Decision : 31 COM 7B.46
Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,
2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7B.40, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),
3. Notes with satisfaction the success of the World Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Government and the European Commission in changing the design of the shelters for the churches, making them both smaller and reversible and commends the Ethiopian Government for its cooperation;
4. Takes note of the development of a conservation action plan through the work of the World Heritage Centre and ARCCH;
5. Acknowledges the welcome support of the Norwegian Government and the World Monuments Fund for the development of a pilot conservation project and background surveys and analysis;
6. Urges the Ethiopian Government as a first priority to prepare an integrated management plan followed by a conservation plan for the sustainable development of the site and its setting, as a framework for assessing long-term solutions to the protection and conservation of the churches, their surface finishes, their rock hewn surroundings and their associated landscapes and settlements;
7. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission to Lalibela, to review progress with the construction of the shelters and progress towards the immediate development of a management plan and identifying and planning long-term approaches for the property;
8. Requests the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies to build capacity for the State Party to manage the property and also requests the World Heritage Centre to involve Ethiopian personnel during the planning and implementation.
9. Also requests the Ethiopian authorities to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, on progress with the shelters and forward planning for examination by the Committee in its 32nd session in 2008.