1.         Complex of HuĂ© Monuments (Viet Nam) (C 678)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (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/678/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 273,706
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/678/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 18,279 International Safeguarding Campaign for Hue 

Previous monitoring missions

November 2003: Monitoring mission by international expert; October 2006: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; September 2008: Expert mission within the framework of France/UNESCO Cooperation Agreement

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Development of the road infrastructure and modern constructions in and around the Citadel;

b) Urban infrastructure of Hué and its surroundings. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/678/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

By Decision 33 COM 7B.85, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009), the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to ensure that the management plan is integrated in the larger regulatory framework being developed for the city of Hue (master plan).

It urged the State Party to complete the works needed to minimize the negative impact of noise and visual pollution on the Minh Mang and Khai Dinh tombs. Furthermore, it reiterated its request to the State Party to refrain from carrying out major infrastructure projects within the areas being considered for the extension of the property, as recommended by the 2006 mission, until an appropriate regulatory framework is approved, including the management plan for the property.

As requested by the World Heritage Committee, the State Party submitted to the World Heritage Centre a draft Statement of Universal Outstanding Value (OUV) on 1 February 2011.

The State Party submitted its state of conservation report on 18 April 2011, outlining progress as follows in meeting the Committee’s requests:

a) Illegal buildings and inventory of properties of heritage significance

The State Party reports that a survey of illegal households in Zone 1 was carried out in 2010, in order to plan the relocation of these households step by step. The survey showed that the number of illegal households located in the protection Zone 1 has been reduced from 3687 in 2003 to 3147 in 2010.

However, the report does not specify how many illegal households were removed during the period of 2009-2010 covered by the present report.

In addition, within the programme for Resettlement of Boat People of Hue City, the report notes that 892 households of boat people have been resettled in new residential district.

The report also notes that work continued with Waseda University in studying the historical water system in the citadel and related recommendations including the preparation of plans to protect the historical landscape environment and drafting guidelines on Conservation and Regeneration of the Traditional environmental management System in the area of the royal tombs peripheries.

However, the report does not mention the requested work on the inventory of properties of heritage significance within the citadel, one of the recommendations made by the 2006 mission.

b) Suspension of major infrastructure projects

The State Party report notes that the provincial government has taken into careful consideration the request to restrict major infrastructure projects, excepting those considered most important, such as the replacement of old Bach Ho Bridge (railroad, pedestrian and motor-bike), with a new motor vehicular road bridge for solving the traffic jam problems on Phy Xuan bridge and Truong and Tien bridge. The project was approved in 2005 and will be built during 2009-2012. The replaced bridge is located outside the buffer zone of the property, over the Huong River.

Regarding the repairing and upgrading a section of the provincial route (2.5 km long) to Khai Dinh to prevent degradation and erosion, the work on this section will respect the original route. In particular the construction of the road running in front of the tomb (450M long), will be mostly retained and consolidated with a thin layer of asphalt. The repair work is to be implemented from February to December 2011.

On the other hand, the State Party carried out major preservation and restoration on Hue traditional garden houses. During 2009-2010 the local government has restored four heritage houses inside the citadel with funding from the European Union; three traditional garden houses in Thuy Zuan Ward, as well as eight garden houses.

c) Development of a management plan

The State Party and local authorities have realised that the development of a comprehensive management plan requires in-depth studies, high professional competencies, the participation of many government agencies and priority investment on the part of the national government. The State Party report notes that the Hue Monument Conservation Centre continued to co-operate with Urban Solutions from Netherlands to implement phases 2-3 of the management plan framework of Hue heritage. However, it does not stipulate whether the current elaboration of the management plan is integrated in the larger regulatory framework being developed for the city of Hue (master plan).

d) Action plan to mitigate impacts of noise pollution on Minh Mang and Khai Dinh Tombs

The State Party reports that trees have been planted in order to mitigate the negative effects of noise and vision at the Tomb in particular for the South west route (the bypass route around Hue City passing along Minh Mang tomb). In 2010, a project for the rehabilitation of the green belt land surrounding the Minh Mang tombs was established for implementation in 2011-2012.

Reducing negative visual impacts from Khai Dinh tomb was carried out by cultivating grass and climbing plants on the talus well. The State Party reports that this has considerably reduced the negative visual impact on the tombs. 

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 addressing the requests made by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 33 COM 7B.85 (Seville, 2009), notably in dealing with illegal buildings, development of a management plan and carrying out mitigating measures at the Minh Mang and Khai Dinh Tombs to reduce the impact of the new highway, as well as restriction of major infrastructure projects within the protected area as well as the buffer zone. They would welcome information on how the management plan under preparation will be integrated in the context of the new Master Plan for the larger city of Hue. 

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note, however, that no information has been provided regarding redefinition of boundaries in order to reflect the significant geomantic elements associated with the inscribed monuments.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies also note that a series of other development and conservation activities have been carried out in Hue for which the World Heritage Centre has not received detailed information concerning approaches planned in advance of decision-making for assessment of potential impacts on OUV, authenticity and integrity in line with the requirements of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. These include the replacement of old Bach Ho Bridge and the repair and upgrading of a section of the provincial route (2.5 km long) to Khai Dinh, the restoration of the Buu Thanh Mon gate and the royal screen, Truong Sanh Cung Residence, Long Duc Dien Temple, as well as improvements to landmark setting and panels erecting for introducing the protection zone. 

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.81

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.85, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes the progress made by the State Party in dealing with illegal buildings, the on-going process for the development of a management plan, the carrying out of mitigating measures at the Minh Mang and Khai Dinh Tombs to reduce the impact of the new highway, as well as restricting some major infrastructure projects within the protected area and the buffer zone;

4. Encourages the State Party to consider an extension of the property to include its surrounding cultural landscape that is related spatially to the major monuments;

5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, any new development or conservation projects which might have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to complete the Management Plan without further delay and to ensure in the process its integration into the larger regulatory framework being developed for the city of Hue (Master Plan);

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a detailed report on the progress achieved in the implementation of the above.