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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7A.26
Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) (C 208 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.39, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Notes with satisfaction that the Management Plan has been officially adopted and integrated into the Bamiyan City Master Plan, a tool which aims to control development pressures, but regrets that no updated report has been submitted on how these mechanisms work, especially in view of the strong development pressures observed recently;
  4. Urges the State Party to continue vigilantly implementing the Management Plan for the World Heritage property and the Bamiyan City Master plan, and to enforce building codes and regulations for development projects in the buffer zones of the property and other areas protected under the 2004 Afghan Law on the Protection of Historical and Cultural Properties;
  5. Requests the State Party to carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the proposed Cultural Centre and Museum in Bamiyan, in line with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties, after clearly defining the scope of this study with regard to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property;
  6. Expresses its concerns over the state of conservation of some of the property’s components which have been reported as being seriously deteriorated and in imminent danger of collapse, and calls upon the international community to provide technical and financial support not only to the Bamiyan Valley, but also to other components of this serial property, such as Shahri-Zohak, Kakrak and Shari Gholgholah, in order to help the State Party reach the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR);
  7. Also notes the State Party’s wish to partially reconstruct at least one of the Buddha niches and that in the framework of the Japan Funds-in-Trust project an international symposium is to be organized at the end of the year to discuss possible reconstruction, and also requests the State Party to discuss the brief for this symposium with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in advance of the event;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit the outcomes of the symposium and an agreed overall approach to reconstruction and conservation of  the property in relation to OUV, for review by the Advisory Bodies and consideration by the World Heritage Committee, before  any detailed technical and financial feasibility studies are undertaken for a specific reconstruction project;
  9. Also notes with satisfaction the progress accomplished by the State Party, in co-operation with the UNESCO Office in Kabul, in ensuring the site’s security, and welcomes the deployment to each of the components of the property of eight on-site guards who, in addition to the police officers deployed by the Ministry of Interior, have effectively stopped illicit traffic of cultural property and increased the site’s security;
  10. Also urges the State Party to review, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, the timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures and to submit this revised timeframe to the World Heritage Centre, for examination by the Committee;
  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to elaborate and implement, with the support of international donors, a capacity-building programme to strengthen local and national capacities with regard to heritage conservation and management, including the development of the local communities’ capacity to contribute to the safeguarding the property;
  12. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  13. Decides to retain Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7A.26
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision