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World Heritage Convention

Decision 42 COM 7A.39
Old Walled City of Shibam (Yemen) (C 192)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.53, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Expresses its continuing concern at the recent damage caused to the cultural heritage of the property as a result of natural elements and ongoing armed conflict, and that the property continues to be vulnerable, owing to the residual impact of previous flooding, as well as the current security situation, ongoing social change and continuing lack of organisational support and resources for both heritage management and physical conservation;
  4. Commends the local technical actors and other parties involved in damage assessment, documentation and emergency interventions, and for its communication with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies and acknowledges the efforts of the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY), the community and the other concerned stakeholders of Shibam to protect and conserve the property despite the very difficult conditions;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details for the ‘Shibam Oases Development Project’;
  6. Reiterates the need for a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to advise on repair and conservation works, and to contribute to the development of a set of corrective measures and a timeframe for their implementation, as well as the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), as soon as the security situation in Yemen has improved;
  7. Urges all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from any further action that would cause damage to the cultural heritage of Yemen and the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, in particular the safeguarding of properties on the World Heritage List and those included in the Tentative List of Yemen, and encourages all concerned stakeholders to unite for the preservation of cultural heritage in Yemen;
  8. Reiterates its previous calls for the international community to provide technical and financial support, including through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, for the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Yemen’s Cultural heritage, adopted at the UNESCO Expert meeting in July 2015, including funding for capacity building and first-aid restoration and protection measures, and calls on the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to continue providing the State Party with technical assistance and support where needed;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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 43rd session in 2019;
  10. Decides to retain the Old Walled City of Shibam (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
42 COM 7A.39
Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2018 Old Walled City of Shibam
Decisions adopted during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Manama, 2018)
Context of Decision