an Emergency Assistance grant of US$50,000 for the establishment of a site management coordination unit and the development of a management plan for the property, in view of the threats posed by the on-going construction of a Dam near the property. As a consequence of the war, the Dam Project was halted but the site of Ashur remained endangered as a result of widespread looting and lack of maintenance. It became urgent, therefore, to assist the responsible Iraqi authorities in strengthening the presence and capacity of its staff on the site.


To this end, the Secretariat established a contract with an expert archaeologist, as team leader, for the development of an emergency Conservation Plan for the site. This activity, to be developed in close co-operation with the State Party, is conceived also as a training opportunity for the technicians of the Iraqi State Board for Antiquities and Heritage (SBOAH) and includes the provision of some essential equipment for their work at the site. A preliminary work-plan has already been prepared although, owing to the current security constraints, the implementation of this activity has been delayed. The Centre plans to dispatch the first preparatory mission to the site with the objective of defining the details of the programme, as soon as possible.
Thanks to a grant from the Nordic World Heritage Foundation the Centre is organizing a Training Workshop to introduce ten Iraqi specialists to the concepts and procedures of the Convention. This Workshop is due to take place in June 2004 in Jordan and is being organized in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Amman.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.18
The World Heritage Committee,


  1. Notes with concern that the security situation in Iraq is delaying implementation of activities critical for the conservation of Ashur;




  1. Encourages the State Party to establish, as early as possible, a site management coordination unit, which will be responsible for any action to be undertaken on the property and shall constitute a counterpart of the Centre in the development of an emergency Conservation Plan;




  1. Requests the Centre and ICOMOS to continue assisting the responsible Iraqi authorities, in every possible way, with the definition of an overall action plan for the conservation and management of the ancient city of Ashur, including capacity building for the staff of the State Board for the Antiquities and Heritage;




  1. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.



19. Bahla Fort (Oman) (C 433)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1987

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 1988

Criteria: C (iv)

Previous International Assistance:

Total amount (up to 2000): US$66,772



Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

26 COM 21 (a) 12

27 COM 7A.19

Conservation issues:

In June 2003, the Committee decided to consider the possibility of removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 28th Session, on the basis of the progress made by the State Party in the completion and adoption of the Management Plan for the site and having taken into account all ICOMOS recommendations.


In August 2003, the Centre provided the Omani authorities with its comments on an on-going project for a new market near the Fort including proposals for the urban development of the area, and on a draft interim version of the Management Plan for the property. These comments indicated that the Management Plan should be completed before any major urban project such as that of the new market is developed. The Centre reiterated the importance of preserving the authenticity of the property, including the use of traditional building materials and techniques and emphasised the need to further develop the contents of the draft Management Plan with a view to achieving a comprehensive and operational urban planning instrument for the Oasis and a conservation and presentation plan for the Fort.
A revised statement of significance for the property is included in the draft Management Plan, advising that, in addition to criterion (iv), under which the site was inscribed in 1987, criteria (v) and (vi) be considered in a future re-nomination and ICOMOS recommended that criterion (iii) should also be taken into consideration. A re-nomination should provide an up-dated definition of the boundaries of the core area and buffer zone of the World Heritage property.
ICOMOS conducted an evaluation of the Management Plan and the project for the construction of a new market near the Fort. Their report confirmed that the use of reinforced concrete covered with traditional plaster, as planned for the new market, would be inappropriate for a World Heritage property. ICOMOS stressed the importance of further developing the conservation and long-term maintenance guidelines for the Fort and Oasis, with particular reference to the Aflaj system, in order to address the question of the re-use of traditional buildings. The guidelines should take into account the potential for sustainable development. ICOMOS also suggested that a Site Commission be established for the implementation of the Management Plan, together with complementary facilities such as a Documentation Centre, a Conservation Laboratory and a Training Centre.
During the Regional Seminar for the Conservation of the Earthen Structures, in December 2003, the Centre carried out another mission to the property. The visit provided an opportunity to review, with the Omani authorities and the British management consultancy firm Atkins, and in light of the recommendations by the Committee, a final draft version of the Management Plan and to examine possible solutions on how to move forward with the project for the new market. In a letter dated 22 December 2003 to the Permanent Delegation, the Centre presented its recommendations to the Omani authorities.
The Centre highlighted some areas that would still require improvement, including indications on the future use of the Fort and surrounding urban structures, traffic circulation within the Oasis, technical specifications for conservation of earthen structures in the Fort and elsewhere and the procedures for the monitoring of the state of conservation of the property. The Centre also stressed the need for the Omani authorities to give official endorsement to the Management Plan, as well as the necessary support in terms of institutional, financial and especially human resources, to ensure that, upon its completion, it would become operational as soon as possible. With that in mind, the Centre strongly recommended that a second stakeholders' Workshop be held to present the Plan and its conservation and development strategy for the property to the local community and other parties involved in order to integrate their reactions into the final document to be officially approved by the Government.

