World Heritage Centre https://whc.unesco.org?cid=305&l=en&year_start=2000&year_end=2000&action=list&searchDecisions=&index=41&maxrows=20&mode=rss World Heritage Centre - Committee Decisions 90 en Copyright 2019 UNESCO, World Heritage Centre Thu, 18 Jul 2019 09:10:31 EST UNESCO, World Heritage Centre - Decisions https://whc.unesco.org/document/logowhc.jpg https://whc.unesco.org 24 BUR IV.B.43 Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/ Zimbabwe) The Bureau was informed that the Secretariat undertook a mission to Victoria Falls on 1 June 2000 and held discussions concerning recommendations of the last session of the Committee with both the Zambian and the Zimbabwean authorities on both sides of the site. The mission was informed that national and bilateral meetings would be held in August 2000.

The Delegate of Zimbabwe, speaking on behalf of both States Parties, confirmed to the Bureau the organization of the meeting in August 2000 to finalize a number of issues concerning the management of the site.

The Bureau reiterated its earlier request that the States Parties organise the national as well as bilateral meetings as soon as possible, and submit a joint request for financial assistance for the organisation of the bilateral meeting.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5812 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.44 State of conservation World Heritage affected by a spill from Romania

 The Centre informed the Bureau that there have been four spills of cyanide and heavy metals from three mine sites in Romania since 30 January 2000. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) sent an expert assessment mission to evaluate the cyanide spill at Baia Mare (Romania) and the final report has been made available on the UNEP web site at http://www.natural-resources.org/environment/BaiaMare/mission.htm.

The Representative of UNEP informed the Bureau of the results of a mission undertaken by UNEP to the site. The statement of the representative from UNEP is attached as Annex IV to this report.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5813 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.45 Hortobagy National Park, Hungary The Centre informed the Bureau that, although at present it is difficult to estimate the exact damage, there is evidence of damage to the site as a result of the cyanide and heavy metals spills in Romania. Emergency assistance for the site is under implementation.

ICOMOS highlighted that there is currently no impact on the cultural values, however they may occur in the long-term, and that ICOMOS supported the emergency request.

IUCN also supported assistance for this cultural landscape and shared concerns about the environmental impacts of the cyanide spill. IUCN pointed out that clear priorities for establishing a comprehensive monitoring and effective restoration programme need to be established.

The Delegate of Hungary thanked the Centre for processing the emergency assistance and expressed his gratitude for the Australian contribution of Australian $ 300,000 for a comprehensive monitoring programme. He informed the Bureau that press reports that Ukraine would be involved in the cyanide spill are incorrect, which is clearly shown in the information provided by UNEP.  The Delegate of Morocco drew the attention of the Bureau to the potential impact of toxic spills from the tributaries of the Danube into the Black Sea and the Mediterranean region in general.

The Bureau commended the efforts of the State Party and many other organisations for their quick response to this environmental disaster. The Bureau urged the State Party to set up a comprehensive monitoring programme for all areas and ecosystems likely to be affected by the spills and give priority to the implementation of a monitoring and restoration programme. The Bureau requested the State Party to provide a report on the state of conservation of the site and relevant mitigating measures by 15 September 2000.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5814 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.46 Kakadu National Park (Australia) The Bureau took note of the following documents which were requested by the third extraordinary session of the Committee in July 1999: WHC-2000/CONF.202/INF.6 entitled «Australia’s Commitments: Protecting Kakadu National Park» and WHC-2000/CONF.202/INF.7, a report from the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) of ICSU concerning remaining scientific issues relating to the mining of uranium at Jabiluka. In addition, the Bureau noted the correspondence that the Centre had received, from the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation (GAC), expressing concerns over an accumulation of water in the Interim Water Management Pond (IWMP) at Jabiluka. The Bureau was informed that in a letter dated 17 April 2000 to the Director of the Centre, the Permanent Delegate of Australia to UNESCO had pointed out that there is no imminent risk of overflow from the IWMP and that the Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is now reassessing the water management system and that the final option adopted will ensure the continued protection of the World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park.

The Bureau noted that a leak of tailings water contaminated with manganese at the Ranger Uranium mine (a mine operated by ERA in an enclave of Kakadu National Park) had been reported in early May 2000.  In a statement issued on 3 May 2000, the Australian Government had emphasised that it treats reports of such incidences of leak of tailings water seriously and that full explanation had been sought from ERA and the Northern Territory regulatory authorities. According to the statement issued by the Australian Government, no tailings water had escaped the containment zone at the mine site and that the independent statutory authority, i.e. the Supervising Scientist, had advised that on examination of available information there was no evidence of environmental detriment outside the project area and the water quality downstream had not been affected. The same statement emphasised that there has been no downstream impact on the World Heritage values of Kakadu National Park. The Supervising Scientist had been requested to undertake an independent assessment of the circumstances leading to the leak and of the likely environmental impacts. GAC, Australian NGOs and the Northern Land Council (NLC) had submitted reports on this subject to the Centre which were transmitted to the Permanent Delegate of Australia to UNESCO; the Australian Government had responded to the concerns of all the reports in separate letters addressed to the Director on 21, 23 and 26 June 2000.

In mid-May, the Centre had received copies of the exchange of correspondence between Senator Hill, Minister for the Environment and Heritage of Australia and Ms. Yvonne Margarula, Chairperson of the Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation, concerning discussions on how to proceed with cultural heritage mapping and the development of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) for the Jabiluka Mineral lease.

The Bureau noted that the Australian authorities provided the two following reports to the Centre, during the course of its twenty-fourth ordinary session (i.e. on 27 June 2000):

  • Investigations of tailings water leak at the Ranger uranium mine prepared by the Supervising Scientist, Environment Australia (June 2000); the Bureau noted that this report was being submitted to the Australian Parliament on the 27 June 2000; and
  • Kakadu Region Social Impact Study (KRSIS)   – Community Report. Report on Initiatives: November 1998 – June 2000, by Bob Collins, Chair, KRSIS Implementation Team (June 2000).

The Bureau was pleased to note that the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) of  the International Council for Science (ICSU) Mission to the site is to be fielded from 3 to 7 July 2000. The IUCN Representative informed the Bureau that an IUCN expert will join the team and IUCN hoped to have substantive discussions on natural heritage values of the Kakadu National Park during the mission. IUCN suggested that further discussions on substantive issues related to the conservation of natural heritage values await the completion of the mission and be addressed during the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau in Cairns, Australia, in November 2000.

The Representative of ICSU expressed her satisfaction with the collaboration between her Organisation and the Centre in facilitating the work of ISP, established by ICSU to address scientific issues of the Jabiluka mine. Prof. B. Wilkinson, the leader of the ISP and of the team to visit Kakadu from 3 to 7 July 2000, recalled the decision of the third extraordinary session of the Committee, made in July 1999, that called for the continuation of the work of the ISP of ICSU to address and resolve a certain number of outstanding scientific issues. He said that the progress report submitted by the Supervising Scientist has been helpful to reduce uncertainties with regard to some of the issues, while the resolution of others necessitated a field visit to Kakadu. He said that those remaining issues will be addressed during the ISP of ICSU mission to the site in consultations with the Supervising Scientist and his consultants, ERA, Park Manager and staff and some Australian scientists who continue to express concerns regarding the Jabiluka mine and the potential impacts it could have on the integrity of Kakadu. He also informed the Bureau that he has recently received information on leakage from the Ranger mine and concerns raised by that incident that are relevant to the management of the Jabiluka mine would also be discussed.

The Representative of ICOMOS noted and agreed with the position of IUCN and noted that ICOMOS would have to review the additional new reports before entering into substantive discussions on the state of conservation of Kakadu. He suggested that further discussions on Kakadu be delayed until the extraordinary session of the Bureau in November 2000.

The Delegate of Hungary noted that the ISP of ICSU mission would visit the site from 3 to 7 July 2000 and will gather new information concerning scientific issues relevant to the Jabiluka mine. He asked whether an archaeologist or an anthropologist was part of the ISP of ICSU mission. The Delegates of Zimbabwe, Finland and Greece agreed that, if feasible, it could be a useful addition.

Responding to a question raised by the Chair as to whether ICOMOS will be able to propose an expert in archaeology or anthropology to join the ISP of ICSU mission, the Representative of ICOMOS responded that the time available between the end of the Bureau session (1 July) and the departure of the mission team (3 July) is insufficient to find a suitable expert. He also suggested that since the ISP of ICSU mission is intended to address well defined scientific issues during a very-short period of 4 days, it would not be advisable to include a cultural heritage expert as part of that mission and that ICOMOS would be willing to consider other ways to participate in activities leading towards resolving cultural heritage issues pertaining to the management of Kakadu National Park.

The Delegate of Australia noted that his Government had provided several voluminous reports on several occasions and looked forward to receiving the ISP of ICSU mission due from 3 to 7 July 2000 to discuss the scientific issues that need to be resolved. He said that the ISP of ICSU visit is tightly focused around scientific issues and that Australia would not agree to any mission with an open-ended reference similar to that which visited Australia and Kakadu at the end of 1998.

The Australian Delegate informed the Bureau that his Government had nominated an independent person, an elder from the Aborignal community, to be the lead person for coordinating discussions for the preparation of the Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) for Kakadu. The Australian branches of ICOMOS and ICCROM as well as representatives of the NLC have been invited to participate in these discussions. The Delegate noted that ERA has a legal obligation to prepare the CHMP and is required to ensure participation of the Mirrar people. He noted that the Gundjehmi, however, have not accepted the elder nominated by the Government to lead the discussions of the CHMP.

The Delegate of Australia also briefly addressed issues pertaining to the accumulation of water in the IWMP and expressed the view that there is no threat of leakage. With regard to the leak of tailings water reported from the Ranger mine he said that there is no threat to water quality in the region and that his Government had taken the issue seriously and called for a report from the Supervising Scientist. He pointed out that the report of the Supervising Scientist had been handed over to the Centre. He also said that ERA is still negotiating with the NLC on various matters concerning the Jabiluka mine and that no activities have been started to exploit the mine.

The Bureau noted the Report of the Australian Government on progress in meeting its commitments to the World Heritage Committee and the assurances that the recent leak at the Ranger Mine did not affect water quality in the World Heritage Area. The Bureau also noted that a Report by the Supervising Scientist that had been commissioned by the Government on the leak and related matters had been finalised and submitted to the Centre. The Bureau requested the Centre to submit the report of the Supervising Scientist to the advisory bodies for review and reporting at the twenty-fourth extraordinary session in November 2000.

