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Bahla Fort

Oman
Factors affecting the property in 2007*
  • Commercial development
  • Housing
  • Legal framework
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of the earthen structures of the Fort

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Deterioration of the earthen structures of the Fort;

b) Lack of appropriate conservation techniques;

c) Urban pressure essentially due to the project for a new market near the Fort, including proposals for the urban development of the area;

d) Lack of management mechanisms, including legislation.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2007

Total amount provided to the property: USD 25,000 (private funding).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2007
Requests approved: 2 (from 1988-1988)
Total amount approved : 57,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2007**

World Heritage Centre expert missions in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

In Decision 30 COM 7B.56, the State Party had been requested to submit the following:

a) A comprehensive report on the restoration works carried out at Bahla Fort, including graphic documentation and pictures;

b) The final adopted version of the Management plan;

c) The legal framework being established for the implementation of the Management plan;

d) The administrative structure established for the execution of the Management Plan;

e) A summary of the seminars which took place concerning the Management Plan and their outcomes;

f) A progress report on the work already undertaken for SouqBahla.

On 21 March 2007, the Omani authorities transmitted to the World Heritage Centre a report which gives a summary of the restoration works and the archaeological excavations carried out since 1992. The World Heritage Centre notes the extensive works for the preservation and presentation of the property, including the efforts made to maintain or revive the craftsmanship skills (carpentry, blacksmith and brick production).

Concerning the works on the Souq Bahla, the State Party report refers to consultations held in March 2006 with shopkeepers, based on which a project is currently being developed.

On the other hand, in 2004 the property had been removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger on the basis of the commitment of the State Party towards the preparation of a Management plan, besides the implementation of conservation measures. The cover letter from the State Party announces the final Management Plan. However, the document attached to the report is the Management Plan dated 2005, being the replica of the one of 2003, that did not take into account, as requested in Decision30 COM 7B.56, the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and of ICOMOS.

In the report submitted by the State Party, it is declared that some important provisions of the Management Plan, proposed in 2005 but not officially adopted, are already operational, such as the control on any development initiative. However, the report does not provide any detailed information on how this controlling mechanism functions in practice. It would appear that no official progress has been achieved in this regard and that the concerns expressed by the World Heritage Committee on the possible negative impact of the development in the oasis have not yet been addressed. Neither is any indication given on the legal framework nor on the administrative structure for the execution of the Management plan.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2007
31 COM 7B.67
Bahla Fort (Oman)

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2.       Recalling Decisions 29 COM 7B.46 and 30 COM 7B.56, adopted at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions,

3.       Notes the efforts of the State Party in undertaking rehabilitation works and reminds the State Party that international standards of conservation and restoration should be applied;

4.       Regrets that no progress has yet been achieved with respect to the previous decisions and recommendations of the Committee on the finalization of the Management Plan, taking into account the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, on its official adoption and implementation;

5.       Urges the State Party to finalise and adopt the Management Plan, to establish the legal framework and set up the administrative structure for its implementation;

6.       Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008, the adopted Management Plan and a detailed progress report on its implementation, the legal framework and administrative structure as well as the Souq project, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.

Draft Decision: 31 COM 7B.67

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling Decisions 29 COM 7B.46 and 30 COM 7B.56, adopted at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions respectively,

3. Notes the efforts of the State Party in undertaking rehabilitation works and reminds the State Party that international standards of conservation and restoration should be applied;

4. Regrets that no progress has yet been achieved with respect to the previous decisions and recommendations of the Committee on the finalization of the Management Plan, taking into account the recommendations of the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, on its official adoption and implementation;

5. Urges the State Party to finalise and adopt the Management Plan, to establish the legal framework and set up the administrative structure for its implementation;

6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008, the adopted Management Plan and a detailed progress report on its implementation, the legal framework and administrative structure as well as the Souq project, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008. 

Report year: 2007
Oman
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Danger List (dates): 1988-2004
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 31COM (2007)
Exports

* : 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.


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