State of Conservation (SOC)
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:35,000USD
|1993||Financial contribution for the installation of an alarm system at ...||20,000 USD|
|1992||Mission to prepare a Tentative List and a nomination dossier for ...||15,000 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
In recognition of the national and global significance of the Angkor monuments and associated archaeological features as representations of the great Khmer civilization, the Supreme National Council of Cambodia ratified the 1972 World Heritage Convention in November 1991.
The World Heritage Committee at its 16th session in Santa Fe adopted by Decision of 14 December 1992 to inscribe Angkor on the World Heritage List and on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
However, the Committee placed a number of conditions which it requested the Cambodian authorities to fulfill as soon as possible, including:
(i) to enact adequate protective legislation;
(ii) to establish a national protection agency;
(iii) to establish permanent boundaries;
(iv) to establish meaningful buffer zones, both based on the ZEMP project; and
(v) to establish monitoring and co-ordination of the international conservation effort.
With the legal assistance of UNESCO, a new and comprehensive legislation has been drafted. It was debated extensively by the Supreme National Council of Cambodia during its January 1993 meeting before its adoption by the SNC on 10 February 1993 as the "Decision on the Protection of the National Cultural Heritage". This SNC Decision is expected to be promulgated as law by the legislative body to be established by the new government.
In response to condition (ii) and in collaboration with the UNTAC Civil Administration, a supra-ministerial agency, named "the National Heritage Protection Authority of Cambodia" (NHPAC) was formally adopted by Decision of the SNC on the 10 February 1993.
To comply with conditions (iii) and (iv), UNESCO has executed a "Zoning and Environment Plan" (ZEMP) for the Angkor Area with funds from UNDP and Sweden and with technical assistance from the United States National Parks Services, the Angkor Foundation of Hungary, the Thai Department of Fine Arts, the Ecole Française d'Extrême Orient and the World Conservation Union.
Some 25 experts of various scientific disciplines from 11 different countries, together with Cambodian technical counterparts, participated in this project undertaking extensive studies of environmental and socio-economic conditions, as well as collection of the archaeological data within a 5,000 sq km study area centred on the Angkor core monumental grounds. The spatial data was compiled into a computerized Geographical Information System (GIS) and has been set up within the Angkor Conservation Office in Siem Reap to be made available to all participants in the restoration and conservation effort and is expected to be continuously up-dated by future field surveys. From this data, it has been possible to define an "Angkor Cultural Area". Within this boundary two large protected areas were identified. One, tentatively called the "Angkor Archaeological Park" is centred on the core monumental area. The other, called the "Phnom Kulen Park" comprises the environmentally important Kulen Mountain together with more than 100 important monuments from the earliest period of the Khmer Empire. In addition, within the Angkor Cultural Area, smaller satellite parks have been defined around the monumental complexes of Banteay Srei and Phnom Krom.
Also defined are more than 500 "Special Areas of Archaeological Concerns" (SAACs) outside of the boundaries of the parks, many of which have been discovered by the ZEMP project. "Ecologically Sensitives Zones", localizing areas requiring special protection to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources were also defined.
The ZEMP project team, therefore, recommends the establishment of an Angkor Parks Agency which would be a strong and multi- disciplinary government agency dedicated to the protection and management of the World Heritage Angkor Park and potentially other national parks in the region. Recommendations for the establishment of other government entities, such as a regional development board for the co-ordination of social and physical infrastructural development activities, have also been made by the ZEMP team.
The draft Plan with the proposed zones, guidelines and options of organization and management structures was submitted to the new Cambodian Government for its consideration and eventual adoption.
At the general level, the Director-General of UNESCO has created a special Angkor Unit within the Culture Sector and reinforced the UNESCO Office for Cambodia in Phnom Penh and its sub-office in Siem Reap.
At the field level, there is a monthly field Directors Steering Committee meeting held on the site, co-chaired by UNESCO and the Cambodian Director of the Angkor Conservation Office. In April 1993, UNESCO convoked, in Siem Reap, a consultative meeting of international experts involved in the safeguarding and development of the Angkor region which, it is hoped, could be repeated annually.
To ensure closer co-operation between the organizations involved in field-based activities at Angkor and the national authorities, UNESCO's sub-office in Siem Reap, located within the Angkor Conservation Office, was strengthened by additional national staff and is soon expected to be further reinforced by international technical experts.
The key to ensuring the success of these co-ordinating mechanisms is the training to upgrade the management capacity of the Cambodian administrators of the site of Angkor. This need is being addressed by an important project funded by the Government of Japan to upgrade the quality of instruction within the Faculty of Archaeology of the University of Fine Arts of Phnom Penh. An extension of the ZEMP project also focuses on the training of site-managers for the administration of the Angkor Park.
The Intergovernmental Conference on the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor, organised at the initiative of the Governments of France and Japan, was held in Tokyo from 12-13 October 1993, gathering 29 governments, 7 international organisations, financial institutions and several non-governmental organisations. UNESCO was closely associated with the preparation of this Conference and assured its Secretariat.
The Conference, emphasising the inseparable relationship between the preservation of Angkor's cultural assets, the conservation of its natural resources and the socio-economic development of the region, adopted the "Tokyo Declaration" which created an intergovernmental committee to be established in Phnom Penh at the ambassadorial level to coordinate all activities at Angkor, both bilateral and multilateral, whether they be in the domain of cultural heritage preservation or socio-economic development. UNESCO will be the Secretariat to this Committee to be chaired by France and Japan under the hoped for Honorary Presidency of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
Angkor by all participating Governments and organisations and in financial pledges of some US$ 15 million to be disbursed over the next two years.
