1.         Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) (Lebanon) (C 850)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1998

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

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/850/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1993-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 71,666
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/850/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

June 2003: World Heritage Centre reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Absence of legislative framework and comprehensive management plan;

b) Absence of coordination mechanisms;

c) Illegal constructions and encroachments;

d) Degradation of the mural paintings and the buildings;

e) Touristic development and absence of visitors management

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/850/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

The State Party did not submit a state of conservation report which was requested by the World Heritage Centre by a letter dated 26 November 2010 in response to information received on the existing situation of the property. The property was last examined by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session (Paris, 2003). At the time, the State Party was requested to establish an appropriate legal framework for the property, to develop and implement a management plan and to address the integrity of the property by taking the required measures to ensure its protection from illegal constructions and unplanned development.

The retrospective Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for the property was adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010). In this Statement, it is noted that although the elements of the site existed to meet the conditions of integrity and authenticity, their state of conservation was in some cases precarious and that the visual integrity continued to be threatened by human settlements, illegal constructions and tourism developments. As for protection and management, it is stated that new town and buildings plans had been approved and that the Management Plan had been updated in 2007-2008, tools which would provide for better protection of the attributes of the property. However, in the Report on the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Arab States presented during the World Heritage Committee meeting in Brasilia in 2010, the State Party indicated that urgent implementation of the management plan for the property was still needed, as well as adequate visitor management and the establishment of a buffer zone in which regulations were properly enforced.

During 2010, several reports, including by the Department of Antiquities of the State Party, were received regarding the state of conservation of the property. Factors that threaten the OUV of the property include illegal constructions and commercial and touristic ventures, management of solid waste, pollution, unmanaged public use and visitation, among others. In its April 2010 answer, the World Heritage Centre had encouraged the State Party to urgently submit an International Assistance request in order to revise the Management Plan so as to make it operational, as well as to provide expertise in the field of cultural landscapes and legal issues to reinforce the means of control in the property.

On 26 November 2010, the World Heritage Centre requested official information from the State Party as to actions being implemented to address the situation and announcing the presentation of this report to the next session of the World Heritage Committee, but no official response was received.

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the poor state of conservation of the property and the limited recent efforts made to address the conditions at the property which have been highlighted since the time of inscription and in the subsequent reactive monitoring mission. The lack of systematic implementation of the management plan and conservation interventions, as well as the lack of enforcement of existing regulations, appear to threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. They consider that the World Heritage Committee may wish to send a reactive monitoring mission to assess the current state of conservation of the property. 

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.52

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 27 COM 7B.103, adopted at its 27th session (UNESCO, 2003),

3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit the requested state of conservation report;

4. Expresses its deep concern regarding the state of conservation of the property, in particular the lack of implementation of the Management Plan and conservation interventions, as well as the lack of enforcement of existing regulations, which appear to threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.