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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7B.78
Historic Centre of Bukhara (Uzbekistan) (C 602bis)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.99, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Welcomes the reported moratorium on all construction work and on upgrades to the property and urges the State Party to adopt urgent legal and institutional measures to control development;
  4. Also welcomes the establishment of the World Heritage Property Steering Committee and the establishment of an Interagency Task Force to address emerging issues at the property, but requests that more details be provided on the scale, scope and mandate of the Task Force;
  5. Notes with grave concern the conclusions and recommendations of the April 2018 ICOMOS Advisory mission to the property, including the reported destruction of attributes of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) as a result of the implementation of the Project of Detailed Planning of Historical Centre of Bukhara Development (PDP), which is based on a national decree to stimulate tourism development in the property and its region;
  6. Takes note of the reported completion of the Integrated Management Plan and the Master Plan for the property, along with a system of protective zones for the property and its buffer zone, but expresses its concern that the Integrated Management Plan has not yet been submitted for review by the Advisory Bodies, despite earlier requests; that the Master Plan, although reportedly revised and updated, has been adopted without being submitted for review by the Advisory Bodies; and that the system of protective zones needs to be improved with regard to both its terminology and application;
  7. Also requests that:
    1. The moratorium on all construction work and upgrades to the property be extended to include the buffer zone of the property,
    2. The Integrated Management Plan be submitted for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to its legal adoption,
    3. The Master Plan be submitted for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible and before any further decision is made that would be difficult to reverse;
    4. Once both the Management Plan and the Master Plan have been reviewed, the Management Plan be integrated with the Master Plan, in line with the 2011 UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape;
    5. The moratorium be enforced until both the Master Plan and the Management Plan have been reviewed by the Advisory Bodies, and adequate management systems, conservation, Heritage Impact Assessments and development policies and protocols are in place and pilot projects have proven their effectiveness,
    6. Prior to holding architectural design competitions for new projects, commissioning, or commencing any new development project or major restoration works, detailed proposals should be sent to the World Heritage Centre, for review in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  8. Further requests the State Party to stabilize the valuable structures damaged through the implementation of the PDP and to take protective measures until a set of appropriate protocols on restoration methods and materials have been developed and reviewed by the Advisory Bodies;
  9. Also notes with grave concern the management weaknesses, damages to the property and threats to its OUV reported in the 2018 ICOMOS Advisory mission report, which echo the Committee’s earlier concerns;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to expand its Interagency Task Force to include national and international expert advisors reporting directly to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan and to the World Heritage Centre for a defined period of minimum five years, and grant it a national-level mandate to:
    1. Fully assess the legal protection and management systems already in place for the property and its buffer zones and make recommendations for improvements,
    2. Assess and improve the roadmap to address the conservation of the property and oversee the implementation thereof after it is reviewed by the Advisory Bodies,
    3. Carry out an annual assessment of the state of conservation of the property,
    4. Monitor engagement with local and community stakeholders on the future of the property,
    5. Oversee the development of policies and guidelines for conservation and development which aim to preserve the property’s OUV,
    6. Assess and recommend improvements to Impact Assessment processes, the reassessment of the Integrated Management Plan, Master Plan and other development plans and decrees, as well as reporting to the World Heritage Centre in the framework of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    7. Oversee the development and review of an appropriate and sustainable tourism development strategy and plan,
    8. Select and monitor the implementation of pilot projects to access the efficiency of the developed, assessed and reviewed plans, guidelines and policies,
    9. Monitor the moratorium on all construction work and upgrades to the property and its buffer zone and annually assess whether the moratorium could be lifted, provided that the management system and the various management, conservation and development plans have been proven to be efficient,
    10. Recommend the lifting of the moratorium on all construction work and upgrades in the property as well as its own dissolution once it is satisfied that the legal and management systems effectively protect the OUV of the property and its setting;
  11. Requests moreover the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property in order to assess the full scope of the impacts already caused to the property and its OUV, the efficacy of the Interagency Task Force and other management systems, to review the overall state of conservation of the property and the factors that constitute a threat to the property and to consider whether there is an ascertained or potential danger to the OUV of the property;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020.
Decision Code
43 COM 7B.78
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2019 Historic Centre of Bukhara
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision