World Heritage Centre World Heritage Centre - Committee Decisions 90 en Copyright 2024 UNESCO, World Heritage Centre Tue, 27 Feb 2024 06:58:08 EST UNESCO, World Heritage Centre - Decisions 18 BUR VI.B Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria) The Bureau recalled that the site was inscribed in 1983 and placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992. Furthermore, it noted that considerable discussion had taken place both at the Committee and it's Bureau sessions regarding the possible delisting of the site, and that IUCN reports on the status of the site indicating the degradation of its natural values have been reviewed continuously since December 1991. Furthermore, a report by wetland experts from the United States National Park Service indicate that major effort is required to restore the site. The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the Bulgarian Ministry for the Environment presented a report on restoration efforts by the Bulgarian authorities from 1992 to 1994, including an extension from 600 to 902 ha, the elaboration of an hydraulic system for Srebarna Lake and to review the re­establishment of the links between the Lake and the Danube.

The Bureau took note of the report and commended the authorities for their efforts. It decided, however, that the site should be continuously monitored and that a detailed report on the site should be given to the nineteenth session of the Bureau in 1995.

It was recommended that on behalf of the Bureau, the World Heritage Centre should write to the appropriate authorities stressing the need for maintaining a research/monitoring station at Srebarna.

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18 BUR VI.B Sangay National Park (Ecuador) The Bureau recalled that the site was inscribed in 1983 and added to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1992 due to threats from poaching and a road construction. A field mission was carried out in 1993 and a report was submitted to the seventeenth session of the World Heritage Committee in December 1993. A short up-date report has been provided by the IUCN Office in Ecuador, indicating major restructuring of the park administration and a reduction of personnel. Furthermore, the Macas-Guamote road construction is progressing with no attention being paid to the conditions of the inter-institutional agreement. The Bureau decided to request the Centre to prepare two letters, one to be signed by the Director-General of UNESCO and the other by the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee, addressed to the Government of Ecuador, expressing the Bureau's above concerns.

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18 BUR VI.B Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) The Bureau took note that the Government of India finally responded to the concerns of the World Heritage Committee and its Bureau by letter dated 24 January 1994. However, the Bureau showed continued concern with regard to the management of the site, the increase in poaching and the continuous decline of this World Heritage site in Danger. It therefore, endorsed international assistance, if officially requested by the Indian Government, and requested the Centre and IUCN to work closely together with two non-governmental organizations, WWF-India and the Swaminathan Foundation, to obtain a detailed monitoring report on the state of conservation of the threatened site.

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18 BUR VI.B List Shark Bay (Australia) The Bureau was informed of a recent IUCN mission to the site giving an account on (a) the implementation of the Commonwealth and State Management Agreement which has been signed, but no further action has been taken so far and (b) on the efforts to achieve more effective conservation of the site, for which improvements have been made.

The Bureau requested the Centre to write to the Australian authorities informing them of its concerns and requesting that an up-date on progress in implementing the Agreement be presented to the next session of the Committee.

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18 BUR VI.B Tasmanian Wilderness (Australia) The Bureau took note that several reports have been sent to the Centre and Bureau members by the Wilderness Society concerning Tasmania World Heritage site and the impact of logging operations in areas adjacent to the current World Heritage area. By letter of 22 March 1994, the Centre informed the Permanent Delegate of Australia and requested a response from the Australian authorities regarding this matter. The Observer from Australia indicated that discussions between the Government and the State of Tasmania are taking place at the moment. The Bureau requested the Centre to follow-up and report back at its next session.

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18 BUR VI.B Willandra Lakes Region (Australia) The Bureau was informed by IUCN of the first World Heritage mission to this mixed site. The report indicated problems at the site with landowner residents, aboriginal concerns as well as the fact that no management plan has yet been prepared. However, the Commonwealth is taking up these issues and furthermore, a socio­economic impact study is underway. IUCN suggested that all authorities consider renominating the area under cultural criteria and with a reduced boundary. The Observer of Australia informed the Bureau that through the agreed management arrangements for the site, a review of the boundaries is being conducted by a Technial and Scientific Advisory Committee. The results of this review will be conveyed to the World Heritage Centre.

