Decision : 27 COM 8C.43
Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Inscribes the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan, on the World Heritage List on the basis of cultural criteria (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) and (vi):

Criterion (i): The Buddha statues and the cave art in Bamiyan Valley are an outstanding representation of the Gandharan Sschool in Buddhist art in the Central Asian region.

Criterion (ii): The artistic and architectural remains of Bamiyan Valley, and an important Buddhist centre on the Silk Road, are an exceptional testimony to the interchange of Indian, Hellenistic, Roman, Sasanian influences as the basis for the development of a particular artistic expression in the Gandharan Sschool. To this can be added the Islamic influence in a later period.

Criterion (iii): The Bamiyan Valley bears an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition in the Central Asian region, which has disappeared.

Criterion (iv): The Bamiyan Valley is an outstanding example of a cultural landscape which illustrates a significant period in Buddhism.

Criterion (vi): The Bamiyan Valley is the most monumental expression of the western Buddhism. It was an important centre of pilgrimage over many centuries. Due to their symbolic values, the monuments have suffered at different times of their existence, including the deliberate destruction in 2001, which shook the whole world.

The serial property contains the following elements:




Buffer Zone (ha)

Bamiyan Cliff including niches of the 38 meter Buddha, seated Buddhas, 55 meter Buddha and surrounding caves



Kakrak Valley caves including the niche of the standing Buddha



Qoul-I Akram Caves in the Fuladi Valley




Kalai Ghamai Caves in the Fuladi Valley





Qallay Kaphari A




Qallay Kaphari B








2. Recommends that the State Party make every effort to guarantee an adequate legal lframework for the protection and conservation of the Bamiyan Valley;

3. Further urges the international community and various organizations active in the field of heritage protection in the Bamiyan Valley to continue its co-operation and assistance to the Afghan authorities to enhance the conservation and protection of the property;

4. Recognizing the significant and persisting danger posed by anti-personnel mines in various areas of the Bamiyan Valley and noting the request from the Afghan authorities that all cultural projects include funds for demining,;

5. Strongly encourages Member States, IGOs, NGOs, and other institutions to take this request into consideration when planning cultural heritage activities in the Bamiyan Valley, and to this end, appeals for financial and technical assistance for de-mining activities in the Vvalley;

6. Requests the Director-General of UNESCO to continue his efforts to effectively co-ordinate the various initiatives and activities benefitting the conservation process in the Bamiyan Valley, and in particular, ensure that the work of the World Heritage Committee and the Advisory Bodies are fully taken into account at the International Co-ordination Committee sessions and associated Working Groups;

7. Requests the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to assist the Afghan authorities, in close co-operation with the UNESCO Kabul Office and the Division offor Cultural Heritage, to elaborate a comprehensive and effective management plan for the Bamiyan Valley;

8. Requests a report on the state of conservation of the Bamiyan Valley to be submitted by the State Party with assistance from the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Kabul and the Division of Cultural Heritage by 1 February 2004 for examination at the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2004.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
Focal Point: APA
States Parties: Afghanistan
Year: 2003
Decision Code: 27 COM 8C.43