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World Heritage Convention

Decision 44 COM 7A.28
Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) (C 208 rev)

Decision: 44 COM 7A.28

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decisions 42 COM 7A.1 and 43 COM 7A.41 adopted at its 42nd (Manama, 2018) and the 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
  3. Welcomes the steps taken by the State Party to ensure due consultations with relevant stakeholders, including local communities, and strongly encourages it to continue such outreach activities and inscribe consultation mechanisms as a permanent component of the management system;
  4. Acknowledges the submission of the Strategic Master Plan (SMP) for Bamiyan, developed in 2018 with the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and Florence University (Italy), and requests that the State Party further develop the SMP, taking into account the recommendations of the ICOMOS Technical Review;
  5. Noting that details on the traffic plan and bypass road project were provided, as requested at earlier sessions, takes note with great concern of the reported completion of the construction of the road in Tepe Almas near Shahr-i-Gholghola, and also requests the State Party to take the advice of the ICOMOS Technical Review into consideration, to fully comply with the provisions of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and not to take any decision that would be difficult to reverse before obtaining the approval of the Committee;
  6. Also requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with information about any restoration and proposed projects and their potential impact on the OUV of the property, including detailed information on Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs), prepared in conformity with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidelines on HIAs for World Heritage cultural properties, and in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, for review by the Advisory Bodies;
  7. Also welcomes the submission of the draft Action Plan for Bamiyan, prepared by the Technical Working Committee (TWC) in conjunction with new funding from the Government of Japan, notes with satisfaction the TWC’s suggestion to prioritize the removal of Bamiyan from the List of World Heritage in Danger over reconstruction efforts, and urges the Afghan authorities to revise the Action Plan and the timeline for its implementation in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) as soon as possible, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and to work towards its full implementation;
  8. Thanks the Government of Japan for supporting activities towards the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger by providing funding through UNESCO, encourages all stakeholders to make full use of the support provided by this project to strengthen the involvement of the Afghan authorities and the fostering of a sense of ownership of all processes at the property, and to develop a cost projection for the implementation of the agreed Action Plan to achieve the DSOCR, and further requests that the technical assignments and work plan for the project funded by Japan be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible;
  9. Also notes with satisfaction the State Party’s efforts to increase site security, reiterates that the successful management of the property is dependent on sustainable financial and human resources, and also encourages the State Party to prepare a long-term strategy to ensure that the necessary resources for the most important operations towards the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and its sustainable management are continuously available;
  10. Reaffirms its support to the Afghan people on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the destruction of the Buddha statues, expresses again its strong commitment to stand together in protecting and safeguarding our shared cultural heritage, and reiterates its call to the international community to provide further technical and financial support in order to assist the State Party in achieving the DSOCR for the property;
  11. Regrets that, despite earlier requests, no information was provided on progress with the Bamiyan Cultural Centre and its planned use, and also strongly encourages the State Party to use this on-site facility to enhance the interpretation of the World Heritage property, providing information on its tangible as well as associative heritage values;
  12. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session;
  13. Decides to retain the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision