1.         Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region (Sudan) (C 1073)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2003

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)

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/1073/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2004-2005)
Total amount approved: USD 68,900
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1073/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

2004, 2006, 2007: World Heritage Centre missions; 2011: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM reactive monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1073/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a document containing a brief report on the state of conservation of the property and a concise document entitled “management plan”. The report is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1073/documents/. Four “Boundaries marking maps”, one for each of Gebel Barkal, El Kurru, Nuri and Zuma were attached to the report. No map for Sanam was provided.

The State Party confirmed that the main factors affecting the property are the urban and agricultural extensions, the desertification of some areas and high relative humidity of the micro climate inside the tombs and other enclosed environments, and the lack of coordination with the local authorities and stakeholders to define the property’s boundaries, delineate the buffer zones and protect the property against potential negative impacts on the visual qualities from modern buildings, high tension towers, highway, etc.

To address these issues and in order to respond to the World Heritage Committee’s request, the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) launched in 2010 the mapping of the five components of the property. An agreement was signed in 2009 between Sudan and Qatar to protect and develop the antiquities in the Northern Sudan and the River Nile states. The project includes archaeological research, site protection, conservation and restoration of sandstones and mud brick monuments, site presentation and development of tourism facilities, publication of guidebooks and publications.

Indications on actions implemented and proposed at the different component parts of the property are mentioned in the “management plan”. These include conservation interventions, maintenance, protection actions, and improvement of public use facilities among others. Budgets are presented for implementation but it is not clear whether they have been secured.

Finally, the report notes the issues raised by the construction of a hotel at Gebel Barkal and the process undertaken to mitigate its impact.

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

The report on the state of conservation does not provide information on whether concrete measures have been undertaken to address the conservation and management issues raised by the 2011 reactive monitoring mission and acknowledged by the State Party. The mapping of four of the five components of the property (no map was provided for Sanam) is an important achievement but the maps provided do not meet the requirements set forth in the Operational Guidelines as they are not topographical and do not clearly indicate the boundaries of the property and of its buffer zone. The signature of an agreement between Sudan and Qatar is undoubtedly an opportunity for the State Party to implement the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee. However, there is no indication on any concrete allocation of funds or action plan, with detailed activities, to address the conservation issues at the component parts of property.

Also, the State Party’s report, which lists a series of actions that benefit the conservation of the property, does not reflect whether these actions are implemented in the framework of an overall management strategy. It does not provide either any information on ongoing monitoring or capacity building activities for site staff and other stakeholders, as requested by the World Heritage Committee.

It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee  request the State Party to:

Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.5

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.56, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts made by the State Party in improving the management of the property;
  4. Regrets that the management plan has not been sufficiently developed and that key components are still missing;
  5. Also regrets that no detailed information has been provided to address the conservation and management issues raised by the 2011 reactive monitoring mission, and reiterates the need to develop appropriate concrete measures as soon as possible as identified in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of Decision 35 COM 7B.57 adopted at the 35th session (UNESCO, 2011);
  6. Takes note of the maps of four of the five component parts of the property provided by the State Party but requests that they be reviewed in accordance to standards identified in Annex 11 of the Operational Guidelines (topographical data, clear indication of the property’s boundaries) and to provide such a map for Sanam;
  7. Also requests the State Party to provide detailed information on the state of conservation of the property, including a report for each of the five components, to fully develop the management plan so that it is operational and to develop a comprehensive monitoring system in order to better understand the long-term conservation needs of the property;
  8. Recommends to the State Party to organize as soon as possible, in the framework of the Sudan-Qatar Archaeological Project (QSAP), a workshop to address the management and monitoring system of the property, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM;
  9. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2015, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016.