The Bureau took note of IUCN's suggestions that the Willandra Lakes site be considered for a revised nomination based on cultural criteria and that redefinition of the boundaries of the site be considered. The World Heritage Centre was requested to consult the Australian Government, ICOMOS, the International Union of Geological Sciences and IUCN and to report back on the findings to the Committee.

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18 BUR VI.B Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) The Bureau was informed that a fire broke out at Isabela Island on 12 April 1994 and was discovered by a patrol boat of the Galapagos National Park authorities. The fire combat was very difficult, involving park personnel and both the army and the navy. After one month the fire was under control, but 4,500 ha were burnt. The giant tortoises are not at risk, but the extinction danger remains. The authorities have received emergency aid from the World Heritage Fund (US$ 50,000), UNESCO (US$ 20,000) and several governments, NGOs and individual donors. The Bureau took note of the report and recalled that the extension of the marine reserve of the Galapagos Islands will be discussed under the nomination section of this report.

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18 BUR VI.B Mount Athos (Greece) The Bureau recalled that at its sixteenth session it noted concern over increasing forestry activities at the site, however, no mission was carried out. A recent report by WWF and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (EPC) on the ecological state of the site indicates serious threats, including overgrazing, chemical pollution as well as a proposed hydrodam construction. IUCN stressed the need for impact studies, a forest management plan and a system of reserves. The Bureau took note of the report and requested the Centre to write to the appropriate authorities transmitting its concerns with regard to the content of the afore-mentioned report. A report should be requested from Greece for presentation to the eighteenth session of the Committee.

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18 BUR VI.B Banc d'Arguin National Park (Mauritania) The Bureau took note of the Centre's report on the Paris-Dakar rally crossing the site, which had very little impact on the ecological situation of the Park. IUCN reported on the plan to capture six monk seals from the seal population of the park (100­130) and move them to Antibes (Southern France) for captive breeding. After some discussion on captive breeding experiences, the Bureau requested that the propensity of the planned capture operation be reported to the World Heritage Committee.

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18 BUR VI.B Te Wahipounamu (New Zealand) The Bureau took note of the report by IUCN on the following issues: (a) legal matters, in particular land claims and sacred sites of the Maori people; (b) continued cattle grazing which has an impact on the natural World Heritage values and should be phased out, and (c) that the 1986 IUCN recommendation to include the site of the coastal forest (Waitutu forest) in the World Heritage area, was not taken up. Plans have been made by the Maori owners to sell the land for logging operations.

The Bureau requested the Centre to send a letter to the New Zealand authorities transmitting the above concerns.

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18 BUR VI.B Thungyai Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries (Thailand) The Bureau was informed that a fire broke out at the site on 22 February 1994 in the buffer zone area and rapidly swept through the site. A report by the Forest Fire Control and Rescue Division of the Royal Forest Department in Bangkok indicated that fire fighting was difficult, particularly in the mountain area of the Sanctuary. It furthermore stated that the fire was completely extinguished by 15 March 1994 and damage assessment revealed that 10,924 ha were burnt. The report noted that fire is a normal and frequent occurrence at the site but generally it is not damaging. The Bureau took note of the report and commended the Thai authorities for submitting a detailed report which was distributed at the Bureau session.

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18 BUR VI.B Yellowstone (United States of America) The Delegate of the United States informed the Bureau about a report concerning Yellowstone National Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978. The Park is faced with a proposed mining project of a gold mine two miles north of the northeast boundary of the site. The area concerned is both public and private with 20% under the administration of the US Forest Service. The mine would remove 56 acres of wetlands to build an artificial lake and would call for construction of access roads and housing for the workers. The economic value of the project is estimated at US$ 1 billion in recoverable gold, silver and copper. The mine sits at the head of three drainages, one of which, Soda Butte Creek, flows into the National Park. Thus, potential threats would be the degradation of surface and ground water, the changes in water quantity, as well as the displacement of wildlife and other disturbances. The Delegate underlined that the United States will keep the Committee and its Bureau informed about further developments. The Observer from Canada stressed that the Canadian Government will check about direct or indirect Government-support for the parent company of the proposed mine.

