1.         Historic Centre of Bukhara (Uzbekistan) (C 602bis)

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  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/602/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1995-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 71,960
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/602/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of a proper conservation and management plan;

b) Recent hotel constructions which would negatively affect the integrity of the property;

c) Heavy traffic, pollution and poor sewege system;

d) Use of new building material and methods.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/602/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 1 February 2011, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session. 

At its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to assess the state of conservation of the property, and to review the recommendations of a technical report prepared by UNESCO Office in Tashkent in co-operation with the Board of Monuments of Uzbekistan and submitted by the State Party, the scope and content of the ongoing “State Programme for the conservation, restoration and utilization of the cultural heritage of the city of Bukhara” and to advise the State Party on the appropriate form and contents of an effective conservation and management plan for the property.

The joint reactive monitoring mission was carried out from 22 to 31 October 2010. The mission report identified a number of threats to the property including the following:

- Lack of on-going routine maintenance and poor state of conservation of monuments;

- Lack of repair, degradation and even abandonment of many traditional houses as a result of de-population of the Old City;

- Diminishing use of traditional materials and traditional building techniques, and introduction of new building materials (cement and burnt brick), as well as new architectural details, which alter the character of the old town;

- Lack of guidelines for rehabilitation of housing;

- Reconstruction of portions of the city walls and gates without adequate documentary evidence;

- Poor and deteriorating condition of public open spaces;

- Inadequate documentation for the major monuments and the urban fabric;

- Urban development pressures resulting in inappropriate design of new structures, particularly new hotels (out of scale, inappropriate forms and materials, and building setting which does not respect urban context and patterns);

- Infrastructure (water and sewage) in poor and deteriorating condition, inadequate drainage systems, increasing negative impacts of rising ground water on foundations of earthen buildings;

- Lack of seismic upgrading for structures and infrastructure in a zone of high earthquake susceptibility;

- Shortcomings in the support available for conservation activity and planning, inadequate resources, limited availability of technical and craft skills, inadequate management system, including lack of a management plan, inadequate planning mechanisms.

The main recommendations of the mission are the following:

a) Conservation project

The State Party should develop a major conservation project to bring together key conservation activities for the improved protection of the Historic Centre of Bukhara.

b) Management plan

The State Party should develop a management plan for the World Heritage property based on the existing draft and activities supported by the UNESCO Office in Tashkent since 2008 and built around both the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) currently under review by ICOMOS and adequate documentation of the property’s heritage structures and elements.

The management plan should include the following governing components: Bukhara World Heritage Steering Committee with the authority to oversee implementation of the Management Plan under the patronage of the Board of Monuments of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, provision of all the necessary financial means, forms of co-operation established with international organizations and partners, stakeholder consultations during development of the management plan (including the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies), and integration within the Master Plan of the City of Bukhara (including re-zoning, traffic management, and efforts to avoid speculative reconstructions).

The management plan should include the following planning components: a functional computerized data-base, a Master Conservation and Development Plan for the historic centre, a scientific monitoring system, a plan and programme for upgrading all infrastructure, design guidelines for new construction and guidelines and regulations for all tourist services.

The mission concluded that the property is vulnerable and its historic fabric has been undermined to some extent. The report also stressed that timely implementation of the mission’s recommendations would be critical in addressing potential negative impacts on authenticity and integrity of the property.

This State Party report notes that a management plan is being elaborated for city monuments and archaeological sites but also stresses the importance of the traditional urban fabric in developing potential for educational and cultural tourism and improved involvement of the local population. The report also notes the importance of efforts to promote sustainable development through conservation of traditional urban fabric for the benefit of local populations. Finally, the report notes the importance of using accumulated knowledge and documentation as a basis for continuous monitoring, as well as the importance of establishing a steering committee for the World Heritage property and of preparing an action plan for implementation of the measures and activities suggested within the management plan.  

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

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies believe that the threats identified during the mission make the OUV of the property vulnerable. However the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies consider that if the State Party implements the recommendations of the mission in the timeliest fashion possible, the threats to the OUV could be mitigated. They further believe that the state of conservation of the property should be closely monitored in the near future; the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are in a position to assist the State Party to address these threats in the most effective way possible.  

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.79

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.74, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Notes the results of the October 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and the identified threats to the property;

4. Urges the State Party to undertake, in a timely fashion, the measures recommended by the October 2010 mission report, particularly the need to complete and implement the Management Plan and the establishment of the Bukhara World Heritage Steering Committee for the property;

5. Requests the State Party to address potential negative impacts on authenticity and integrity of the property to ensure the protection of its Outstanding Universal Value;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the October 2010 reactive monitoring mission, and the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.