ICOMOS reviewed the final draft version of the Management Plan and observed that further research would be necessary, particularly on the development of conservation guidelines for the Aflaj system in the Oasis, and the finalisation of an Urban Conservation Plan.


Recognising the desire of the local authorities to overcome the current impasse with regard to the new market, the Centre, in consultation with CRATerre, recommended that the following criteria be adopted:


  • The future market should not be increased in size with respect to the existing one;

  • The original urban morphology (layout and typology) of the market should be maintained;

  • The height and skyline of the built structures, as well as their architectural style and features should be in accordance with the character of the local surviving traditional shops in earthen material. New features inspired from recent markets built elsewhere in Oman should not be taken as a model.

Furthermore,



  1. the existing shops, including those severely damaged by the flood during spring 2003, should be restored using original materials and building techniques, and integrated into the new market. Modern materials may be used, if necessary and appropriate for sanitary and other reasons, only for those parts of the market which have completely deteriorated;

  2. the restoration of the Bahla market could be an opportunity to involve local master masons and unskilled youth in a social programme aimed at conserving and restoring the market of Bahla and to develop awareness and pride among its inhabitants for the value of their earthen heritage. The Ministry of Heritage and Culture and CRATerre could be involved with the Ministry of Commerce in the initiative to transform what has been so far perceived as a "problem" into a model pilot project for the sustainable conservation of a World Heritage property;

  3. the selection of an agent to prepare a new project, in line with the above suggestions, should be the subject of a competitive process to which at least three Consultancy Firms should be invited to bid for.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Notes with satisfaction the considerable progress made by the State Party in the preparation of a Management Plan for the property, though a final plan is not yet ready;




  1. Requests the State Party to pursue its efforts towards the finalisation of the Management Plan taking into account the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS;




  1. Further requests the State Party to organize a second Stakeholders' Workshop to present the draft Management Plan and its conservation and development strategy for the site to the local community and other stakeholders so as to integrate their reactions into the final document to be officially approved by the Government;




  1. Invites the State Party to review the project for the new market taking into consideration the criteria suggested by the Centre and CRATerre, and to ensure that it is compatible with the principles and objectives of the Management Plan under elaboration;




  1. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

20. Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) (C 611)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 1993

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 2000

Criteria: C (ii) (iv) (vi)

Previous International Assistance:

2003: US$40,000, technical co-operation,

2002: US$31,918, emergency assistance,

Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

26 COM 21 (a) 16

27 COM 7A.20

Conservation issues:

Within the framework of the International Assistance Request submitted by the Yemeni authorities and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session, in September-October 2003 a World Heritage expert architect carried out a mission to the World Heritage property of Zabid in order to improve, in close co-operation with the staff of the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities (GOPHCY), the legal and technical aspects of the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan prepared by the Secretariat in December 2002. The mission also provided an opportunity to start planning the organization of a meeting to coordinate the actions of all the stakeholders, tentatively scheduled for November 2004, and to discuss with the local authorities the possibility of establishing a "Heritage House of Zabid" as a special local Unit of GOPHCY.