The Bureau noted that the Independent Scientific Panel of ICSU would be visiting Kakadu in the week of 3-7 July for a site-visit to review the second report of the Supervising Scientist. The Bureau also noted advice that Australian authorities had invited ICOMOS to provide anthropological and cultural advice for the development of a Cultural Heritage Management Plan. It noted that Australia ICOMOS had accepted the invitation on 28 March 2000.

The Bureau recommended that at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session in Cairns, it considers the report of the Independent Scientific Panel of ICSU. The Bureau requested that all affected parties and the Australian Government work to find a constructive solution to addressing the economic, social and cultural expectation of the people of Kakadu while protecting the full range of World Heritage values.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5815 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.47 Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia) The Bureau noted that as in the case of Shark Bay, ACIUCN has established a collaborative process to prepare a report on the state of conservation of this site. It noted the view expressed by IUCN that the process will be complete and a report submitted in 2001 subject to ACIUCN receiving adequate resources. The Bureau noted that the issues addressed will include the management of areas of the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) which are outside of the World Heritage site but which have been previously identified as having World Heritage value, proposals to develop helicopter landing sites and impacts associated with bush walking.

The Bureau was informed that the Australian Government was aware of the delays in the preparation of the report by ACIUCN due to resource and time constraints. The Delegate of Australia informed the Bureau that his Government is working with ACIUCN to develop a systematic approach to monitoring this site that could be also linked to periodic reporting of World Heritage sites in the Asia Pacific to be submitted to the World Heritage Committee in the year 2002.

The Bureau, while recognising the resource and time constraints that ACIUCN is currently facing, requested ACIUCN to complete the process with the aim of submitting an up-to-date state of conservation report to the twenty-fifth ordinary session of the Bureau in 2001.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5816 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.48 Mount Emei Scenic Area including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area (China) The Bureau was informed that in accordance with the request of the twenty-third session of the Committee, the Ministry of Construction of China submitted a report on the state of conservation of this site.  The report dealt particularly with the project to construct a monorail that had been completed. The Bureau noted that the project had been approved by the Ministry of Construction in China in September 1997, taking into consideration environmental protection and the scale of construction of a non-polluting source of transportation for tourists with an aerial view of the scenic area. The width of the monorail is 40 cm, the width of the carriage is 150 cm and each car is 6 meters long and the total length of the vehicle is less than 15 m. The total length of the monorail is 2100 m. The Ministry had opted for the construction of the monorail in preference to the construction of a new walkway which it considered would have damaged the natural environment. The monorail project came into operation in 1998; in March 2000, the Vice Minister headed a team that visited the site and found that the project did not have significant impacts on the natural values of the site. The Ministry is of the view that the monorail project has minimal impacts on the ecology of the site but, with a view to better conservation of the site, is willing to invite both international and national experts to visit the site, view the operations of the monorail and undertake a scientific analysis and recommend measures to further minimise environmental impacts.

The Bureau also noted that though the Centre had been notified of a World Bank Project to build a walkway close to the Giant Buddha, the report submitted by the Ministry of Construction does not make any mention of the project.

ICOMOS informed the Bureau that it was unable to assess the impact of the monorail project based on the report submitted by the Ministry of Construction of China since the report did not contain any photographic or other illustrative materials. IUCN was also of the view that it would not be able to comment on the impacts of the project and the report submitted by the Ministry of Construction without a site visit that would need to be separately funded.

The Observer of China thanked the Bureau and advisory bodies for their observations and comments and invited an IUCN/ICOMOS mission to visit the site to view the project and undertake a thorough review of the report submitted by the Ministry of Construction. ICOMOS informed the Bureau that it had foreseen a mission to the site in August 2000 and expressed the hope that IUCN could make an expert available at that time in order to field a joint mission.

The Bureau requested that IUCN and ICOMOS field a mission to the site as early as possible and submit a detailed report on the state of conservation with specific reference to the environmental impacts of the monorail project, environmental safeguards put in place by the State Party and additional mitigation measures that may be necessary and submit that report to the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau in Cairns, Australia.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5817 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.49 Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (Peru) The Secretariat informed the Bureau that, upon the request of the Committee at its twenty-third session, the Peruvian authorities submitted a response to the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission to Machu Picchu in October 1999. The Secretariat also informed the Bureau that it had received from the Peruvian Permanent Delegation a request for collaboration in the further undertaking of geological studies on the potential of landslides on the slopes of the mountain on which the Ciudadela is located. These studies would be undertaken in the framework of the UNESCO – Kyoto University project ‘Landslide Hazard Assessment and Mitigation for Cultural Heritage Sites and other Locations of High Societal Value’.

Both IUCN and ICOMOS acknowledged the efforts of the government to address the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission. IUCN, however, referred to the observations made by a mission that was undertaken by the Social Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament, in the framework of the assistance provided by Finland (Programma Machu Picchu). This mission noted as key issues the problems with the management of water and solid waste, increased tourism pressure and the delays in the implementation of the Programma Machu Picchu. ICOMOS supported these observations and made particular reference to the need to control urban development in the village of Aguas Calientes.

