1.         Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic) (C 479bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1995

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/479/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-1997)
Total amount approved: USD 87,242
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/479/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/479/

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The Committee at its twentieth session noted the concerns expressed by the Bureau over the inappropriate conservation methods being applied in the renovation of houses and temples in Luang Prabang, particularly, the use of cement facing on historic buildings. The Bureau urged the Government to enact the Cultural Properties Protection Law as soon as possible and to organize an information meeting to present the Safeguarding and Development Plan of the Town to ensure that infrastructural development projects do not undermine the World Heritage value of the site.
The Bureau took note of the progress report of the Secretariat and commended the Government of Lao PDR and the provincial authorities of Luang Prabang for the numerous achievements made in protecting this site through the joint Luang Prabang-Chinon-UNESCO project which range from the adoption of legal and management measures, to the training on conservation practice and production of traditional building material. 
The Bureau, however, expressed concern over the continuation of inappropriate conservation methods on historic houses and use of certain modern building material that undermines not only the authenticity but also the integrity of the site. The Bureau recommended that law enforcement measures be combined with public awareness and training activities of the local population to ensure their commitment and participation which are crucial in protecting this site, mainly composed of privately-owned traditional vernacular buildings.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The Committee at its twentieth session noted the concerns expressed by the Bureau over the inappropriate conservation methods being applied in the renovation of houses and temples in Luang Prabang, particularly, the use of cement facing on historic buildings. The Bureau urged the Government to enact the Cultural Properties Protection Law as soon as possible and to organize an information meeting to present the Safeguarding and Development Plan of the Town to ensure that infrastructural development projects do not undermine the World Heritage value of the site.

The Heritage House (Maison du patrimoine) - advisory service of the provincial authorities, established in 1996 to encourage the local population to respect building regulations - organized a panel exhibition and meeting for the governors of all the provinces in Laos on the outcome of the first phase of the Safeguarding and Development Plan. This 76-panel exhibition on the protection needs of the site is on show at the National Museum of Luang Prabang since June 1997. The European Union, represented by eight ambassadors of the EU member states inaugurated the exhibition during the EU-project inspection trip to northern Laos. This exhibition will be shown in Hanoi, Vietnam during the Summit Conference of Francophone States in November 1997.

Through the Heritage House, the Luang Prabang-Chinon (France)-UNESCO World Heritage Centre joint co-operation project, in addition to the first phase of the Plan and the exhibition, prepared the draft law on Cultural Properties Protection, which was officially adopted by the Council of Ministers as a decree in May 1997. The joint project, with support from the Ecole d’Avignon and French Ministry of Culture, also organized an on-the-job training session for the local construction companies and craftsmen on conservation practice at the Xieng Mouane wooden house, one of the most important traditional houses of the town. Moreover, under this joint project, a scientific survey of the humid zones of the town was carried out by the University of Tours (France) to develop a project proposal which would address both the health and sanitation improvement measures as well as the urban ecological needs for submission to the EU. An agreement on the next phase of the joint project was signed by the Mayor of Chinon and the Governor of Luang Prabang in August. A new co-operation agreement was signed in October between the President of Region Centre (France) and the Director-General of UNESCO to restore a 19th century colonial building for conversion as a Luang Prabang World Heritage Information Centre, as an example of adaptive re-use of historic buildings for contemporary needs. Both the Chinon and Region Centre projects form part of the Agreement signed in October 1997 between UNESCO and the Lao Government.

The US $ 39,900 technical co-operation request granted in December 1996 from the World Heritage Fund is being used to upgrade the quality of brick roof tiles and to promote the use of lime mortar and facing. A combined socio-economic and architectural survey of the inhabitants and their historic houses to select the beneficiaries of Aid to the Population for Historic Buildings Preservation of Luang Prabang, is also in progress.

A training request has been submitted by the Government to co-finance the preparation of a manual for homeowners of historic buildings, and a series of local training workshops for monks, school teachers, women’s organizations and other civic groups aimed to promote consultations on the Safeguarding and Development Plan, before the second phase of the Plan is launched. The UNESCO Bangkok Office will provide technical support to this local population training.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 21 EXT.BUR V.3

NATURAL HERITAGE

 

TRAINING

 

Cameroon (Sub regional workshop on strengthening biodiversity conservation at the Dja Faunal Reserve) - US$ 29,900

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 29,900.

The Bureau requested the State Party to cooperate with IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to:
(i) revise the workshop programme to include themes and issues identified in the state of conservation report on Dja;
(ii) indicate the amount of national contribution provided by the State Party;
(iii) schedule the workshop at a time to allow for better planning; and
(iv) invite the participation of bilateral donors who are financing commercial and sustainable forestry projects in the forests surrounding the site.

 

Philippines (Training of a core-group of personnel on human scientific dimensions of managing Tubataha Reef as a natural World Heritage site) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 30,000.

 

Russian Federation (Training workshop for natural heritage site managers from Central and Eastern Europe and Russian Central Asia) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau decided to defer the consideration of this request as the workshop had been delayed until the summer of 1999.
The Bureau requested the State Party to cooperate with the World Heritage Centre to submit a revised proposal for consideration at the Bureau's 22nd ordinary session.

 

Tanzania (Support for 3 fellowships for African specialists in Protected Area/Wildlife Management to the Mweka College of African Wildlife Management for the Academic Year of 1998/99) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 30,000.

The Bureau urged IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to cooperate with Mweka and other regional training centres to review their curricula and propose measures for enhancing use of information for World Heritage site management.

 

India (Meeting of regional training centres and university training institutes for curricula and training materials development, Wildlife Institute of India) - US$ 41,000

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approve a sum of US$ 30,000.

The Bureau requested the State Party to consider bearing the costs of the participation of Indian natural World Heritage site managers and specialists.

 

TECHNICAL COOPERATION

 

Dominica (Revision of the Management Plan for Morne Trois Pitons National Park) - US$ 13,900

For approval by the Chairperson, subject to the inscription of this site on the World Heritage List by the Committee at its twenty-first session, and payment of dues by the State Party to the World Heritage Fund.
The Bureau encourages the State Party to use national expertise for revising the management plan.

 

Niger (Purchase of Equipment for W National Park) - US$ 75,000

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approve a sum of US$ 50,000 and request the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO's equipment unit and the State Party to purchase the needed equipment through competitive bidding and in the most cost-effective manner.

The Bureau suggested that the Committee decide that the funds should not be used for maintenance of vehicles and request the State Party to co-operate with the World Heritage Centre for submitting a progress report on project implementation, to enable the Bureau, at its 22nd ordinary session, to determine whether additional funds are needed.

 

India (Strengthening Protection of Kaziranga National Park) - US$ 50,000

The Bureau took note of its recommendation made at its 21st ordinary session to the Committee, that the Committee approve this request.

 

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

 

India (Contribution towards the implementation of an Emergency rehabilitation plan for Manas Wildlife Sanctuary) - US$ 160,000

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approves a supplementary allocation of US$ 90,000 for emergency assistance to cover: purchase of an additional 2 wooden fiber boats (US$ 50,000) and 400 patrolling gears (US$ 15,000), and contribution towards the construction of buildings within the site (US$ 70,000).

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo (Purchase of vehicles for 4 World Heritage Sites) - US$ 88,400

The Bureau, while fully recognising the need for vehicles for each of the four sites, expressed concerns over the current security situation in the eastern parts of the country and its impact on safe delivery, propser unse and maintenance of the vehicles.

Hence, the Bureau recommended that the Committee, as a first step, approves a sum of US$ 45,000 for 2 vehicles (of the US$ 90,000 requested for 4 vehicles) for any two of the four sites under consideration and request the State Party to cooperate with the World Heritage Centre to submit a progress report on project implementation to the Bureau's 22nd session.

In addition, the Bureau suggested that the Committee request the World Heritage Centre to cooperate with conservation NGOs to ensure the safe delivery and proper use and maintenance of the vehicles.

 

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

TRAINING

 

Laos (Training programme for the Historic Town of Luang Prabang) - US$ 25,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 25,000.

 

Philippines (Training to enhance the management of the Baroque Churches) - US$ 22,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 22,000.

 

Russian Federation (Training workshop for staff and specialists in the fields of designation, protection, management and rehabilitation of Cultural World Heritage Sites in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia) - US$ 29,800

The Bureau did not approve this request. Detailed information on the use of the funds had not been provided by the State Party.

The Bureau decided that it will not consider any International Assistance requests submitted by States Parties without a detailed budget breakdown in the future.

 

Austria (Training Course for the examination and Conservation of Architectural Surfaces) - US$ 35,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

 

Brazil (Inter-regional postgraduate course on the conservation of Monuments and Rehabilitation of Historic Cities) - US$ 50,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

 

Ghana (Ashanti Traditional Buildings) - US$ 47,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

 

ICCROM (Development of a training strategy and procedural framework) - US$ 50,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

 

 

TECHNICAL COOPERATION

 

China (Research project for the protection of the Terracotta Warriors and Horse Pits of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor) - US$ 30,000

Chinese authorities will provide further information concerning this request. Therefore, the Bureau decided to consider this request at its twenty-second session.

 

Nepal (Studies on traditional architecture, construction and conservation technique, documenting Bhaktapur Monument zone building) - US$ 28,000

The Bureau approved this request on the condition that the State Party pays its contributions to the World Heritage Fund for 1997.
Furthermore, the Bureau requested the State Party to submit the results of this activity to the Bureau and stressed the importance of documentation for protecting World Heritage sites.

 

ICCROM (Technical Assistance Programme - TAP) - US$ 25,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 25,000.

 

Vietnam (Revision of urban planning regulations of the Complex of Hué) - US$ 35,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

 

Zimbabwe (Preparation for a conservation plan for Khami Ruins National Monuments) - US$ 76,900

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

 

Mexico (Special course on the World Heritage Convention for Latin America and the Carribean) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau took note of its recommendation made at its 21st ordinary session to the Committee.

Decision Adopted: 21 COM VII.C.55

VII.55 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-first extraordinary session of the Bureau on the following cultural properties as reflected in the report of the Bureau session, Working Documents WHC-97/CONF.208/4B Section III.C.c):

Joya de Ceren Archaeological Site (El Salvador)

Le Canal du Midi (France)

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)

Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)

Maya Site of Copan (Honduras)

Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri (India)

Quseir Amra (Jordan)

Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic)

Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan (Mexico)

Ilha de Mozambique (Mozambique)

Moenjodaro (Pakistan)

Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Philippines)

Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct (Spain)

Cultural World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka

Ancient City of Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

Itchan Kala, Historic Centre of Bukhara (Uzbekistan)

Shibam and Zabid (Yemen).