With respect to the recommendations made by the Committee at its last session, the mission found that the illegal constructions referred to in previous reports, namely the hotel in front of the East gate and the foundations of the Public Works office building, are still in place, while the solid waste issue is not yet solved and new construction works in the historic city have not been halted. The state of conservation of some of the monuments, such as the Mosque Al-Ashaer, has also deteriorated. Outside the walls of the Old City, the Ministry of Public Works is enlarging the inter-regional road. The enlarging of this road could lead to the development of a spontaneous market outside the Old City, which would have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the property. The mission confirmed that the implementation of the Urban Conservation Plan developed in co-operation with the Centre over the past two years, including its regulations, would be the most appropriate means to improve the state of conservation of the property, starting by strengthening the local branch of GOPHCY.
At the time of drafting this report (April 2004), the Centre had not yet received the requested progress report from the State Party. However, the Secretariat has been recently informed that the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan for the Old City may be finalized by June 2004 and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for consideration. The protocols for the financing of the running costs of the Heritage House are still under discussion between the GOPHCY and the Social Fund for Development (SFD).

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.20

The World Heritage Committee,


  1. Notes the information provided by the Secretariat on the current state of conservation of the property and the lack of progress in implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee in 2003, notably in the completion and adoption of the Urban Conservation Plan, the halting and removal of illegal constructions, and the strengthening of the local Unit of the GOPCHY;




  1. Strongly urges the State Party to make every effort towards the rapid implementation of these actions, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre;




  1. Urges the State Party, in particular, to finalise and adopt the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan, together with its regulations, as soon as possible, and submit a report, by 1 February 2005, on the progress made to the Centre for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005;




  1. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.



ASIA-PACIFIC
21. Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) (C 211 rev)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List: 2002

Year of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger: 2002

Criteria: C (ii) (iii) (iv)
Previous International Assistance

2003: US$100,000, Emergency Assistance for the enhanced conservation and management of the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam


Previous Bureau/Committee Deliberations:

26 COM 23.2

26 COM 23.3

27 COM 7A.21

27 COM 8B.2
Conservation Issues:

Following the inscription of the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam on the World Heritage List in 2002, the Government of Italy financed a US$50,000 Funds-in-Trust project for the elaboration of a management plan for the property. This project also aims to strengthen legal regulations for the protection of the property and enhance local awareness regarding the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage. As part of this project, a UNESCO expert mission was undertaken in January 2004. This mission included representatives from the Ministry of Information and Culture and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development of Afghanistan.

This mission aimed to carry out a feasibility study for the construction of a road and a bridge at the World Heritage Site of Jam as well as advise the Afghan Government on the best possible option for the preservation of the site, taking into account Afghan national legislation, the World Heritage Convention and the immediate local needs.

The experts assessed, from a technical, archaeological and social point of view, the various possibilities for the construction of the road already proposed by Afghanaid, and the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture.


The mission resulted in a common agreement signed by the three commanders representing the local communities of Jam, the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, UNOPS, the Head of the Jam Rehabilitation Organization and UNESCO, by which all involved parties acknowledged that:


  1. The problem arising from the construction of the road is not under UNESCO’s responsibility. UNESCO will however recommend to the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture the immediate construction of a footbridge across the Hari River in order to enable villagers access from the Bedam Valley to the Jam Valley;




  1. Priority must be given to the consolidation and restoration of the monument;




  1. The security of UNESCO experts, as well as that of all equipment, needs to be ensured in the district as a whole.

Considering the number of heavy vehicles crossing the Hari River daily, the construction of a simple ford is suggested as a complement to the footbridge. This solution would preserve the property’s visual integrity without calling for further road construction in the vicinity of the Minaret, thus not significantly increasing traffic at the site.


The UNESCO mission observed with satisfaction the presence of several guards responsible for the surveillance of the site and paid by the Afghan Ministry of Interior.

Draft Decision: 28 COM 15A.21

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Commends the State Party for having reached a compromise solution concerning the road construction in the immediate vicinity of the Minaret of Jam;



  1. Requests the State Party to respect and implement the recommendations of the UNESCO mission to enhance the protection, conservation and management of the property;



  1. Requests the State Party, with assistance from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to elaborate and finalize a site management plan as well as to strengthen legal protection for the property;



  1. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.


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