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Committee Decisions

32 COM 7B.47

Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (Ethiopia) (C 18)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7B.40 and 31 COM 7B.46, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions respectively,

3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property and the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value requested at the 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);

4. Commends the State Party for having extensively modified its temporary shelter project in accordance with the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and constructed them respecting the integrity of the property and its environment by using reversible constructions;

5. Requests the State Party:

a) to urgently undertake appropriate restoration and conservation measures for the Aba Libanos and Gabriel RufaelChurches;

b) to monitor closely:

i) the shelter of the Aba Libanos Church due to the unstable ground upon which the foundations are built;

ii) in general, the establishment of the temporary shelters, verify their effectiveness and possible impacts on the integrity of the monuments;

c) to clearly identify the boundaries of the property and an adequate buffer zone to allow for the control of construction and land development surrounding the property and the respect of its Outstanding Universal Value, notably by:

i) the production of maps and documents concerning the property and its environment;

ii) the implementation of suitable legal and regulatory protection;

iii) the study of suitable urban and infrastructural solutions;

6. Encourages the State Party to implement the Conservation Action Plan for the property. This Plan should, in particular:

a) identify and analyze the decay factors of the monuments;

b) identify and implement the most suitable sustainable solutions for the conservation of the property over and above the construction of the temporary shelters;

c) involve the local partners in the framework of sustainable economic and social development;

7. Reiterates its request to the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, to develop a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, including the conditions of authenticity and integrity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

8. Also requests the State Party to establish a management plan, with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre integrating the conservation action plan, the measures for sustainable development involving local populations and the touristic enhancement of the property, the regulatory provisions for the boundaries of the property and its buffer zone;

9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a report on the state of conservation of the property along with maps clearly identifying the boundary of the property and the buffer zone, and the construction of the shelters, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.

Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Ethiopia
Session: 32COM