The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela are among the first twelve World Heritage Sites in the world, to be listed by UNESCO in 1978. Ever since the initial construction of the Rock-hewn Churches in the 13th century, the number of residents in Lalibela has continued to increase in numbers, resulting in an urban centre with many opportunities and challenges. Consequently the World Heritage property has faced many challenges. It was therefore necessary to develop a formal integrated management plan that tries to address existing and emerging challenges. Therefore this plan is proposed to address
the following programs.
Management and protection: This plan is aimed at clearly marking and effectively managing boundaries, specific law enforcement, setting up an appropriate institutional framework, developing strategies for adequate data and information collection and management, clearly defining operations of bodies to avoid duplication, dissemination and implementation of research results and monitoring and evaluating information on the continuous state of the site.
Resource Conservation: The plan addresses the degradation of the rock structures, the preservation of the surrounding landscape and safeguarding the tangible and intangible elements of the property and work with stakeholders to combat degradation of the environment both inside and outside the boundaries of the property. Tourism management: This plan sets out a framework sustainably managing tourism activities, diversifying tourism products, disseminating tourism information, and underpins distributing visitor information as well as enhancement of visitor facilities and community based tourism plan.
Community engagement: The plan aims at community partnership in the tourism activities and in a wider tourism stakeholder network alongside a streamlined revenue sharing program focused on community projects and development; benefit distribution, capacity building as well as implementation strategies and fundraising programs. This management plan outlines the main steps to achieve these aims over a period of ten years, from 2014-2023. The plan will be monitored, evaluated and reviewed on a yearly basis to ensure that the objectives set are being met. At the end of the ten-year period a comprehensive evaluation will be carried out.