Decision : CONF 205 V.75-78
Bahla Fort (Oman)
V.75 The Secretariat informed the Bureau of the results of the mission to Oman, recently carried out by the Centre, with particular regard to the good prospect for the restoration of the Fort and the scope and objectives of the Management Plan to be prepared for the conservation and presentation of the site. The Bureau was informed of the decision made by the Omani authorities to entrust the preparation of the Management Plan to a British consulting firm, based in Oman. The Secretariat reported that the consulting firm is to ensure that the Management Plan be used to develop long-term management and conservation policies at the site, and not be limited to a series of projects. The Delegate of Morocco pointed out that Oman insisted on local experts but in this case there were no locals able to handle the conservation problems at hand. The Secretariat addressed the concerns of the Delegate of Morocco, confirming that the Centre will closely supervise the team preparing the Plan, directly and through its experts. A British consultant firm had actually been engaged and the Centre had discussed with this firm the issue and was satisfied they were capable. The matter would continue to be monitored. Further information was provided on the intention of the Omani authorities to organize a Regional Seminar on the Conservation of Earthen Structures, and the assistance provided by the Centre experts for the elaboration of its concept and modalities.
V.76 The Secretariat suggested that the removal of Bahla Fort from the List of World Heritage in Danger might be considered if and when the Management Plan is completed and adopted. The Delegate of Zimbabwe pointed out that the completion of the Management Plan should not be considered as an end in itself, and that its implementation should be monitored for some years before de listing could be considered. ICOMOS strongly supported the idea of holding a Regional Seminar on the Conservation of Earthen Structures, given the large number of sites built with this technology in the area.
V.77 The Bureau thanked and congratulated the Omani authorities on the efforts made which have resulted in a considerable improvement to the state of conservation of the Bahla Fort. The Bureau encouraged the Omani authorities to continue supporting the conservation of the Fort and the preparation of a Management Plan, with a view to the establishment of a permanent management structure on the site.
V.78 The Bureau further recommended that a request of assistance for training activities be submitted by the State Party under the World Heritage Fund, to ensure the highest scientific level for the Regional Seminar on Conservation of Earthen Structures, and enable the participation of experts from less advantaged countries within the Region.