The Bureau took note of the report submitted by the Government of Peru in response to the recommendations formulated by the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission of October 1999 and endorsed by the World Heritage Committee at its session in December 1999. It commended the Peruvian authorities for the actions taken, particularly with regard to the operations of the Management Unit and the regulation for the use of the Inca Trail (Camino Inca). It requested the authorities to keep the Secretariat informed on any new development in the management and preservation of the area and to transmit relevant studies and plans as soon as they become available. The Bureau encouraged the authorities to continue the implementation of the recommendations of the UNESCO-IUCN-ICOMOS mission and to submit a progress report to this effect by 15 September 2000 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its twenty-fourth session.

The Observer of Peru noted that the Government of Peru is committed to the preservation of the site and the undertaking of the actions recommended by the Committee. He thanked the Government of Finland for its support.

The Delegate of Morocco noted that eco-tourism seemed to be a common issue for several of the sites discussed at this session of the Bureau and that experiences could be of use for non-World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves. IUCN responded that it had established a Task Force on Tourism and Protected Areas. Guidelines on this topic were being prepared jointly with UNEP and the World Tourism Organization and would be available in 2001.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5818 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.57 Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg (Austria) The Bureau noted the advice of ICOMOS that the proposed construction of a sports stadium at some three kilometres from the World Heritage city of Salzburg would not have an adverse impact on the World Heritage site and that there would be no direct line of sight between the two. The Observer of Austria confirmed the view of ICOMOS. The Bureau, however, requested the Austrian authorities to submit this view in writing by 15 September 2000 so that at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session the Bureau could be informed accordingly.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5819 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.58 The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China) The Secretariat informed the Bureau that information from various sources was received concerning the on-going demolition of the traditional buildings in the Shöl area (administrative district of the Potala Palace) which forms part of the World Heritage protected area inscribed in 1994. The beautification of the more prominent buildings, as with many other historic areas in Asia, for conversion into souvenir shops and tourism facilities, was leading to the decrease of residential use and undermining the authenticity of the site.

The Bureau noted the efforts being made by the national and local authorities in promoting public awareness for the use of traditional building material and conservation methods to preserve the original architectural features of the site, as reported to the twenty-third session of the Bureau.  The Bureau however, expressed concern over reports on the transformation of the historic characteristics of the Shöl  area, the former administrative area whose history is inseparable from the Potala Palace. Whilst recognizing the importance of tourism and the need for adequate facilities for visitors, the Bureau requested the State Party to maintain the authenticity of the area and provide a report on the renovation plan of Shöl to the Secretariat by 15 September 2000 for examination by the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5820 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.59 Islamic Cairo (Egypt) In addition to the information available in the document WHC-2000/CONF.202/5, the Secretariat informed the Bureau that the rehabilitation work of the public areas (roads, pavements, etc.), financed by the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development (FADES) was making good progress in Cairo Fatimide around the Beit Suhaimi as well as in Historic Cairo (or Copt) around the Roman Citadel, with the involvement of the Ministry of Tourism.  With regard to the restoration of Beit Sinnari, halted for a short time due to lack of materials, work has now recommenced at a good rhythm.  Finally, the Secretariat informed the Bureau that the authorities had approved the ICOMOS mission for the evaluation of the restoration work at the Al-Azhar Mosque; this mission will take place in mid-July 2000.  The Bureau called upon the Egyptian authorities to facilitate the progress of the work and the task of the co-ordination staff in Cairo.  Delays in this respect will increase the cost of the works and reduce the possibilities for revitalising Islamic Cairo.  Furthermore, the Bureau requested ICOMOS to organize a mission to study the state of conservation of other monuments of Islamic Cairo.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5821 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.60 Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims (France) The French authorities had informed the Secretariat that the planning for the parvis of the Cathedral had encountered some delay because of the change of the Mayor of the town, but that the matter was now progressing in consultation with the appropriate institutions and authorities.  The ICOMOS expert would be invited to participate in this process.

The Bureau recommended the French authorities to proceed with the preparation of the plan for the parvis with the participation of the ICOMOS expert and to keep the Committee informed on its progress and the results obtained. 

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5822 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.62 Roman Monuments, Cathedral St. Peter and Liebfrauen-Church in Trier (Germany) The Bureau noted that it had not received the State Party’s report that was requested by the Bureau at its twenty-third extraordinary session. The Observer of Germany expressed his regret for the delay. The Bureau reiterated the request for a report on the integration of the Roman water pipes and town ramparts in the plan for the buildings close to the Roman Amphitheatre. It requested the German authorities to submit this plan by 15 September 2000 for examination by ICOMOS and by the Bureau at its twenty-fourth extraordinary session. 

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5823 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.63 Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (Germany) The Bureau noted the request from the German authorities that the deadline for the submission of a state of conservation report be extended and requested the authorities to submit such report by 15 September 2000 for examination by ICOMOS and by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5824 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.65 Sun Temple of Konarak (India) The Bureau was informed that since the preparation of the Working Document, the World Heritage Centre had still not received information concerning the structural study being implemented with financial assistance from the World Heritage Fund Emergency Assistance, made available in 1998 to the Archaeological Survey of India. The Centre reported that the Activity Financing Contract for this emergency structural survey has become null and non-disbursed money has been liquidated following UNESCO Administrative Regulations.

