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World Heritage Convention

Decision 37 COM 7B.70
Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra (Albania) (C 569bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.82 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Notes the details of illegal buildings provided by the State Party for both Berat and Gjirokastra, and expresses its serious concern about its scale in Gjirokastra and the lack of progress in developing and implementing an Action Plan to deal with these violations;

4.  Also notes the lack of adequate legal tools that would stop illegal interventions, urges the State Party to approve and implement the ‘Regulation for the Historic Centre of Berat and its buffer zone’ as soon as possible, and requests it to introduce a similar regulation for Gjirokastra;

5.  Further notes the report of the 2012 ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and that the two historic cities of Berat and Gjirokastra are not managed as a single property and also urges the State Party to put in place as soon as possible an over-arching management structure for the property that has responsibility for monitoring and adaptation of illegal constructions and for ensuring parity of management approaches across the property;

6.  Stresses the need for the State Party to underpin the management of the property, and particularly the processes of monitoring and controlling development, by a clearer articulation of the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value and by a focused set of monitoring indicators that clearly relate to it;

7.  Also requests the State Party to address urgently the need for further fire hydrants to be provided at Gjirokastra and for those parts of Berat not covered by the on-going EU-funded project;

8.  Encourages the State Party to continue measures to raise awareness of World Heritage status amongst local communities in Berat and Gjirokastra;

9.  Further requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre details of the second phase of work at Berat Castle, taking into account the mission’s views, in advance of project approval, for review by the Advisory Bodies in line with Paragraph 172 of Operational Guidelines ;

10. Regrets that no information about the new Kodra House Hotel project was submitted to the mission, takes note of the recently submitted documentation by the State Party, and requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a heritage impact assessment, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidelines on Heritage Impact Assessments for World Heritage cultural properties and to halt any works on the project until it has been evaluated by the Advisory Bodies;

11. Further urges the State Party to address all the recommendations of the reactive monitoring mission and implement the recommended Action Plan, by the end of 2014 , in order to reverse the decline within the property and ensure its vulnerabilities do not increase to a degree that would threaten its Outstanding Universal Value;

12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014 and 1 February 2015 respectively, updated reports on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

Decision Code
37 COM 7B.70
Conservation, Outstanding Universal Value, Reports
States Parties 1
Decisions Adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th Session (Phnom Penh, 2013)
Context of Decision
Other Documents (1)
Report on the Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra (Albania), 10-14 November 2012