Analysis and Conclusion
Link to the decision
A new Government had been constituted and was actively pursuing cooperation with their partners of the international community towards national reconstruction and development. The UNESCO Secretariat has made every effort to assist the new government in meeting the commitments which the Head of State, His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk, had made at the time of inscription of Angkor on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
On the first recommendation set out by the Committee at the time of inscription: enactment of adequate protective legislation, the following had been achieved:
1. the new Cambodian Constitution has specific articles (Articles 69, 70, 71) making the protection of national cultural heritage a duty of the State, and declaring designated national and World Heritage sites to be combatfree zones;
2. the cultural property protection laws, prepared with the technical assistance of UNESCO which were adopted as Decisions of the Supreme National Council of Cambodia on 10 February 1993, were expected to be presented to the National Assembly in the near future for review and official legislation;
3. in November 1993 the Ministry of Environment issued the "Decree on the Creation and Designation of Protected Areas", thereby establishing a national system of protected areas. This Decree was expected to be presented to the National Assembly for consideration and eventual enactment as law. UNESCO and the IUCN Representatives in Cambodia were assisting the authorities concerned in refining the text to take into consideration the protection of cultural landscapes which are particularly relevant in the context of large cultural sites in Cambodia, such as Angkor.
As regards the second recommendation of the Committee, namely the establishment of a national protection agency, the new government had officially informed UNESCO that the NHPAC Statutes, as adopted by the Supreme National Council of Cambodia (SNC) on 10 February 1993, would be amended to reflect the new situation of Cambodia and to serve as the basis of establishing an adequate national protection agency.
Under the chairmanship of the Minister of State in charge of Cultural Affairs, the Royal Government of Cambodia had provisionally established an inter-ministerial Supreme Council of National Culture to resolve day-to-day matters and to define the mandate and authority of the appropriate national protection agency to be established.
As regards the third and fourth recommendations of the Committee, namely the establishment of permanent boundaries and of meaninqful buffer zones, as the report to the June Bureau session indicated, UNESCO and the Cambodian authorities have been executing a project entitled the ZEMP "Zoning and Environmental Management Plan" financed by UNDP, the Government of Sweden and others.
The ZEMP project team, composed of 25 international experts and Cambodian counterparts, completed the draft plan in September which was being reviewed by the new government.
A review of ZEMP was held in Phnom Penh at the end of November and attended by the project team, Ministers and donors.
Mr Bouchenaki also informed the Committee of the recent establishment of an Intergovernmental Committee for the safeguarding and development of Angkor as decided by the Tokyo Conference (12 and 13 October 1993). The primary purpose of this Phnom Penh-based Intergovernmental Committee, whose secretariat would be provided by UNESCO, is to assist the Cambodian Government in defining conservation priorities and to promote and coordinate international assistance for Angkor. The World Heritage Committee supported the appeal of the Director-General of UNESCO to the international community to re-dynamise cooperation with the Kingdom of Cambodia for safeguarding Angkor.
In addition to the information provided by the Secretariat, Mr Beschaouch was requested to present the outcome of his mission to Cambodia, as special representative of the Director-General. He informed the Committee about his contacts with the highest authorities in Cambodia and confirmed their willingness to pursue and reinforce the cooperation with UNESCO for the safeguarding of the sites of Angkor. Following this presentation, the Committee expressed its satisfaction with the progress made in the political normalization and national reconciliation process, following the promulgation of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Furthermore, the Committee applauded the activities carried out by UNESCO in cooperation with the Cambodian authorities to establish a legal, procedural, technical and administrative framework for the integrated safeguarding of the site of Angkor and its ensemble. The Committee noted also with satisfaction the new perspectives resulting from the intergovernmental Tokyo Conference to mobilize international assistance for the safeguarding of Angkor.
Following these reports, the Committee recommended:
- that the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia finalizes, with UNESCO's assistance, the elaboration of an emergency safeguarding scheme in the framework of a regional management and development plan. This plan should include cultural and ecological dimensions of the historical perimeter as well as adequate conservation measures;
- that UNESCO which ensures the Secretariat of the "International Coordination Committee", envisages sending to the World Heritage Committee a periodic report on the development of international action for Angkor;
- that ICOMOS and ICCROM may assist the Cambodian authorities in the elaboration of a long-term management and monitoring programme in Angkor, including the specific training of various indispensable personnel.
No draft Decision
View inscribed site documents, nomination file, reports, decisions, ...
SOC Reports2014 2010 2008 2006 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Detailed List of SOC reports
Urgent problems of conservation
Inscription on the Danger ListYear: 1992 -2004
Threats to the Site:
Given the unique situation in Cambodia, which, in accordance with the Paris Accords, has been placed under the temporary administration of the United Nations since July 1991, and in order to deal with the urgent problems of conservation quickly and effectively, the Committee has inscribed the site of Angkor on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and has requested, on the recommendation of ICOMOS, that the authorities concerned take the necessary steps to meet the following conditions:
a) enact adequate protective legislation;
b) establish an adequately staffed national protection agency;
c) establish permanent boundaries based on the UNDP project;
d) define meaningful buffer zones;
e) establish monitoring and coordination of the international conservation effort.
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).