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World Heritage Convention

Decision 45 COM 7B.179
Ancient City of Nessebar (Bulgaria) (C 217)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM 7B.154 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Takes note of the progress made by the State Party in addressing the Committee’s previous decisions and the mission’s recommendations, but notes with concern that some issues continue to remain unresolved;
  4. Notes with concern that the 2023 Reactive Monitoring mission confirmed the findings of the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission that some of the attributes underlying the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property have deteriorated;
  5. Also notes that important actions to establish a spatial planning framework and instruments, essential for adequate protection and management of the property, are being implemented and encourages the State Party to finalize the Conservation and Management Plan (CMP), in 18 months;
  6. Also encourages the State Party to invite a series of consultative missions of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in order to assist the CMP elaboration;
  7. Further notes with great concern that the Integrated Development Plan for Nessebar Municipality 2021-2027 adopted in August 2021, proposes a vision for the future of Nessebar revolving around the tourism mono-economy, with actions that may locally improve spatial qualities of the property but have greater potential to exacerbate current threats and further erode the attributes of OUV, and urges the State Party to revise the Plan in the light of an OUV-based vision and strategy for the future of Nessebar that does not focus only on tourism;
  8. Strongly reiterates its urgent requests to the State Party to:
    1. Devise a vision for the future of the “Ancient City of Nessebar” based on its OUV, which pursues sustainable, compatible and equitable development of the property within the larger municipal territory and is not solely focused on tourism,
    2. Develop, approve and implement the CMP for the property, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safeguarding and recovery of the attributes of OUV, while harnessing the participation of the local community and civil society and building on the principles of the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (2011) and the ICOMOS International Charter for Cultural Heritage Tourism (2022); establish mechanisms to guarantee that the CMP objectives, strategies and actions are taken into due account in all other spatial or development plans under preparation or already adopted,
    3. Approve and enforce the General Development Master Plan for Nessebar Municipality and consequently the Detailed Development Plan for the Ancient City of Nessebar, with all necessary support from the national authorities and incorporating all relevant Committee’s and missions’ recommendations,
    4. Guarantee that the protection regimes for the property are known and respected by all stakeholders;
  9. Further requests the State Party to implement the recommendations of the 2023 Reactive Monitoring mission as well as previous recommendations of the 2018 Reactive Monitoring mission;
  10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, the Conservation and Management Plan, including the heritage under water, Detailed Development Plan and the General Development Master Plan, and by 1 December 2024, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 47th session, considering that the urgent conservation needs of this property require a broad mobilization to preserve its Outstanding Universal Value, including the possible inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decision Code
45 COM 7B.179
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2023 Ancient City of Nessebar