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18 BUR VI.B Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (Zimbabwe) The Bureau was informed that the property was one of the most important black rhino refuges at the date of inscription with a population of 500. The ten remaining rhinos are being captured and translocated for intensive protection. The site has never received assistance from the World Heritage Fund to control poaching.

The Bureau raised concern about this loss of one of the World Heritage values of the site, and asked the Centre to work closely together with CITES and IUCN to determine the lessons learned from this unfortunate experience. This specific case could be used to coordinate efforts by the World Heritage Convention and the CITES Convention Secretariats.

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18 BUR VI.B Angkor (Cambodia) Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki, Director of the Division of Physical Heritage, recalled the recommendations made by the Committee at the time of the inscription of the Angkor site on the World Heritage List in December 1992, and informed the Bureau of the latest action taken by the Director-General of UNESCO for the safeguard of Angkor. The Director-General decided to give additional support to the UNESCO Office in Cambodia, by assigning Mr. Khamliène Nhouyvanisvong, former Acting Assistant Director-General for External Relations, to the post of Director of this Office, and also naming him Personal Representative of the Director-General. Mr. Richard Engelhardt was called upon to undertake new functions at UNESCO's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, as Regional Advisor for Culture. Mr. Bouchenaki also informed the Bureau of the nomination of Mr. Azedine Beschaouch to the post of Special Advisor to the Assistant Director-General for Culture. However, Mr. Beschaouch will continue to monitor the technical work for the safeguard of Angkor in his capacity of Special Representative of the Director-General.

Mrs. Minja Yang, who is responsible for the intersectoral programmes for Cambodia and Chief of the Angkor Unit, was invited to present the latest developments of the Zoning and Environmental Management Plan (ZEMP). Mrs. Yang defined the categories for the protection of the cultural sites which serve as a basis for establishing the different zones at Angkor: i) monumental sites; ii) protected archaeological reserves; iii) protected cultural landscapes; iv) archaeological, anthropological and historical points of interest. She stressed the importance of taking into consideration the sociological, touristic and economic aspects, with a view to integrated sustainable development in the region of Angkor.

As complementary information on the zoning of the Angkor site, Mr. Beschaouch presented the conclusions of his recent mission to Cambodia. He stressed the fact that the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of Angkor, which had been created during the Intergovernmental Conference of Tokyo, and is co-chaired by France and Japan with UNESCO ensuring the secretariat, had strictly observed the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee. In this regard, on the basis of proposals made by the "ZEMP", the Royal Government of Cambodia, by a decree dated 4 June 1944 relating especially to the zoning and management of the Angkor site, defined a zone of safeguard, the total area of which (including Angkor, Banteay Srei and Roluos) covers an area of 401 squarekilometers. Mr. Beschaouch added that, during the next parliamentary session of the Kingdom of Cambodia, two legislative texts relating to the protection of cultural property and the administration of the Angkor site should be submitted for examination to the National Assembly. He stressed the exemplary effort of the Kingdom of Cambodia to set up a legal, legislative, technical and administrative structure for the integrated safeguarding of the site of Angkor.

Following this report, the Representative of ICOMOS expressed satisfaction with the action undertaken during the last eighteen months for the safeguarding of the site of Angkor and congratulated the UNESCO Secretariat for its work. The Delegate of Thailand proposed that a letter of congratulations be sent to the Royal Government of Cambodia. The Delegate of Senegal, after congratulating Mr. Beschaouch for his nomination at UNESCO, endorsed that initiative.

The Bureau approved this proposal.

As complementary information, Mr. Beschaouch stressed the volume and quality of the work undertaken by the French and Japanese teams at Angkor. He indicated that the "WMF" had proposed, in agreement with the Royal Government of Cambodia, to develop and diversify its action. Finally, as concerns the database produced with the "Integraph" software in the framework of the "GIS" programme, he drew attention to the interest in converting this data to the "SPANS" base, thanks especially to the collaboration of "Parks Canada".

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18 BUR VI.B Timbuktu (Mali) The three mosques of Djingareiber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia were placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1990. These properties are threatened by obvious, precise and imminent dangers:

a) serious alteration of the mud construction materials

b) serious alteration of the structures

c) the climatic factor of desertification.

The Bureau was informed of the content of the report, produced in French, concerning the state of conservation of the three mosques, by the UNESCO consultant. In 1990, this consultant elaborated the proposal for the placing of the mosques on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and in his present report he noted that the situation was more or less the same as in 1990 and that the mosques remained threatened by the dangers which were identified at that time. The consultant also highlighted the threats to the mosques during the annual maintenance work. This work, which is coordinated by the religious authorities in consultation with the management committees and the masons attached to each mosque, is organized by means of an appeal for donations of material and voluntary labour. The voluntary system in force contributes to the rapid degradation of traditional technology. The poor quality of the mud construction materials ("banco") prepared and applied each year by inexpert hands causes water infiltration and attack by micro-organisms, and this attempt at creating a protective coating for the building also tends to weaken its structure.

The report recommends a method of intervention involving the local population which, since the construction of the mosques, has been responsible for their upkeep, thus perpetuating a living religious culture. This method foresees the organization of a pilot work site in a restricted zone of each mosque, to be implemented in three stages:

1) preparation of a documented study recording all the stages of the annual maintenance work, so as to clearly determine the organization of the voluntary work sites;

2) identification, together with specialists, of the appropriate additives and stabilisers for the "banco" of Timbuktu;

3) organization of a pilot work site which should be entrusted to a Mali architect assisted by municipal technicians. The architect would also have the responsibility for defining a long­term conservation programme taking account of the local realities, whilst respecting and improving traditional techniques.

The Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to ask the Mali authorities to prepare a report to be submitted to the eighteenth session of the Committee, concerning follow-up action with regard to the report of the UNESCO consultant. Considering the grave situation of the city where insecurity abounds, and which is threatened by the advance of the dunes, the World Heritage Centre should define, together with the Mali authorities, appropriate cooperative action to meet this situation.

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18 BUR VI.B Wieliczka Salt Mine (Poland) During its present session, the Secretariat informed the Bureau that this site, inscribed in 1978, continued to be threatened by frequent floods. However, thanks to financial assistance from the European Union, the Polish authorities have at their disposal the necessary pumping material to maintain a satisfactory level of salubrity of the historic part of the mine.

Furthermore, Bureau members were informed that in 1991 the Polish authorities prepared a humidity-level study, and that in 1993 the data collected was examined during a seminar held in the United States, which was attended by two Polish experts, thanks to assistance from the World Heritage Fund. The seminar drew up recommendations for the long-term conservation strategy of the mine.

This strategy includes a project for ventilation and dehumidification for which the purchase of equipment amounting to US$ 156,000 is necessary. In the coming months, the Polish authorities may present a request for technical cooperation from the World Heritage Fund for partial financial support for the purchase of this equipment.

The Bureau took note of this information with satisfaction, and the World Heritage Centre will be kept informed of the different stages of this project.

