1.         Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) (C 211rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2002

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2002-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 20,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 844,901 (2003-2012) from the Italian Funds-in-Trust; USD 124,300 (2003-2012) from the Swiss Funds-in-Trust.

Previous monitoring missions

Several annual UNESCO expert missions took place between 2002 and 2006 in order to implement the operational projects for the property. After a period of three years of inactivity from 2007 to 2009 due to the security situation, UNESCO dispatched a mission in cooperation with an Afghan local NGO in 2010 to resume the on-site operations.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/211/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

On 11 February 2013, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report providing information on progress made to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

a)         Site Security

The State Party reports that the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC), jointly with the Ministry of the Interior, have placed a team of police officers at the site, in particular to control site looting. 

b)         Long-term consolidation and conservation of the Minaret of Jam and archaeological remains

The State Party also reports that part of the protective walls, built within the River Defence Project 2006-2008, to protect the Minaret from seasonal floods of the Jam and Hari Rud rivers, was damaged and washed out by the devastating floods occurred in fall 2012.

In order to assist in prompt manner the MoIC, United States Military, through an agreement signed on 16 October 2012, provided funding for this emergency work, based on the damage assessment carried out in-situ by the United States AID team, as well as by Lithuanian Provincial Reconstruction Team. The emergency work, therefore, could be undertaken accordingly in 2012 without further delay. The report further notes that additional funds are necessary in order to carry out a long-term solution for consolidation efforts to address the risk posed by the two rivers.

c)         Identification of clearly marked property boundaries and buffer zones

Out of 5 corrective measures adopted by the World Heritage Committee, significant progress has been made in the establishment of a precise topography of the property, which provides a clear boundary of the property as well as its buffer zones. The World Heritage Centre, within the UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust, was able to produce a detailed topography of the property by using newly available GeoEye Satellite Stereo Image Technology, having capacity for mapping of a high degree of accuracy (about 1 metre above the ground) and very high spatial sampling without undertaking a field survey. By using this latest satellite stereo technology of the remote-sensing, and an extensive survey on existing material on archaeological research on Jam, a detailed topography was finally produced in 2012, with clear definition of the property, not only the Minaret, but also archaeological remains such as Jewish cemetery with Hebrew inscription, Ghurid castles/fortification walls and towers, its buffer zones, as well as the areas affected by illicit looting. In addition, hydrological research was carried out by using the additional data obtained through GeoEye Satellite Stereo Image. The study greatly contributed to establish a long-term strategy for conservation of Minaret, in particular with relation to the protection of the Minaret from river floods, by providing a clear further step in hydrological studies and measures to be undertaken in-situ.

d)         Other issues and developments

The World Heritage Centre organized,  in close co-operation with the Permanent Delegation of Afghanistan to UNESCO, UNESCO Kabul, and Museo d’ Arte Orientale in Turin, the Third Expert Working Group Meeting for the Old City of Herat and the Jam World Heritage property at the Museo d’ Arte Orientale, Turin, Italy(4-6 September 2012). The Working Group Meeting, held within the UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust co-operation, put forward prioritized activities for the conservation of the property, and adopted a set of recommendations for achieving the Desired state of conservation. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recognize the State Party’s efforts to achieve the Desired state of conservation adopted by the World Heritage Committee, in particular for site security, as well as for the conservation of Minaret including its protection against floods and river erosion. They further recognise financial and technical support provided by the international community, notably from the governments of Italy, Switzerland, and the United States of America, either through UNESCO or bilaterally.

They consider that the completion of the topographic and archaeological survey of Jam was an essential step to properly plan for, and implement, an effective conservation strategy for the property. This strategy should include the important ancient settlement, the precise extent and remains of which had yet to be defined.

On the other hand, they note that there is still room to further enhance national capacity in particular within the MoIC of Afghanistan. In this sense, various on-going UNESCO Funds-in-Trust are expected to produce synergies between their respective projects, in particular to reinforce national capacity in the field of conservation and management of important historical and archaeological sites in Afghanistan. Further progress must still be made with the development of a comprehensive management system including a long-term conservation policy developed and implemented for the property.

They further note that the previously proposed time frame for implementing the corrective measures cannot be achieved and needs to be updated, so as to achieve the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7A.29

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7A,

2.   Recalling Decision 36 COM7A.2 5 , adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),

3.   Reiterates its request to the State Party to continue its efforts in the implementation of all the corrective measures adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007), and requests the State Party to update the time frame for their implementation in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

4.   Also requests the State Party to endorse the detailed topographic map of the property produced in 2012 with GeoEye Satellite Stereo Image Technology, and to submit the minor boundary modification request to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

5.   Calls upon the international community to continue its technical and financial support in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in the efforts to carry out the prioritised programme identified by the Third Expert Working Group Meeting in Turin (September 2012), in particular the river defense programme dealing with Jam and Hari Rud rivers;

6.   Encourages the State Party to continue its efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive management system including a long-term conservation policy for the property;

7.   Further requests the State Party to continue its work on the implementation of the adopted corrective measures and to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, a revised timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures;

8.   Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2014, a detailed report on the progress achieved in the state of conservation of the property, along with a revised timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session 2014;

9. Decides to retain the Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-13/37.COM/7A, WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add and WHC-13/37.COM/7A.Add.
  2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: