1.         Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) (C 611)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2000-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 2011; See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4357

Corrective measures identified

Adopted 2007; See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1282 

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted 2011; See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/4357

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 159,167
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 10,000 from the Italian Funds-in-Trust; USD 4,000 from the France-UNESCO Co-operation Agreement.

Previous monitoring missions

2002 and 2003: international expertise; December 2004: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2007: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; January 2009: World Heritage Centre mission; January 2011: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Serious degradation of the city’s heritage (many houses and the ancient souq are in an alarming deterioration state);

b) Large percentage of the city's houses replaced by inappropriate concrete buildings;

c) Large sections of the city’s open spaces have been privatized, either illegally or informally and more than 30% of these built-up;

d) Lack of conservation measures and supportive developments.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party submitted a succinct state of conservation report on 26 March 2012 in response to the decision made by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011).

It notes that given the political situation and security issues, limited activities were implemented since the last report submitted in 2011. As of January 2012, there is new leadership in the General Organisation for the Preservation of the Historic Cities of Yemen (GOPHCY) which has taken up again the implementation of conservation and management measures identified for the property.

In terms of the adopted corrective measures, the State Party indicates that an initiative has been currently prioritised to pass the Historic Cities Law, already passed at the cabinet, at the Parliament level. It is expected that this law will address many of the issues currently faced, including the allocation of financial resources, the mechanisms for engagement of diverse stakeholders, the regulations to prevent violations and the roles and responsibilities of different government institutions. Although it is mentioned that this passing should be done in a short period, no timeframe has been provided.

The report mentions that GOPHCY is working on finalising the conservation plan; no timeframe for completion was indicated. The State Party noted also that a meeting with the High Conservation Committee was carried out and that a Supreme Violations Removal Committee, to be headed by the Culture Minister and the Hodeidah Governor, has been formed to supervise the removal of violations that have occurred in different buildings at Zabid. It will meet on a quarterly basis to ensure close monitoring and evaluation. Government institutions have also made a commitment that no new construction will occur unless GOPHCY approves and supervises the work. Regarding the Housing Rehabilitation Programme, discussions have been held for the identification of training and capacity building needs so that a strategy is jointly defined with the German International Cooperation and the Social Fund for Development (GIZ/SFD). An area outside the buffer zone has also been identified to address the housing needs. The area is expected to initially cover 1400 units but its expansion is anticipated. In addition, the conservation plan will be distributed, in form of a booklet, to the local community as part of the awareness raising activities. The use of additional tools, including mass media, is foreseen as part of these actions. The Souq Rehabilitation Programme has continued and additional funding has been allocated to improve infrastructure at Zabid and at the new identified area outside the buffer zone. GOPHCY has also continued with the wood conservation laboratory programme to enhance technical capacities but also to generate potential job opportunities for youth. 

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the progress made by the State Party in the implementation of the identified corrective measures notwithstanding the situation in the country. They recommend that the Committee stresses the importance of the international community continuing to support the efforts of the State Party, particularly in regard to capacity building and the allocation of technical and financial resources to ensure that the adopted Desired state of conservation is met according to the agreed timeframe. 

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7A.24

The World Heritage Committee,

1.    Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7A Add,

2.    Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.23, adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.    Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the actions being taken to implement some of the corrective measures and urges the State Party to continue its work on all the corrective measures adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007);

4.    Calls upon the international community to support financially and technically the implementation by the State Party, in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, of priority conservation and management measures and capacity building endeavours;

5.    Requests the State Party, in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory process, to submit a boundary clarification, no later than 1 December 2012;

6.    Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013;

7.    Decides to retain the Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1.   Following the examination of the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-12/36.COM/7A and WHC-12/36.COM/7A.Add),

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