Year of inscription on the World Heritage List
Ancient City of Nessebar: 1983
Ancient City of Nessebar: (iii)(iv)
Previous Committee Decisions:
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
Year(s) of inscription 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
Corrective measures identified
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Approved: 17,000USD
|1991||Restoration of the frescoes of St-Stephen Church in Nessebar||15,000 USD|
|1991||Mission to identify works necessary for the restoration of St Stephen Church in Nessebar and the Madara Rider||2,000 USD|
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
November 2010: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
a) urban development pressure
b) lack of a management plan, of an urban master plan and of a conservation master plan of monuments and archaeological sites
Current conservation issues
During its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), the World Heritage Committee expressed its deep concern regarding the overall state of conservation of the property, urged the State Party to immediately adopt all necessary measures and to immediately halt “any development projects which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value, integrity and authenticity of the property.
A joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission visited the property from 29 November to 1 December 2010, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session. A report of the mission is available online at the following Web address: http://whc.unesco.org/en/sessions/35COM
Following consultations with all stakeholders and in the light of on-site visit to the World Heritage property, the mission considered that despite the various problems and challenges identified by the mission the value for which this property was inscribed on the World Heritage List is substantially maintained. However, the mission underlines that the property is vulnerable and the current problems if not dealt with in the short term could represent a threat to the property.
The mission considers that a set of measures developed by the mission in close coordination with the national authorities should be implemented by the authorities, as a matter of urgency in order to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property.
The mission observed at the time of the visit that the negative urban developments within the property have stopped and that the existing developments/constructions could be considered as reversible in principle. The mission notes the initiation of a process by the national authorities for the removal of illegal constructions or inadequate adjustments to existing structures, in order to prevent serious deterioration of architectural and urban planning coherence.
Despite some recent improvement in protective legislation, the mission noted that implementation is lagging due to the lack of updated decrees, regulations and directives without which the existing normative acts while adequate, are still inapplicable for solving problems of management, conservation and urban planning.
The mission considered that the following measures should be taken by the national and local authorities as a matter of urgency:
The report includes the following recommendations concerning management and protection of the property and its buffer zone:
The mission recommends that the State Party submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2013 a detailed state of conservation progress report including documents and information on the implementation of all necessary measures recommended, and as well, that a reactive monitoring mission be carried out prior to the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee to review the state of conservation of the World Heritage property, the implementation of recommended measures, - and the existence of an integrated and comprehensive management plan for the World Heritage property, and the State Party response to all recommendations.
On 31 January 2011, the State Party submitted a detailed and comprehensive state of conservation report as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session. This report addresses the requests of the World Heritage Committee one by one.
The State Party’s report notes that the municipality suspended the issuing of building permits in the protected area (reserve) until a plan could be drawn up for the conservation and management of the Ancient City of Nessebar. The national authorities have also requested the municipality to impose a temporary construction ban within the buffer zone of the property; in relation to this, a proposal to construct a complex within the area of the ancient Necroplis was suspended. As a consequence, the report notes that no development projects need be reported under Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note that while the State Party has made strong and significant efforts to launch policy and legislative initiatives intended to enhance protection of the World Heritage property, most of these are in the planning stages and have not been implemented yet. The joint reactive mission noted that a shared vision of how the property should be safeguarded and managed had been recently developed by the national and municipal authorities and that a process in order to prevent serious deterioration of architectural and urban planning coherence had been recently initiated by the national authorities.
However, the mission emphasized the need to urgently define appropriate control mechanisms accompanied by strong awareness raising programmes in order to ensure compliance with the 1972 Convention and enhance long-term effective management and protection of the property including its buffer zone.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies underline that the mission considered that if the necessary measures are not implemented by the authorities as a matter of urgency, the continued absence of an appropriate master plan for the City of Nessebar which specifies particular regulations and norms adopted to the status of the World Heritage property and aims to maintain the present balance between the natural and built environment, along with a conservation master plan with a specific programme of protection, including the archaeological remains in the city and underwater, the absence of a Management Plan for the property, including tourism management policy with regulations for movable facilities and components of urban infrastructure, as well as the absence of advertising activity and open-air commercial activity to be developed in harmony with local traditions and knowledge, could propose threats to the property’s OUV, as defined in paragraph 179 (b) of the Operational Guidelines.
Decision Adopted: 35COM 7B.87
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.81, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),
3. Acknowledges the State Party detailed report and the efforts made to launch policy and legislative initiatives intended to enhance protection of the World Heritage property, as well as the strong commitment of the State Party to improve measures in place for the conservation of the World Heritage property;
4. Notes with appreciation that the municipality suspended the issuing of building permits in the protected area and requests the State Party to declare a temporary construction moratorium within the buffer zone of the property and its sea coast line prior to the approval of adequate and effective protective juridical regulations, and the establishment of effective control mechanisms and institutional frameworks among all stakeholders involved in the management and protection of the Ancient City of Nessebar;
5. Also notes that the continued absence of an appropriate planning, monitoring, management and conservation mechanisms could pose a threat to the property's Outstanding Universal Value, as defined in Paragraph 179 (b) of the Operational Guidelines;
6. Also requests the State Party to implement all the recommendations of the 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property, including:
a) immediately establish regulations for tourism activities, movable facilities and components of urban infrastructure, advertising activity and open-air commercial activity,
b) fully develop and implement all planning, policy and legislative initiatives recently launched or planned by the State Party including preparation, adoption and implementation of a management plan (including integrated multi-institutional tourism strategy and guidelines for the use of historic buildings and monuments), urban master plan and a conservation master plan of monuments and archaeological sites,
c) ensure a permanent monitoring of the property with a view of halting and preventing any threats to its Outstanding Universal Value,
d) establish a protection regime for the buffer zone of the property, as well as of the sea coastline and strengthen the system of development control within it,
e) ensure that all tourism development plans be subservient to the overall Master Plan for the inscribed property and that control mechanisms be established for the buffer zone and be developed in ways which will not negatively impact on the Outstanding Universal Value, of the property,
f) remove or demolish all illegal and inappropriate structures within the property and its buffer zone;
7. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission, prior to its 37th session in 2013, to review the state of conservation of the property, the implementation of measures which adequately ensure the authenticity and integrity of the property and its World Heritage values, - and the existence of an integrated and comprehensive management plan for the World Heritage property, and specifically the State Party response to all 2010 mission recommendations;
8. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2013, 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 37th session in 2013.