In February 2000, a reactive monitoring mission was undertaken by an ICOMOS expert, who examined the state of conservation of the site, reviewed the work carried out with the Emergency Assistance contribution from the World Heritage Fund, and held discussions with the Indian authorities concerning their intention to nominate the site as World Heritage in Danger.

The ICOMOS Mission found that there was no immediate threat to the monument due to structural instability. Although long term effects of the loosening of stone parts and water penetration need examination, the stones were found to be in good condition. The recent cyclone had extensively damaged the green belt of the site, which acted as a buffer zone as well as a screen against possible salt infiltration from the sea breeze. However, ICOMOS underlined the importance of carrying out further analysis of the structures to develop a strategy for removing the sand from within the Sun Temple.

The ICOMOS Mission witnessed ad-hoc development activities and illegal encroachment impacting negatively on the areas surrounding the site, and recommended that urgent actions be taken to ensure adequate building control and the development of a Comprehensive Development Plan. Enhanced site interpretation was strongly encouraged through the presentation of similar important architectural complexes in the nearby region which attest to the unique architectural character, lost within the Konarak Sun Temple complex. Although the ICOMOS Mission recommended that the site should not be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, as the property is not threatened by serious and specific danger at this moment, implementation of previous recommendations of UNESCO Missions (1981, 1987) for enhanced protection and presentation of the site was urged.

The Observer of India informed the Bureau that the national authorities concerned were fully aware of the responsibilities of the State Party in adhering to the World Heritage Convention, and were committed to taking necessary measures to ensure the safeguarding and appropriate presentation of the World Heritage values of the Konarak site. The Observer expressed his appreciation to the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS for organizing the reactive monitoring mission, and informed the Bureau that the ICOMOS recommendations would be carefully examined and considered for implementation. 

The Bureau examined the findings and recommendations of the ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the Sun Temple of Konarak, undertaken in February 2000. The Bureau, taking note of the efforts made by the Indian authorities to undertake a structural analysis utilizing the World Heritage Fund, requested the Secretariat to assist the authorities in formulating a technical co-operation request for completing the structural survey for developing a strategy for removing the sand within the Sun Temple.

The Bureau, encouraging the Indian authorities to continue its regular maintenance programme, invited the authorities to periodically submit a monitoring report concerning the state of conservation of the site, following the format adopted by the World Heritage Committee. Moreover, the Bureau invited the Indian authorities to consider nominating, as a serial nomination, other well preserved temple complexes in the Bhubaneswar Region, which illustrate the unique architectural characters which Konarak has lost. 

In order to mitigate potential threats caused by illegal encroachment and ad-hoc construction in the areas surrounding the site, the Bureau requested the authorities concerned to urgently prepare a Comprehensive Development Plan to ensure adequate building control in the areas immediately adjacent to the site. To this end, the Bureau requested the Secretariat to assist the State Party in mobilizing international technical expertise and co-operation of the local authorities concerned. The Bureau requested the Government of India to report to the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau on the progress made preparing this Plan.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5825 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.66 Meidan Emam, Esfahan (Iran) The Bureau recalled that the 1995 UNESCO Mission recommended that the site be redefined and extended in order to include key characteristics of the Safavid urban planning scheme. The establishment of a site commission had also been recommended by the 1995 Mission for improved co-ordination amongst the concerned departments of the Government for the management and planning of the historic city of Esfahan.

The ICCROM/ICOMOS expert who undertook a monitoring mission in December 1999 at the invitation of the Government of Iran, informed the Bureau that the third Five-Year National Development Plan which integrates heritage protection within the overall comprehensive development plans of the Government, had been recently approved by the Government of Iran. This National Development Plan is applicable to all urban areas and complements other existing plans elaborated for the protection of the site, such as the Urban Master Plan of the City of Esfahan, which controls building heights and protects historic buildings within the historic city, and the Rehabilitation Plan, which identifies the main features of the Safavid city and establishes management and rehabilitation plans for features which are found to have historic value. The expert informed the Bureau that the third Five-Year National Development Plan, intended to strengthen inter-authority co-operation for sustainable development of historic towns in Iran, will pose new challenges in managing the World Heritage site which would need to be carefully monitored.

The Bureau was informed that the commercial and development pressures within the site were fairly high, and noted that enhancement of the general awareness of policy and decision-makers on conservation needs may be necessary. The expert informed the Bureau that a systematic monitoring mechanism of the site is yet to be established and recommended that monitoring indicators be identified and put into place.     

The Bureau examined the state of conservation of Meidan Emam, Esfahan presented by the international expert who undertook a mission to the site in December 1999 in close co-operation with the Government of Iran. The Bureau commended the national authorities on the adoption of the Five-Year National Development Plan that includes heritage protection and integrated management of Esfahan within the overall urban development plan. The Bureau invited the Government of Iran to inform the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session on further progress made in implementing the Urban Master Plan of the City of Esfahan and the Five-Year National Development Plan, as the experience at this site could serve useful to other States Parties in the region in their efforts to protect historic cities.

