1.         Butrint (Albania) (C 570ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1992

Criteria  (iii)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1997-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/570/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1996-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 106,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/570/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

UNESCO/ICOMOS missions in 1997, 2001, 2003 and UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission in March 2005.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Looting; lack of adequate protection, management, and conservation of the site; Lack of management mechanisms and tourism pressure; poor state of conservation of the property and insufficient implementation of the recommendations of the joint missions.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/570/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The World Heritage Centre received a report on the property, dated 8 February 2005 by the site management authority. 

The joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission, as requested by the Committee visited Butrint in March 2005.  The Round Table concerning the preparation of a management plan took place from 28 to 29 March.  The full report of the mission is available at whc.unesco.org/. 

The mission visited the property to assess the current state of conservation and to evaluate the extent to which the recommendations of the two UNESCO/ICOMOS missions of 2001 and 2003 and the respective Committee decisions have been followed up.  The members of the mission met with the Minister of Culture and had a series of meetings with the site manager, relevant authorities and concerned stakeholders. The mission obtained information from the Butrint Foundation and the representatives of institutions and other stakeholders concerned with the site. 

The property was included in the List of World Heritage in Danger following the civil unrest and the instable situation at the property of spring 1997.  At that time the site museum was looted and equipment was stolen from the property.  When the property was put on the List of World Heritage in Danger, the property had no management authority, no management plan and no adequate protection system.  These issues were among the reasons for retaining Butrint on the List of World Heritage in Danger, though some of the original reasons for this listing no longer exist:  the looting stopped at the end of the 1990s; the site has a manager, dedicated staff and a management plan that is being updated; legislation and management regime are in place, and both have considerably improved since the property’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger List.  As a result of all those positive changes, and considering that the conditions that have justified the danger listing of the property no longer prevail today, the mission recommends its removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger, in accordance with paragraph 191 (b) of the Operational Guidelines (2005).  The competent authorities of the State Party have expressed no objection to that proposal.

The mission specifically noted that a management plan for Butrint (2000-2005) has been prepared by the Butrint Foundation in cooperation with the Butrint Office.  The Plan was based on extensive consultation and involvement of all stakeholders, local, national and international, with a series of workshops in Saranda on various aspects of the management of the site.  This plan has not been officially adopted and cannot be considered either as a practical and efficient working tool.  An update version is currently under preparation taking also into account the RAMSAR Management Plan.  The mission underlined that legislation and management regime are all in place, and both improved considerably since the inscription of the property. 

The site manager intends to have the current management plan (2000-2005) undergo an update process as part of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funded Coastal Zone Management and Cleanup Project in Albania, as from September 2005.  This update process will address all issues relevant to the conservation and management of the site and also the issues that prevented official adoption of the current management plan.

Furthermore, the mission underlined the need for the State Party to continue its efforts towards the improvement of the general situation of the site while finalising the overall Management Plan and ensure its adoption.  The State Party should make every effort towards the creation of conditions that are conducive to obtaining synergy between the various institutions involved in the site in the preparation of the Management Plan and also  to ensure rigorous control of the site management and to prevent any illegal development in the property.

While the members of the mission agree on the principle of recommending deletion form the List of World Heritage in Danger, there is no unanimity on the timing and the modalities of this action: whereas some members propose a deletion with immediate effect, other (including the mission leader) hold the view that it should be considered for removal by the Committee in 2006 only, on the basis of a further assessment report to be prepared prior to the 30th session of the World heritage Committee in 2006.

Therefore, two options for a Draft Decision are submitted to the World Heritage Committee:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7A.27

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7A,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15A.28, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Thanks the State Party of Albania for the submission of the progress report and for the organization of the Round Table as requested;

4. Acknowledges the considerable efforts by the State Party to contribute to the improvements in the state of conservation of the property, its gradual return to normality and its legal protection;

5. Endorses the recommendations made by the joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM mission of March 2005, and calls upon the State Party to give appropriate attention to their timely implementation;

6. Requests the State Party to:

a) ensure that the management and conservation plan of the property be finalized, if necessary with the assistance of the World Heritage Centre, taking into consideration the recommendations of the 2005 Round Table, as well as be approved by the relevant authorities of the State Party and submitted to the World Heritage Centre;

b) take all necessary measures to prevent any illegal development or inappropriate construction in the property;

c) ensure that strict control is exerted on the site management and that the relevant legal provisions of the 2003 Law on Cultural Heritage are applied; and

d) consider inviting a joint mission of UNESCO/ICOMOS/ICCROM in 2007 to assess the implementation of the Committee’s decisions and submit a report on its findings;

7. Further requests the State Party to provide a detailed implementation report on the issues above as well as a copy of the updated management plan by 1 February 2006 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

8. Decides to remove Butrint (Albania) from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 8C.3

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-05/29.COM/7A and WHC-05/29.COM/7A.Add),

2. Decides to remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger: