Decision : CONF 001 VIII.2
The Committee, at its sixteenth session, inscribed the Angkor site, together with its monuments and archaeological zones, as described in the "Perimeter de Protection" accompanying the ICOMOS report, on the World Heritage List. The Committee, however, noted that Cambodia had been placed under the temporary administration of the United Nations, in accordance with the Paris Accords, since July 1991. In order to deal quickly and effectively with the urgent problems of conservation facing this site, the Committee decided to include Angkor in the List of World Heritage in Danger and requested that the competent UN and Cambodian authorities take the necessary steps to meet the following conditions:
i) enact adequate protective legislation;
ii) establish an adequately staffed national protection agency;
iii) establish permanent boundaries based on the UNDP project;
iv) define meaningful buffer zones, and
v) establish monitoring and co-ordination of the international conservation effort.
At its present session, the Bureau was briefed by the UNESCO Representative to Cambodia, on the state of implementation of the Committee recommendation since its last session. A comprehensive legislation, "Decision on the Protection of the National Cultural Heritage", was adopted by the Supreme National Council at its meeting of 10 February 1993 and took immediate effect.
The future challenge will be to ensure that the provisions of this law be enabled by the constitution, which is currently being drafted by the newly-elected constituent assembly.
A supra-ministerial agency, "The National Heritage Protection Authority of Cambodia" (NHPAC), headed by HRH Prince Norodom Sihanouk, was formally established on 10 February 1993 by a decision of the Supreme Council of Cambodia.
The governing body of the agency has been nominated and the line-functions will be filled in the near future. It is estimated that they will be functional by September 1993.
UNESCO has executed, with funds from UNDP and Sweden and with technical assistance from the United States National Park Service, the Angkor Foundation of Hungary, The Thailand Department of Fine Arts, The Ecole Française d'Extreme Orient, and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), a "Zoning and Environment Management Plan" (ZEMP) for the Angkor Area. As a result of the analyzed data, it was possible to define an "Angkor Cultural Area" corresponding to the catchment area of the ancient Khmer capital. Within this area two large "protected" or "restricted" areas have been identified. One, tentatively called the "Angkor Archaeological Park", is concentrated on the core monumental area. The other, the "Phnom Kulen Park", comprises the environmentally important Kulen Mountain together with more than 100 important monuments from the earliest period of the Empire. In addition, within the Angkor Cultural Area, smaller satellite parks have been defined around the monumental complex of Banteay Srei and Phnom Krom. Also defined are more than 500 "Special Areas of Archaeological Concern" (SAAC), many of which have been newly discovered by the ZEMP project, ESZs ("Ecologically Sensitive Zones"), UCZs ("Urban Conservation Zones"), and urban development zones.
In addition to defining protected/restricted areas and surrounding buffer zones, the ZEMP project has developed zoning regulations and management guidelines, not only for the World Heritage site, but also for the larger surrounding area wherein development activities may have adverse effects on conservation of the Angkor site itself.
The recommendations and policy options of the ZEMP study have already been endorsed at the technical level by the Cambodian authorities and are currently under discussion at the political level. Formal adoption of the ZEMP recommendations may not be possible before the formation of a new national government, foreseen for September or October 1993.
A monitoring/co-ordinating unit for the international conservation effort was established by UNESCO's Director-General within the Physical Heritage Division. A consultative meeting of international experts on Angkor was convened last April in Siem Reap. The Bureau expressed full satisfaction of the work undertaken in such limited time and in the present critical political situation.