In view of the absence of a systematic monitoring system, the Bureau recommended that the State Party establish a process of systematic monitoring on the state of conservation of the site, after identifying monitoring indicators based upon careful analysis of the world heritage values of the site. Finally, the Bureau recommended that the State Party enhance co-operation between the national and local authorities concerned to effectively implement existing management and development plans of Esfahan.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5826 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.67 Tchogha Zanbil (Iran) A monitoring mission was undertaken by an ICCROM/ICOMOS expert in December 1999 at the invitation of the Government of Iran. The Bureau recalled that the site was located in the war zone during the 1980s and suffered from the impact of bombardments.

In 1995, a UNESCO mission recommended that a Master Plan of the area be prepared, taking into account the need to enhance site presentation, visitor management, basic infrastructure, and development control in the surrounding settlement areas. The 1995 mission also recommended that legal protection for the site and its buffer zone be established. The Bureau recalled that the 1995 UNESCO reactive monitoring mission, undertaken following the heavy rainfall resulting in damage to the ziggurat, recommended further protective measures to consolidate the ziggurat and improve drainage of the mud-brick structure.

The expert informed the Bureau that current management and conservation activities on-site have dramatically improved since the previous UNESCO missions, largely due to the progress made in the implementation of Phase I of a UNESCO-Japan Funds-In-Trust Project, which began after a Technical Co-operation Agreement was signed in April 1999. The results, so far highly commendable, have been obtained through the joint efforts of the national authorities concerned, a scientific advisory group, and expert consultants who collaborate together in five project teams addressing issues related to (a) management, (b) archaeology, (c) architecture, (d) conservation, and (e) geology. A Master Plan, that is expected to be updated on a regular basis, is being prepared for the presentation of the site. The Bureau was informed that training at national and regional levels was being emphasised, particularly focusing on capacity building in the field of conservation sciences and conservation of mud-brick structures.

The Observer of Iran expressed his Government's appreciation to UNESCO and the Government of Japan for extending their co-operation and support for both the conservation and training activities being undertaken on-site by the Iranian authorities.

The Bureau examined the state of conservation of Tchogha Zanbil presented by the international expert who undertook a mission to the site in December 1999 in close co-operation with the Government of Iran. The Bureau, taking note of the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the 1995 UNESCO mission, congratulated the Government of Iran on its efforts to develop a management plan to enhance the presentation and management of the site. The Bureau noted with appreciation, the technical collaboration between the national authorities and international experts mobilized under the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust Agreement signed in April 1999.

In view of the importance of the activities being carried out under this Agreement, especially in relation to the conservation of mud-brick architecture, these activities could serve as an important case study for managing and conserving similar sites in States Parties of the region.  The Bureau requested the Government of Iran, in close co-operation with the Secretariat, to submit a report on further progress made in Tchogha Zanbil under the UNESCO Japan Funds-in-Trust Project, for examination by the Bureau at its twenty-fifth session in 2001.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5827 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.68 Petra (Jordan) The Deputy Director reported on his mission to Jordan at the beginning of May and in particular his visit to Petra where he worked with the representatives of the Antiquities Directorate and the "Petra Regional Planning Council".  He also met with the President of the Petra National Trust that financed the cleaning-up operations and the presentation of the "Siq".  He briefly reported to the Bureau on the situation at the archaeological site and its environmental problems, including the urban expansion in Wadi Musa and the disputes with the inhabitants of the area.  He also informed the Bureau of the success in transposing the hotels from Wadi Musa to Taybé, located at a fair distance from the site.

The Delegate of Morocco insisted on the importance of the problem with the population at Petra and suggested that a synergy with the adjacent Dana Biosphere Reserve be sought.  The Delegate of Greece suggested that the ICOMOS Committee on Cultural Tourism be associated with the work of the Secretariat concerning Petra.  Renovation works at the site could be financed partly by income coming from tourism. The Bureau commended the authorities and the parties involved for the protection and presentation work already undertaken.  It requested the Secretariat to agree to the request of the "Petra Regional Planning Council" to send a mission for the tourism management of the site and the physical and economic development of the vicinity, including the possibility of integrating the Dana Reserve into this work.  The Bureau also requested ICOMOS to include in the same mission a specialist to evaluate the state of conservation and the presentation of the archaeological site.  Finally, the Bureau requested that a detailed report on Petra be submitted to its twenty-fifth session in 2001.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5828 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.69 Town of Luang Prabang (Lao People's Democratic Republic) The Secretariat reported that the conservation and development plan of the Town of Luang Prabang developed under the Luang Prabang-Chinon Decentralized Cooperation Programme was presented to the National Interministerial Commission on Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage in January 2000 and was approved in principle. However the plan has not yet been officially adopted, hence does not have legal enforcement power. The Secretariat also recalled that despite the repeated requests by the Bureau and the Committee for revision and subsequent enactment by the National Assembly of Laos of the Decree on the Protection of National Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage (issued on 20 June 1997 as Presidential Decree), this was still pending. The Bureau was informed of the rapid growth and ill-planned tourism development in Luang Prabang and incidents of illegal construction, despite the strengthened capacity of the local authorities in the management of urban heritage. A particular concern was raised over the planned consolidation of the riverbank with concrete gabions and the widening of the quay under a project financed by the Asian Development Bank’s Secondary Cities Programme.  This project may undermine the view of the historic peninsula from the opposite embankment and permit increased vehicular traffic into the core historic centre. The Bureau was informed that the State Party and the Asian Development Bank have been requested to carry out a geological survey to determine the need for the use of concrete gabions. The Bureau was also informed of the exemplary urban infrastructural improvement projects undertaken by the French Agency for Development (AFD) under the first phase of a multi-year programme of urban conservation and development (US$ 1.8 million) and of the on-going negotiations for a second phase for an amount of US$ 3.5 million.

