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Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Erosion and siltation/ deposition
  • Human resources
  • Illegal activities
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Solid waste
  • Water infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Poor conservation conditons for the archeological remains

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Natural degradation caused by littoral erosion, marine salt and vegetation covering part of the inscribed sectors;

b) Deterioration of the remains due to “vandalism”, theft and uncontrolled visitation causing accumulation of rubbish;

c) Urbanization on the outskirts of the property where, in the absence of a defined buffer zone, illegal construction provokes land disputes;

d) In the absence of a drainage network, open sewers in the bed of an old oued that crosses the eastern part and flows directly into the sea;

e) Little support for site conservation, unsuitable restoration techniques, and poor conservation conditons for the archeological remains.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2007

Total amount allocated to the property: USD 9,564 from Italian Funds.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 6 (from 1989-2001)
Total amount approved : 75,900 USD
Missions to the property until 2007**

February 2002: mission of two experts from the World Heritage Centre; September 2002: World Heritage Centre mission; March 2006: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

Following the March 2006 reactive misison to study the possibility of removing the property from the List of World heritage in Danger, and the firm commitments taken by the State Party, the Committee decided to remove Tipasa from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006), whilst emphasizing the need for the State Party to implement its commitments.

On 7 February 2007, the World Heritage Centre received a mangement plan, concerning the 2007-2012 period, prepared in January 2007 under the legal and technical direction of the Algerian Ministry of Culture. Certain chapters of this Plan included measures to satisfy the conditions set by the Committee for the withdrawal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006). Notably, Decision 30 COM 7A.18 requested the State Party to undertake the following measures:

a) Delimitation of the official boundary of the sectors inscribed and the buffer zone based on the new cadastral survey:

This question is dealt with in the chapter concerning sustainable management and a map accompanies the report with an indication of the three buffer zones in three different colours (but only two zones in the key). The Mausoleum of Mauretania, which is part of the inscribed property, does not figure on the map, or in the document. The text makes mention of the « buffer zone foreseen » and « special directives » but there is no mention of their official adoption. It is important to have confirmation that all the legal texts cited in the document are applicable to these particular zones.

b) The relocation procedure for families installed within the property boundaries::

This is dealt with in the chapter entitled”Reparation measures following the end of the threats », without any explanatory details. It is indicated that the relocation of the inhabitants in social housing by the local council will be carried out over a 2-year period, between 2007 and 2009. However, at the time of the writing of this report, the World Heritage Centre received complaints from the inhabitants indicating their expulsion from the site within a few days. This information has not yet been confirmed by the Algerian authorities.

c) Strengthening of human and financial resources:

The staff responsible for the management of the property number 53 persons, including just one archaeologist (sometimes assisted by those of the Préfecture) and a high-level technician. There is no conservator architect. The document provided by the State Party mentions the financial grants made to the property without any indication of an eventual increase. This information does not provide the wherewithal to judge whether the recommendation of the Committee has been followed or not.

d) The establishment and application of the Protection and Presentation Plan (PPMVSAZP) :

It would appear from the document provided that the preparation of this plan has not progressed since 2003, date of the “decree describing modalities for the establishment of the protection and presentation plan”. The stages indicated are still of a preparatory nature, the choice of the technical office following the invitation to tender – indicted as recent but already announced in the report prepared by the State Party in 2005 – has not been made, and the date foreseen for the publication of the Plan is end-2008.

e) The formulation of a management plan for the property:

The plan submitted by the State Party does not constitute a real “management plan” as such, but rather, as indicated elsewhere in the title of Chapter 2, “Management Guidelines”. It deals with the Tipasa area as a whole, including the property inscribed and its buffer zones.

Only a few paragraphs are devoted to the adminstrative structure which is divided into two levels: national, with three institutions under the Ministry of Culture, and regional in the framework of the Prefecture of Tipasa. The hierarchy and liaison between these bodies is not clear.

Moreover, some confusion seems to exist between the conception of a management plan and that of a Protection and presentation plan. Most of the measures recommended in one are applicable to the other. It would perhaps be advisable to prepare only one plan through the integration of elements from both the plans.

Apart from the above-mentioned points, the document presented by the State Party makes mention of various projects on the periphery of the property or nearby, notably a large development project for the port, in the buffer zone, comprising the installation of breakwaters, the construction of two jettys and landing stages, the installation of a marina and protective work of the cliff. The filling-in of the open sewer drainage, indicated as one of the threats affecting the property, will be carried out after the construction of the purification plant. The area thus gained is proposed to be transformed into an “entertainment area” of the property.

Mention is also made of an urban plan intended to transfer several activities to the south, where a new town will be sited. In the chapter entitled « Risk Prevention », measures for the protection of the environment and the littoral are indicated as ongoing or foreseen for the whole of the area. In particular, important decontamination work has been undertaken to combat water damage and pollution (purification plant, collectors). In order to resolve the problems linked to heavy traffic, an express road three kilometres from the city and circling around the archaeological areas, thus protecting them, has been decided upon.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7B.54
Tipasa (Algeria)

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A.18, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3.       Takes note of the positive measures undertaken and the actions carried out by the State Party to improve the protection of the property, notably with regard to institutional, legal and management issues ;

4.       Commends the State Party for the improvement in the protection of the property through the measures undertaken.

5.       Requests the State Party to harmonize the Management Plan of the property with the Protection and Presentation Plan of the archaeological site and its buffer zone and encourages it to submit a request for international assistance from the World Heritage Fund to provide support during the different stages in the preparation and implementation of this project;

6.       Urges the State Party to transmit to the World Heritage Centre additional information concerning all the ongoing development work in Tipasa Port;

7.       Further requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre, before 1 February 2008, with a report on the progress and implementation of the recommendations contained in points 5 and 6 of the present decision.

Draft Decision: 31 COM 7B.54

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 30 COM 7A18, adopted at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006),

3. Takes note of the measures undertaken and the actions carried out by the State Party to improve the protection of the property, notably with regard to institutional, legal and management issues ;

4. Nevertheless, regrets that despite its firm commitments, the State Party had not completed all the actions that were requested during the 30th session of the Committee;

5. Requests the State Party to officially submit the new boundaries of the property and the buffer zones before 1 February 2008, together with a topographical or cadastral map indicating the scale, the geographical coordinates and the protection regulations applicable in the different areas;

6. Also requests the State Party to complete the management plan and integrate the Protection and Presentation Plan, and encourages it to submit a request for international assistance to the World Heritage Fund in this respect.;

7. Urges the State Party to transmit to the World Heritage Centre, without delay, as indicated in paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, all the plans for the work envisaged in or around Tipasa Port, that is part of the buffer zone of the inscribed property as well as for the future entertainment area of the property ;

8. Further requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre, before 1 February 2008, with a report on the state of conservation and the implementation of the above recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

Report year: 2007
Date of Inscription: 1982
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 2002-2006
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.