Several actions have been undertaken by the State Party in accordance with the decision of the Committee, taken during its 27th session, in particular with regard to the need for the urgent strengthening of the conservation capacity as well as the finalization and the implementation of the Safeguard and Presentation Plan of the Kasbah.
New provisions for the application of the Law 98-04 of 15 June 1998 concerning heritage protection have been approved. On 5 October 2003, the State Party approved an executive decree in application of Article 45 of the Law, concerning modalities for the establishment of the “Permanent Safeguard and Presentation Plan of Safeguarded Sectors” (PPSMVSS). These texts are based on the notion of a Safeguarded Sector, provide the Law with a legal and financial framework, and attribute to the Ministry for Culture the responsibility for the objectives covered by the Law by designating it the sole responsible for conservation. The Commission for Cultural Properties was favourable to the inscription of the Kasbah of Algiers as a Safeguarded Sector in 2003. At present, the procedure is awaiting the reactions of the three other ministries concerned. The technical dossier regarding the Permanent Safeguard and Presentation Plan for the Kasbah of Algiers as a Safeguarded Sector (PPSMVSS) is being elaborated by the Ministry for Culture.
Furthermore, the World Heritage Centre, in close cooperation with the State Party, organized two missions in October 2003 and February-March 2004, to the Kasbah of Algiers. The missions were carried out in the framework of the implementation of the training activities, approved during the 26th session of the Committee, for the creation of a training workshop (“chantier-école”) specialised in traditional construction methods in the Kasbah of Algiers.
During the synthesis meeting which was held at the Ministry for Culture on 1 March 2004, the establishment of a chronological and progressive approach for the implementation of the training workshop was elaborated. This activity would provide for:
(a) The creation of a space to house and treat archives linked to the Kasbah;
(b) The creation of a public and information centre;
(c) The establishment of a training centre for traditional crafts, notably with regard to buildings.
This area should be conceived as a place for meetings, information and awareness-raising to be used by the inhabitants to guide them in their daily lives in an area to become a Safeguarded Sector. It will facilitate meetings with experts trained for the operation - public-awareness agents - who will ensure the link between the know-how of the Public Works Department and the queries of the inhabitants. Over and above this priority, this space should house the offices necessary for the administrative management of the project. In operational terms, the national authorities are studying three possibilities: acquisition of a building in the Kasbah, rental of a building, rental with an option to buy a house.
The partnership framework can only be comprised of the two main actors of the project, the Ministry for Culture and UNESCO, in its role as an international depository organization, and facilitator of international policies for heritage protection. To these two partners could be joined the “Formation Professionnelle” a public institution concerned with the professional training of the youth, as a moral entity. The Ministry for Culture has signed a convention with this institute which would enable the establishment of a practical and theoretical training programme.
An expert mission that took place in October 2003 provided the opportunity to evaluate the state of conservation of the Kasbah and confirmed the continuous presence of a number of deterioration processes, such as natural erosion, dilapidation, and lack of maintenance.