1.         Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou (Morocco) (C 444)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (iv)(v)

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/444/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2007)
Total amount approved: USD 52,333
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/444/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

September 2003: reactive monitoring mission; November 2003: World Heritage Centre mission; April 2006: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission; February 2007: World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Partial abandonment of the property;

b) Gully erosion;

c) Rock falls due to erosion;

d) Increased offences in old Ksar and degradation;

e) Delays in the establishment of a technical and administrative structure responsible for the property;

f) Uncontrolled tourism and visitor pressure.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/444/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

On 15 February 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property was submitted by the State Party. This report outlines the progress made on setting up a management structure and financing mechanism for the property as well as an update on a number of the conservation and infrastructure projects. 

a) Management structure

The State Party reports that the Ministry of Culture has created a entity for the mangement of the property, and states that necessary funds for this organization will be provided, although no source of fuding has been identified. A site for the offices of this new entitiy has been provided by the province of Ouarzazate. According to the report, a “conservator” (site manager) should have been appointed in February of 2011, but it is unknown if this has happened yet. 

The State Party further reported that a local mangement committee meets on a twice-yearly basis. The most recent meeting was in July 2010 during which the Centre for the conservation and rehabilitation of the architectural heritage of Atlas and Sub-Atlas zones (CERKAS) presented an update on the conservation works being carried out at the property.

b) Incorporation of the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value into the Management Plan

The State Party reports that the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which was approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010), has been integrated into the Management Plan and that it has been sent to the local management committee for consideration in their decisionmaking process. No further indication is provided as to how this is to be accomplished.

c) Other issues

The State Party reports on a number of ongoing conservation and management issues including the construction of a multiservice facility for the Department of Housing and Urbanism in the new village, infrastructure works including provision of water for the property, the maintenance and monitoring of the walls, consolidation and conservation of some buildings, the training of two local youth, and the development of signage for the property for which drawings were provided along with the report. The World Heritage Centre received pictures of the bridge being built as foreseen in 2009. At this stage of the works, it is not yet possible to assess its impact on the visual integrity of the property.

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

The Advisory Bodies and the World Heritage Centre view in a very positive manner the ongoing work on the mangement and conservation of Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou. However, they underline the absence of any confirmation that a site manager has been appointed at the time of drafting this report. In addition, it is not clear where the new management entity fits into the overall management system in relation to the local mangement committee, CERKAS, and the Ministry of Culture. Further, although the State Party has committeed some funding of its own for the ongoing works, and additional funds have come from extra-budgetary sources, it is not yet clear how funding will be secured for the new management entity to sustainably operate. 

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the Committee urge the State Party to clarify the status of the new management authority, including its relationship to existing management bodies and sources of funding, and to appoint a site mangager with clear management responsibilities and reporting lines.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.55

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.60, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Recognizes the efforts made by the State Party to set up a management entity;

4. Notes the progress on a number of specific projects aimed at the better conservation and presentation of the property;

5. Requests the State Party to provide additional information on the new management entity including its roles and responsibilities, its relationship to the local management committee, between the Centre for the conservation and rehabilitation of the architectural heritage of Atlas and Sub-Atlas zones (CERKAS) and the Ministry of Culture, and on the appointment of a new site manager, as well as to provide a detailed progress update on the construction of the bridge;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, including information on the new management entity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.