The Bureau noted with appreciation the mobilization by the World Heritage Centre and the City of Chinon of substantive international development co-operation for the protection and sustainable development of Luang Prabang, and expressed gratitude to the Government of France, the French Development Agency and the Asian Development Bank for supporting the safeguarding and development of this living historic town and that Luang Prabang was not intended to become a town museum.  While noting the progress made by the national and local authorities in strengthening the legal and management framework for urban heritage protection in Luang Prabang, the Bureau expressed concern over the rapid and ill-prepared growth of tourism, incidence of illegal construction and the planned widening of the roads and riverbank quay which risk the loss of the town’s authenticity and the World Heritage value of the site. The Bureau requested the State Party to approve the conservation and development plan of Luang Prabang as soon as possible to ensure adequate legal protection of the site and for the national tourism strategy to give greater importance to heritage protection concerns. The Bureau invited the State Party, in conformity with paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines, to inform the Committee through the UNESCO Secretariat, of all major infrastructural works at the planning stage.  The Bureau requested the Centre to write to the Asian Development Bank, inviting them to submit the technical plan of the riverbank consolidation and quay improvement project of Luang Prabang to the Committee prior to the finalization of the implementation agreement with the local authorities. As suggested by the Delegate of Hungary, the Bureau proposed that the advisory bodies study the technical plan and present their analysis of it to the Committee so that it can better treat this complex issue.  The absence of a co-ordinating committee meant, amongst others, that ICOMOS or other advisory bodies were not involved in the conservation and development of the site.

The Bureau then requested UNESCO to mobilize technical support, notably by involving ICOMOS, to assist the State Party in the selection of appropriate technical solutions in this regard.  

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5829 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.70 Kathmandu Valley (Nepal) The demolition and new construction or alterations of historic buildings within Kathmandu Valley have persisted in spite of concerted international and national conservation efforts.  This has resulted in the loss or continuous and gradual deterioration of materials, structure, ornamental features, and architectural coherence making the essential settings of the Monument Zones as well as in their authentic characters.  In view of the above, the Committee, at its twenty-third session, requested a High Level Mission to be undertaken to hold discussions with representatives of HMG of Nepal in early 2000. The Bureau was informed that the tentative dates for the High Level Mission, 23-30 September 2000, had been proposed to HMG of Nepal. The participants of the Mission would be the Chairperson of the Committee, an eminent international expert on Kathmandu Valley, a former Minister of Housing of the Government of France, the Director of the World Heritage Centre, and Centre staff. The Chairperson informed the Bureau that the High Level Mission could not be undertaken earlier, as the dates proposed in September were the only dates convenient to the participants and the Government.

The Centre informed the Bureau that the public rest house in Patan Darbar Square Monument Zone, which had been illegally dismantled without approval of the Department of Archaeology, in September 1999 despite conditions which permitted in-situ repair, had been reconstructed using new building material.

The Delegate of Zimbabwe noted with disappointment that the High Level Mission had not been undertaken earlier in the year as specified by the Committee, especially in light of further information on continued illegal demolition of historic buildings within the World Heritage protected areas. He was concerned about the delay with regard to the application of the extension of the site.  Recalling the extended discussions during the twenty-third session of the Committee concerning the serious loss of the authentic urban fabrics within the site over the past years, the Delegate reiterated the Committee’s recognition of the gravity of the situation, which should not be underestimated. Although the Committee had decided to again defer the inscription of the Kathmandu Valley site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-third session, the Delegate underscored that continued illegal demolition of historic buildings was unacceptable and the commitment and capacity of the State Party in implementing existing regulations were seriously questioned.

The Bureau recalled that at the twenty-first session of the Committee, in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu Monument Zones, affecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee had requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and the State Party, to study the possibility of deleting selected areas within some Monument Zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review was to take into consideration the intention of HMG of Nepal to nominate Khokana as an additional Monument Zone. The Bureau also recalled that this study, undertaken during the UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Joint Mission in 1998, found that although Khokana’s characteristics could add to the recognized World Heritage values of Kathmandu Valley, it was not possible for the vernacular architectural characteristics of Khokana to replace the lost characteristics within the existing Monument Zones. It was recalled that the Committee requested in 1998, HMG of Nepal to take the necessary measures to ensure adequate protection and management of Khokana prior to its nomination as an additional Monument Zone to the Kathmandu Valley site. The Bureau was informed that the nomination file for the inscription of Khokana Mustard Seed Village as an Additional Monument Zone to the Kathmandu Valley site, had been received in early 2000, but the requested protective measures were not included amongst the documents submitted.

The Representative of ICOMOS informed the Bureau that they had not received a demand for extension of this site, as requested by the Bureau and the Committee on previous occasions.

The Delegate of Hungary expressed his concern, pointing out that the High Level Mission and the extension of the site were two separate issues that should be dealt with separately.

