VII.52 Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)
The World Heritage Committee at its seventeenth session in 1993 expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley site and considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following discussions on the findings of the 1993 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission (hereafter referred to as the 1993 Mission).
Since then, H.M. Government of Nepal has given priority to responding to the sixteen points of concern raised by the 1993 Mission. However, the Bureau, at its twenty-first session (June 1997), decided to consider recommending the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-first extraordinary session (November 1997), in view of the continued deterioration of the monument zones of Bauddhanath and of Kathmandu (two of the seven monument zones protected under the Convention).
The Committee examined the state of conservation report submitted by H.M. Government of Nepal, summarized together with comments from the UNESCO International Technical Advisor in WHC-97/CONF.208/INF.14. This report provides full information on the progress made on each of the sixteen points of the 1993 Mission recommendations.
The Committee emphasized the need for addressing the problems faced in the preservation of urban historic fabric, such as those of Kathmandu Valley, in the context of rapid urban development in Asia and urged the World Heritage Centre to take initiatives in conducting a research in this field, in co-operation with ICOMOS and ICCROM.
The Committee took note of the information provided by H.M. Government of Nepal and the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the sixteen-point recommendation of the 1993 UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission.
The Committee expressed appreciation to H.M. Government of Nepal in establishing the Development Control Unit and in its efforts to ensure enhanced management of the Kathmandu Valley site as well as in mobilizing international assistance from the World Heritage Fund and other sources.
The Committee took note of the special efforts made by the Municipalities of Bhaktapur and Patan in safeguarding the monument zones under their authority.
However, 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 requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and H.M. Government of Nepal, 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 should take into consideration the intention of H.M. Government to nominate Kokhana as an additional monument zone.
The Committee authorized up to US$ 35,000, from the World Heritage Fund technical cooperation budget for a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-H.M. Government of Nepal team to conduct a thorough study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines. The detailed budget for this activity is to be submitted to the Chairperson for approval.
Furthermore, the Committee requested H.M. Government of Nepal to submit a report to the Secretariat for presentation to the Bureau at its twenty-second session in June/July 1998, on the progress made with the on-going or new international assistance projects funded by the World Heritage Fund and other sources, and on further progress in implementing the sixteen-point recommendation.
Based upon the information from the study and the report from H.M. Government, and recommendations from the Bureau, the Committee could consider whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session.