By 26 April 2010, the State Party had not submitted a progress report on the implementation of the corrective measures, nor a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Decision 33 COM 7A.20).
No World Heritage Centre mission could be dispatched to the property during 2009 to further the UNESCO/Italy FIT Project for emergency consolidation of the monuments in Herat and Jam. The World Heritage Centre also understands that no in-situ conservation work was undertaken during 2009. This was due to the deteriorating security situation.
Nevertheless, some information on the state of conservation of the property has been provided to the World Heritage Centre by the UNESCO Kabul Office, and by Afghan Ministry of Culture officials, during the Expert Working Group meeting on Bamiyan, held on 25 and 26 March 2010 in Munich, Germany.
With regard to some corrective measures previously identified by the World Heritage Committee, the following progress has been noted:
a) Identification of the property’s boundaries and buffer zone
Due to security restrictions, no international expert could visit the property. For this reason, the World Heritage Centre identified a local NGO, the Afghan Land Consulting Organization (ALCO) based in Kabul, which would be able to carry out activities in Jam. Accompanied by two Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) officials, ALCO will undertake a mission to the site in order to carry out a topographic and archaeological survey. Financed through a UNESCO/Swiss Funds-in-Trust arrangement, this mission aims to clearly determine the boundaries of the property, and create full 3-dimensional documentation of the Minaret.
b) Long term consolidation and conservation of the Minaret, site security and increased capacity of the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture staff
According to the UNESCO Kabul Office, the Ministry of Culture and Information of Afghanistan has provided guards to protect the site from looting.
Discussions in Munich with the Deputy Minister of Culture and senior Afghan officials led to the elaboration of a revised work-plan under the UNESCO/Italy Funds-in-Trust arrangement. Following approval of this revised plan by the Italian government on 16 April 2010, the World Heritage Centre is planning to carry out the following activities during 2010:
i) geophysical investigation of the Minaret foundations;
ii) completion of the river defence wall by constructing a diaphragm under the retaining wall along the two rivers in order to prevent erosion and underwater currents from undermining the Minaret;
iii) Some conservation work on the Minaret, including replacement of internal wooden elements;
iv) Training MoIC site guards and staff to reinforce on-site security;
v) Training of Afghan MoIC experts/officials on the use of measuring equipment so that they can independently carry out future inclination monitoring on the Minaret.
The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies note the measures taken by the State Party to provide site guards to prevent looting, in addition to the continued technical and financial support, and commitment of the international community, to achieve the desired state of conservation of Jam. They regret that no state of conservation report, nor Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, has been submitted; the absence of a proper site management system; and the lack of capacity within the Ministry of Culture and Information of Afghanistan. The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies consider that the completion of a topographic and archaeological survey is essential to properly plan for, and implement, an effective conservation strategy for the property. This should not be limited to the Minaret. The survey should also include the important ancient settlement, the precise extent and remains of which has yet to be defined. The implementation of the proposed activities, together with planned training initiatives in the ongoing project programme for Bamiyan, will contribute considerably to building staff capacity in the Ministry of Culture and Information. The World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies will provide assistance to the State Party in the preparation of the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value within the framework of the upcoming Periodic Reporting for the Asia Pacific region.