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18 BUR VI.B Butrint (Albania) The Coordinator of the MAP/UNEP "100 historical sites" programme presented this archaeological site inscribed in 1992, which is immerged below 1.50m of water due to subsidence. However, the maintenance work there is being carried out in a satisfactory manner by the Archaeological Institute of the Department of Antiquities, in spite of the lack of human and financial resources. The Bureau was informed of the wish of the Albanian authorities to create a natural and cultural archaeological park. To accomplish this, the Hydrology Institute of Tirana has prepared a study in order to identify the causes of subsidence. Consequently, the Bureau requested the World Heritage Centre to write to the Albanian authorities requesting information on the following:

- specific legislation for the site

- results of the study prepared by the Hydrology Institute

- progress made in the programme for the protection and management of the site; the advisability of setting up a committee of international experts to work together with the archaeological missions working at the site.

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18 BUR VI.B Great Wall; Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties; Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor; Mogao Caves; Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (China) The Bureau was informed about the results of a World Heritage Centre monitoring mission to the existing five cultural World Heritage Sites in China, namely the Great Wall, the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, the Mogao Caves and the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. The mission had been generally impressed with the standard of maintenance of Chinese World Heritage sites and the professionalism of the staff responsible for them. Nevertheless, the mission had been able to raise specific technical issues with the State Bureau of Cultural Relics and other responsible authorities in China, in particular the need for training in techniques for the conservation of ruined stonework, the conservation of earthen structures, the conservation of marble, new jointing techniques for timber conservation, the conservation of wall paintings, computer-assisted recording of standing monuments and geophysical archaeological recording techniques. The mission had pointed out that monitoring was a two-way process and that the representatives of the state party whose sites were being monitored could often provide invaluable technical information which was relevant to World Heritage sites in other countries. With regard to the management of World Heritage sites in China, the report dealt with tourist facilities, visitor pressures and intrusive structures in the World Heritage sites, a number of them erected since inscription.

The Representative of China expressed his thanks for the work of the mission and explained that a number of the technical points raised by the mission had also been matters of concern for Chinese experts, about which the State Bureau of Cultural Relics was already in contact with provincial and other responsible authorities. China was attempting to ensure that conservation work conformed to accepted international standards. He said that cultural heritage was of increasing public interest in China, which made the work of the mission particularly useful. He welcomed the fact that the mission had been able to clear up a number of misunderstandings about plans for the Mogao Caves, for which there had been concern both within and without China. He looked forward to the results of the mission being made available in the form of a written report.

In response to a request made by the Representative of Thailand, the Director of the World Heritage Centre stated that he would liaise with the Chinese authorities and the members of the mission in the hope that its results could be made available in time for the next meeting of the Bureau. He looked forward to a follow up in the form of further liaison between the Centre and the Chinese authorities and reported that he had already received requests for technical assistance in connection with the training needs identified by the mission.

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18 BUR VI.B Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles (France) The MAP/UNEP Coordinator of the "100 historical sites" Programme emphasized the exemplary character of the conservation measures. He reported on the considerable financial support from the Municipality, and he briefly outlined the "Safeguard Plan for the Enhancement of the Safeguarded Sector of Arles". He also mentioned the plan for preventive action to combat atmosphericpollution to conserve the Primatiale Saint-Trophime. This project, partially financed by the World Monument Fund, has elaborated a 24-hour surveillance system which can detect and forecast atmospheric changes.

The Observer of Germany expressed his satisfaction with the work accomplished, and suggested that the French and German specialists involved in the conservation of the stone could exchange their observations and experiences.

The Bureau noted with satisfaction of the considerable efforts undertaken by the State and the Municipality, and reiterated their exemplary character.

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18 BUR VI.B Hanseatic City of Lubeck (Germany) The Bureau was informed of the outcome of an ICOMOS mission which visited Lubeck in May 1994 to discuss problems arising from the development plans for the city centre. The Bureau recommended that the authorities in Lubeck be encouraged to revise its heritage protection legislation so as to allow sufficient time for the proper investigation of the city's rich archaeological heritage and to implement measures to make the important archaeological and artistic discoveries accessible to the general public. It also recommended that the authorities should seek the assistance of an experienced international planning consultancy in the preparation of an integrated development strategy which reconciles the competing objectives of heritage conservation, tourism and economic growth.

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