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


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Lack of management mechanisms and tourism pressure; state of conservation of the property and 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 2004

The inclusion of Butrint on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1997 was motivated by the fact that the property had been faced with serious deterioration of materials resulting in an important loss of cultural significance.  Other factors were a lack of conservation policy, the threatening effects of regional planning projects and gradual changes to the monument due to environmental factors.


As requested by the Committee (27 COM 7A.26), a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS mission took place from 26 to 31 October 2003 to assess the current situation of the property in terms of legal protection, management arrangements and the state of conservation.  Its aim was also to evaluate the level of implementation of the recommendations of the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission to Butrint in April 2001. The situation has improved in the legislative and institutional fields, and that important steps had been taken to better protect the area against illegal constructions negative impacts of regional planning projects.  Strong commitment is being shown by the Albanian authorities to effectively protect the property. However, the mission concluded that effective implementation of these policies is inadequate, particularly because of the lack of an official management plan for the whole area and inefficient coordination between the different national and international stakeholders, which subsequently reduces the impact of funding.


The UNESCO-ICOMOS mission strongly recommended to the authorities the following:


a)  systematically continue the conservation works, also of architecturally less impressive archaeological sites, walls and buildings;

b)  pay special attention to the interpretation of the property, which has been considerably neglected from the point of view of its universal value;

c)  take appropriate measures for the effective protection of the property’s cultural landscape, including the development of hydrological studies and sustainable agricultural methods;

d)  establish the area between the National Park and the RAMSAR site borders as a buffer zone of the World Heritage property, including the villages bordering the National Park and

e)  establish an urban development policy for these villages. 


The mission further recommended preparing and adopting an integrated management plan in compliance with the existing legislation, which should specifically refer to ways of preserving the universal value of the property. The essentials of this management plan could be defined at a Round Table that would gather all the stakeholders (Butrint National Park Board members, international public and private organisations, local stakeholders and citizen’s organisations). Such a Round Table should benefit from technical assistance from UNESCO and its Advisory Bodies, who may also be invited to send specialists to Albania in order to moderate the event. Following the Round Table and the adoption of a site management plan, the tasks and staffing of the management authority and its relation to the Board of the National Park should be clearly defined. The Board should be enlarged to include representatives from Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Defence.


The decision-making capacity of the Board shouldbe improved by having a long-term strategy with clearly defined priorities, and by approving in its Annual Agreements the action plans for the implementation of the activities that are to be set out in the new management plan. 

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


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15A.28

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the State Party for the progress made with the legal protection and the institutional arrangements for the World Heritage property;

2. Acknowledges the results of the international UNESCO/ICOMOS mission to the property providing updated information;

3. Notes that the threats for which the property was included on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1997 have been partially mitigated through the improvement of its legal and institutional protection;

4. Expresses its concern about the difficulties in effectively implementing the measures aiming at the better interpretation and conservation of the property, in particular due to the lack of an officially adopted management plan;

5. Urges the State Party to take into account the specific recommendations from the UNESCO/ICOMOS mission of 2003, in particular to finalize and adopt a management plan for the World Heritage property as soon as possible;

6. Recommends that the management plan for the World Heritage property should be co-ordinated with the management plan for the Ramsar Convention protection area;

7. Endorses the proposal for a Round Table, to be organised in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM, in order to include private and public stakeholders in the management planning, both at national as at international level;

8. Encourages the State Party to submit an international assistance request for the organisation of this Round Table;

9. Requests the State Party to provide an up-date report taking into account all the issues raised in the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission report of 2003, to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005 for consideration y the World Heritage Committee at its 29th session in 2005;

10. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-04/28.COM/15A Rev),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: