1.         Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) (C 171)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1981

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)

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, see https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1290

Corrective measures identified

Adopted, see https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/1076

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 121,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 975,000, Norwegian Funds-in-Trust, Japanese Funds-in-Trust, Getty Foundation, United States Embassy in Pakistan

Previous monitoring missions

October 2000: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; April 2001 and June 2003: UNESCO experts advisory missions; November 2005: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; February 2009: UNESCO Tehran Office/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; April/May 2012: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS joint reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Demolition of two of the tanks and partial demolition of a third tank of the hydraulic works of the Shalamar Gardens;

b) Encroachments and urban pressure;

c) Inadequate management mechanisms (including incomplete legislation, lack of financial resources);

d) Lack of definition of boundaries of the Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2012

The State Party submitted a state of conservation report as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011). From 27 April to 1 May 2012, a reactive monitoring mission was carried out. The mission report is available online at the following Web address: https://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/36COM/documents/  

a)  Boundaries and buffer zones

The buffer zones have been defined and the agencies responsible for approving new construction are aware of the restrictions imposed.

The mission reviewed the produced maps with the redefined buffer zone boundaries and reported that a proposal for a minor extension of the buffer zone will be submitted by 1 February 2013 for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session.

b)  Encroachment and urban pressure

The State Party reported that the adoption of the Federal Antiquity Act 1975 by the Punjab Government has strengthened the power to enforce laws and regulations. Encroachments are being effectively controlled. The removal of the rim market and bus stand is in progress, discussions are being carried out with the City Government Authorities to identify a suitable place for relocation. It also reported on the development of a Parking and Public Utility Area, on land acquired in front of Naqqar Khana at the south east corner to resolve parking and general facilities. The project is expected to commence in May 2012.

The mission assessed the categories of constructions within the buffer zone and the regulatory measures for their management. It witnessed the current processes on the relocation and/or removal of constructions and noted that their completion had been delayed because of litigations. It also reported on the acquisition of lands which should allow for a better control of the site and for the creation of improved visitor facilities.

c)  Management mechanisms

As for the management and supervision of conservation works, a Steering Committee has been set up to monitor the implementation of development schemes and Master Plans and to develop annual work plans. In addition, the mandate of the Technical Committee was revised to supervise conservation works. The State Party reports that new personnel has been ascribed to the Directorate General of Archaeology, Punjab (DGoAP) but that lack of skilled craftsmen and conservation specialists hinder the pace of implementation of conservation activities set up under the Five Year Programme for Preservation and Restoration of Lahore Fort.

The mission reported that the management responsibility of the Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens was transferred from the federal government of Pakistan to the Punjab provincial government in 2004 and, that after the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, the ownership of the property was handed over to the DGoAP in 2011. These changes in management have allowed better coordination between the DGoAP and other related local government departments. The establishment of a high level Steering Committee and the continuous professional input and monitoring by the Technical Committee have contributed to an improved decision-making regime concerning the conservation and management of the property. It also noted that the Master Plans for Lahore Fort and Shalamar Gardens, adopted officially in 2009, are being updated and that more detailed conservation plans will be developed.

d)  Conservation interventions

Activities focused on the preservation and restoration of the old wells, which are now functional, the Royal Hammam, the Arz Gah, the North East Burj, the perimeter wall, the Jahangir’s Quadrangle, the Diwan-e-Aam and the Shish Mahal surroundings. Additional work was carried out inside the boundary wall at the southeast and south sides to improve the environment of the Fort by planting grass lawns. As for the Shalamar Gardens, major conservation works were implemented at the perimeter wall, the dividing walls between three terraces, and the walkways, the water channels of the middle terrace, the corner towers and at the Doulat Khana Khas-O-Aam (hall of special and ordinary audience). In terms of security, camera systems were installed and security staff was increased.

The mission reported that significant progress has been made in the conservation of individual structures and of the external walls and improvements in the overall state of conservation the property since the last mission in 2009 are clearly evident. It highlighted however the importance of re-establishing the training institute to ensure capacity building and bridge existing gaps in technical staff, conservators and craftsmen. The mission also noted that adequate presentation and interpretation measures should be put in place and suggested that conservation works, which have been documented, could serve to illustrate the challenges faced in the preservation of the property.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the Committee commend the State Party on the efforts made to implement the identified corrective measures to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the property.  They note that threats previously identified have been actively addressed and that other initiatives currently at the planning stages will further reduce issues pertaining to urban development, heavy traffic and environmental management.  They also note that the significant efforts have resulted in the creation of an effective management system for the property and improved the state of conservation. The financial and political support pledged by the Government of Punjab will ensure the sustainability of the existing arrangements. Therefore, they recommend to the Committee to remove the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 7A.28

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.   Recalling Decision 35 COM 7A.27 adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.   Commends the State Party for the significant efforts made to address the threats to the property and to implement the corrective measures and therefore considers that the Desired state of conservation has been met;

4.   Takes note of the results of the 2012 reactive monitoring mission to the property and encourages the State Party to implement its recommendations, in particular:

a)  Formally submit to the World Heritage Centre the new proposal of the buffer zone of the property as a request for minor boundary modification, in accordance to Paragraphs 163-165 of the Operational Guidelines, by 1 February 2013,

b)  Continue with the review and update of the Conservation Plan,

c)  Allocate the necessary human and technical resources to ensure the sustainability of the management system and the adequate implementation of conservation interventions,

d)  Reconstitute the training institute within the Lahore Fort to ensure capacity building for craftsmen and professional and technical staff,

e)  Continue its efforts to relocate existing infrastructure and to enforce regulatory measures at the buffer zones to ensure the protection of the property,

f)   Further develop a comprehensive presentation and interpretation strategy to incorporate conservation works implemented;

5.   Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, 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 38th session in 2014;

6.   Decides to remove the Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) from the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Decision Adopted: 36 COM 8C.3

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 remove the following properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger: