Decision : CONF 202 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.