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World Heritage Convention

Decision 40 COM 7B.41
Kathmandu Valley (Nepal) (C121bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7B.69, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Acknowledges the efforts of the Department of Archaeology, with the support of UNESCO and various donors and agencies, to respond to the effects of the April/May 2015 earthquakes;
  4. Notes that all seven monument zones have suffered extensive damage from the earthquakes of April-May 2015, which resulted in adverse impacts on attributes, authenticity, integrity and management of the property and put its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) at risk;
  5. Also notes that earthquakes are a regular feature of the Kathmandu Valley, and that the “cyclical renewal” carried out by craftspeople, using traditional processes and materials, has sustained the heritage values of the property over time;
  6. Considers that a renewal process could help restore some of the attributes affected by the earthquake, thereby reducing the impact on the OUV, but emphasizes that this work must be based on a review and analysis of precisely what has been damaged and could be recovered, of what has been lost and will need to be replaced by new structures, as well as on a clear understanding of the attributes of OUV for each monument zone and how each has been impacted;
  7. Urges the State Party to develop, in full engagement with local community groups, including traditional Guthis and others, a carefully-designed Recovery Master Plan (RMP) supported by guidelines to identify what attributes of OUV can be recovered, how choices are justified, and how the recovery work will be phased and undertaken. The RMP should facilitate the appropriate use, management and maintenance of the sites, in accordance with the OUV of the property and with other local and national values;
  8. Also urges the State Party to integrate the RMP within an overall socio-economic revitalisation programme for urban communities, to encourage residents and local businesses to engage in the recovery process and to ensure that it delivers wide-ranging social and economic benefits;
  9. Requests the State Party to review the Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property, taking into consideration the damage caused by the earthquakes, its impact on the OUV of the property and the provisions of the RMP, and to prepare a plan of action to build capacity through coordination of local and international expertise, training programmes for both heritage principles and master crafts and a scheme to foster long-term sustainability through the provision of reasonable remuneration and long-term employment;
  10. Takes note of the report provided by the 2015 Reactive Monitoring mission and also requests the State Party to implement all its detailed recommendations as appropriate;
  11. Notes with concern the need for a coherent, consistent and coordinated approach by national institutions for adequate response from the State Party in pursuing recovery and reconstruction of the heritage property;
  12. Further notes the dimensions of the recovery task and the potential for the property to be subject to considerable pressure to rebuild within the monument and buffer zones using new approaches and technologies, and to use contractors with inadequate experience and familiarity with traditional materials and local processes, all of which could have considerable adverse impacts on the OUV of the property;
  13. Taking into account all of the above-mentioned potential threats and the ascertained threats to the property’s OUV caused by the immediate impacts of the 2015 earthquakes, further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/ICCROM Reactive Monitoring mission to further define corrective measures and to ascertain the progress accomplished by the State Party;
  14. Calls on the international community to continue providing support for both the short-term protection and emergency safeguarding measures and the long-term conservation of the property, which are both necessary to maintain the OUV of the Kathmandu Valley;
  15. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, before any irreversible decision is made, detailed information about any major restoration, rehabilitation or reconstruction works foreseen within and in the vicinity of the property, for review by the Advisory Bodies in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  16. Finally requests 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, with a view to considering, in the absence of significant progress, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
40 COM 7B.41
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger, Reports
States Parties 1
Properties 1
State of conservation reports
2016 Kathmandu Valley
Report of the Decisions adopted during the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016)
Context of Decision