Pyu Ancient Cities (Myanmar) (C 1444)
Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 2014
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/1444/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1444/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Total amount provided: part of the 1,892,032 USD from the UNESCO/Italy Funds-In-Trust for the project “Capacity building for safeguarding cultural heritage in Myanmar” (Phases I & II, 2011-2015) benefited the property
Previous monitoring missions
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
- Management systems / Management Plan (Lack of a conservation plan for the burial sites)
- Human resources (Need to strengthen capacity-building in the conservation of these particularly fragile and vulnerable sites)
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1444/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018
On 3 January 2018, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1444/documents/ and provides updated information on the following:
- The Risk Preparedness Strategy for Pyu Ancient Cities has been prepared, including Risk Assessment, Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness Strategies. Formal endorsement by the Department of Archaeology is being sought, after which its approval by the National Strategic Committee for Disaster Management is expected;
- Within the 5-year Action Plan (2013-2017), Zoning and Visitor Management Guidelines for Sri Ksetra have been developed and are being implemented. These guidelines are a sub-component of the Landscape Management Plan and seek to ensure that the good management of visitor numbers (including pilgrimage visitors), while supporting the protection of the site’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and the visitors’ understanding of it. Guidelines for the cities of Beikthano and Halin are envisaged in the Action Plan within the 2018-2022 period;
- In the framework of the multi-year UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust extra-budgetary project, needs assessments and feasibility studies have been carried out to determine the viability and practicality of rehabilitating the ancient Pyu hydraulic system and promoting organic farming practices. Preliminary results ascertain that rehabilitation of the canal system can benefit local villages and strengthen understanding of complex water management systems;
- Conservation measures at Pyu Ancient Cities have been implemented and further measures are determined within the Management Plan, including training and capacity building carried out in collaboration with the Lerici Foundation, as part of the UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust project.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM
The ongoing progress in addressing the conservation and management issues highlighted by the Committee, in particular the development of Risk Preparedness and Tourism Management Strategies, is acknowledged. It is therefore important to ensure the timely formal adoption of these strategies and their implementation. However, their successful implementation is highly dependable on an adequate number of trained staff and financial resources. Hence, it is recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to augment the technical capacity and human resources of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, currently restricted by National Civil Service regulations, and foresee adequate, long-term financial resources to support the implementation of the Management Plan.
The studies undertaken to assess rehabilitation and restoration of the historic hydraulic system, as a means of supporting farming practices and improving the living standards of local communities, are to be welcomed. In view of the possible presence of archaeological remains buried at shallow depths at Sri Ksetra, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to carry out non-invasive investigations prior to any reclamation work of former canals or other water bodies. The work undertaken also needs to be documented through detailed studies of the history and layout of the overall hydraulic system, and through records of the reclamation work undertaken. It is recommended that the Committee also request the State Party to submit this documentation to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies.
Despite continued support through international technical assistance for capacity building in conservation skills, further efforts must be invested to respond to the continuing lack of adequately trained staff. A national training strategy, encompassing the upgrading of the National Field School of Archaeology to include training in management skills and conservation techniques, should be developed and adopted. This could have a significant bearing on the future successful management of the property.
Decision Adopted: 42 COM 7B.11
The World Heritage Committee,
- Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
- Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.40 adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
- Acknowledges the efforts of the State Party to continue addressing conservation and management issues, and in particular the development of Risk Preparedness and Tourism Management Strategies and encourages the State Party to ensure their timely adoption and implementation;
- Welcoming the studies undertaken to assess the rehabilitation and restoration of historic hydraulic systems as a means of supporting the agricultural landscape and improving the living standards of local communities, requests the State Party to carry out non-invasive investigations prior to any reclamation of canals or other water bodies and to document interventions through detailed studies of the history and layout of the overall hydraulic system and through records of the reclamation work undertaken; and also requests the State Party to submit this documentation to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
- Recommends that the State Party address the lack of adequately skilled human resources for the management and conservation of the property by:
- Increasing the technical capacity and human resources of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, currently restricted by National Civil Service regulations,
- Developing and adopting a national training strategy, which encompasses the upgrading of the National Field School of Archaeology to include training in management skills and conservation techniques;
- Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for review by the Advisory Bodies.