The Bureau requested HMG of Nepal to continue making all possible efforts to protect the remaining authentic historic urban fabric within the Kathmandu Valley site, and in implementing the 55 Recommendations and Time-Bound Action Plan of the UNESCO-ICOMOS-HMG of Nepal Joint Mission. The Bureau requested the Secretariat and the advisory bodies to continue to assist the State Party as appropriate in order to strengthen its capacity to control development, retain historic buildings in-situ, to address the problem of illegal demolition and new construction, and redress illegal alteration of historic buildings. The Bureau requested the Centre to ensure adequate preparation of the High Level Mission scheduled for September 2000 and to report on the results to the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau and the twenty-fourth session of the Committee.

Finally, the Bureau expressed appreciation for the Government's effort to nominate Khokana Mustard Seed Village as an additional Monument Zone to Kathmandu Valley. However, in view of the absence of legislative protection of the core and buffer zones of the sites, the Bureau reiterated the Committee’s request to HMG of Nepal to take the necessary measures to ensure that adequate protection and management are put into place at Khokana.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5830 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST
24 BUR IV.B.71 Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal) Following the request of the Bureau at its twenty-third extraordinary session, the World Heritage Centre organized a UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to Lumbini to examine the state of conservation of the Maya Devi Temple archaeological remains and to undertake further consultations with the Nepalese authorities concerning the proposals under consideration for the rehabilitation of the Maya Devi Temple.

The Bureau was informed that the UNESCO mission undertaken in April 2000 recommended the following:

(a)     The four draft conceptual designs for the construction of a “new” Maya Devi Temple on top of the archaeological remains of the Temple should be rejected, as such a construction, which would last a maximum of 100 years, would result in significant long-term damage to the unique site which is over 2000 years old;

(b)     Taking into consideration the sensitive religious, archaeological and political nature of the property, alternative designs for the Temple should be further discussed at an International Technical Meeting, based on the concepts of non-intrusion, reversibility, shelter, visibility, focus, access, worship, authentic materials and integration with the Tange Master Plan, to be organized as soon as possible;

(c)     In anticipation of further discussions on alternative designs for the rehabilitation of the Maya Devi Temple, and in the absence of a regular monitoring system, the national authorities are recommended to put into place basic environment monitoring mechanisms of the Temple;

(d)     In the absence of a strategic plan for the on-going management and conservation of the site, the development of a “minor plan” for enhanced preservation and presentation of the Sacred Garden was urged to address the following recommendations: (i)  a geophysical survey is recommended in order to establish the full delineation of the site;  (ii)  the adoption and implementation of a systematic conservation strategy for addressing the deterioration of the archaeological structures;  (iii) as the site has been developed resulting in incoherent landscaping, it is recommended that the authorities adopt a unified approach to connect the site to its surrounding to ensure that authentic materials are used with reference to the site’s historical and archaeological nature;  (iv) as visitor numbers are unknown, it is recommended that recording of visitor numbers be conducted;  (v) as ritual practices have resulted in damage to the site in the past, the creation of a principle archaeological circuit and a principle ritual circuit with zones for ritual practices is recommended;  (vi)  as the Tange Plan is still incomplete, the State Party is recommended to regroup the visitor services behind a distinct entry zone to be established, and to investigate the improvement of the drainage system.

On 19 June 2000, the Centre received a technical co-operation request for supporting the organization of the recommended International Technical Meeting. The request has been evaluated by ICOMOS, which fully supports the well-formulated request. The Bureau was informed that the request would be processed swiftly following normal procedures. The Centre also reported that information from the UNESCO Kathmandu Office had been received concerning the Government’s initiation of the basic monitoring of the Maya Devi Temple environment through temperature and humidity fluxation measurement.

To follow-up on the findings of the UNESCO mission and following the request of the Bureau, an ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission was organized between 19-23 June 2000. The ICOMOS mission, underlining the challenges faced in safeguarding the World Heritage values of this fragile archaeological site which is also a place of pilgrimage and worship, informed the Bureau that the interests of conservation and religious devotion could be contradictory. The Bureau was informed that, despite assurances from the State Party at the time of inscription that a conservation plan would be developed for the site, such plan had not yet been elaborated to date.

The Bureau examined the findings and recommendations of the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission undertaken by two international experts in April 2000 and the ICOMOS Mission of June 2000. The Bureau recommended HMG of Nepal to consider adopting the UNESCO Mission’s Recommendations for Enhanced Management and Conservation of the site and report to the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau on any further measures taken to enhance management and conservation of the site.

The Bureau expressed its appreciation to HMG of Nepal for adopting the UNESCO Mission’s Recommendations for Immediate Actions by commencing regular monitoring of the Maya Devi Temple’s environment and by submitting a Technical Co-operation request for supporting the organization of an International Technical Meeting to discuss and initiate alternative draft conceptual designs for rehabilitating the Maya Devi Temple.

In view of the absence of a conservation or management plan for safeguarding the World Heritage values of the Lumbini World Heritage site, the Bureau requested HMG of Nepal to urgently develop a Management Plan, taking into consideration the UNESCO and ICOMOS Mission Recommendations.

Finally, the Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to continue to assist HMG of Nepal in organizing the International Technical Meeting as early as possible, together with the UNESCO Kathmandu Office, and to report on the progress made to the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau.

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https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5831 wh-info@unesco.org Mon, 26 Jun 2000 00:00:00 EST