1.         Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley) (Egypt) (N 1186)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2005

Criteria  (viii)

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/1186/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1186/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1186/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

In December 2007, the World Heritage Centre, accompanied by site management staff and IUCN regional staff, carried out a short visit to Wadi Al-Hitan with the assistance of the State Party and the Egyptian-Italian Environmental Co-operation Programme (EIECP). The mission was able to discuss the follow-up to the recommendations adopted by the World Heritage Committee at the time of inscription in 2005, in particular considerations on the boundaries of the property, extension of its buffer zone, strengthening visitor and traffic management, and management capacity. A report on the findings of the visit was submitted to the State Party.

The mission noted that important progress had been made in implementing the recommendations. In particular, the effort in developing appropriate management and visitor infrastructure which blends in the landscape is noted as a possible model for other natural properties. There has also been significant progress in regulation of vehicular traffic within much of the property, but here is a lack of effective control of vehicular access in the north of the property. The progress achieved has been facilitated by the support of the Italian Government, Gran Sasso National Park, and the University of Michigan, USA. IUCN’s regional office has also played a key role in supporting the State Party in the development of capacity for management and planning.

The mission developed a number of recommendations as as an update to the earlier recommendations. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.5

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 8B.5, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes the significant progress achieved by the State Party in strengthening the management capacities and facilities in the property in line with the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee at the time of inscription;

4. Reiterates the recommendation of the IUCN Evaluation to consider a nomination of the Gebel Qatrani area for natural criteria as an extension to the existing property;

5. Requests the State Party to implement the recommendations of the mission, to reinforce and complement the earlier recommendations of the World Heritage Committee at the time of inscription:

a) develop a proposal for changing the boundary of the property, taking into account recommendations at the time of inscription as well as recent additional fossil discoveries to the north of the property, and the possibility to link the property with the Gebel Qatrani area;

b) address the issue of uncontrolled vehicle access in the north of the property;

c) ensure adequate funding for the property to ensure running costs and maintenance of infrastructure;

d) finalize the current revision of the management plan and submit a copy to the World Heritage Centre;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010 a report on the state of conservation of the property, in particular on the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.