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Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro

Pakistan
Factors affecting the property in 2006*
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of structures

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Lack of appropriate conservation work;

b) Deterioration of structures;

c) Suspension of management system.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2006

Total amount provided to the property: USD 23,500,000 (total of contributions for the International Safeguarding Campaign for Moenjodaro).

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2006
Requests approved: 5 (from 1982-2000)
Total amount approved : 101,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2006**

Missions to the site were carried out by international experts working on the post-campaign strategy for Moenjodaro in December 2005 and January 2006. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

The site, among the largest Bronze Age cities world-wide, was included in the ICOMOS World Report on Monuments and Sites in Danger in 2000. Despite the recommendations and resolutions adopted by the Executive Committee for the Safeguarding of Moenjodaro at its 13th session, concluding the UNESCO International Safeguarding Campaign in 1997, threats to the site caused by continued deterioration and lack of an appropriate management system have persisted.

A post-campaign strategy (Medium-Term Strategy for the Preservation and Conservation of Moenjodaro) was developed by UNESCO in co-operation with the national authorities in 2003/2004. The post-campaign strategy addressed the need for a sustainable conservation programme, improved general condition of the site and its management, as well as the future development of the site. In 2000 the Pakistani authorities established a management structure which, within the framework of the post-campaign strategy, was revised in 2003. It involved the creation of an Executive Board composed of representatives of the national and regional governments, UNESCO and the Department of Archaeology and Museums, as well as a Technical Consultative Committee. The Board reviewed the annual workplans and budget and had the responsibility of authorising the release of funds (National Fund for Moenjodaro) for conservation works and national staff. An international project manager and national site manager were also appointed to oversee the site activities and liaise between the site and the authorities. This structure has recently been dissolved by the Pakistani authorities, but no new structure has been put in its place.

The site continues to be threatened by lack of an appropriate management system. Specifically, the threats and issues which remain of concern are:

a) Management structure

One of the main priorities of the post-campaign strategy was the creation a new management structure, carried out in close co-operation with the State Party at the time. Despite this priority, the overall management system for Moenjodaro is ineffective.

b) Scientific research and documentation

Only 10% of Moenjodaro has been excavated. Conservation can only be carried out in co-ordination with thorough research and documentation. A research database and documentation centre is of great importance.

c) Conservation and restoration methods

In the past, the national authorities removed around 20% of the original wall parts and inserted damp proof slabs, without appropriate documentation. The conservation interventions of the 1970s and 1980s, involving the drilling of tube wells to control the groundwater, have been largely ineffective. This is due mainly to the high maintenance costs, lack of upkeep of equipment and irregularity of electricity supply. Moreover, the salt action in the bricks, causing deterioration to the exposed structures, is not halted by the groundwater control. Thus, sealing off the wall surfaces with mud slurry has proven successful in halting the process of sodium sulphate. This can be easily carried out and maintained by trained local experts.

d) Capacity building

In the framework of the International Safeguarding Campaign, UNDP contributed greatly to capacity building in Pakistan. The Moenjodaro Conservation and Research Centre was created for this purpose. Due to insufficient support from national authorities in recent years, the lack of national capacity and knowledge of international standards of conservation techniques at local and national levels continues to be of grave concern.

In light of the above, a World Heritage Centre-ICOMOS mission to the site should be carried out as soon as possible to evaluate the current situation in collaboration with the relevant authorities. The mission should examine the boundaries and buffer zone of the site and discuss with the State Party possible changes to these boundaries in order to address the threats of encroachment. Considering that the timetable for the implementation of the Medium-Term Strategy and the Action Plan has been considerably delayed, the national authorities should prepare a revised Action Plan for the site, possibly in co-operation with the World Heritage Centre. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2006
30 COM 7B.69
State of Conservation (Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Notes with concern the threats to the site caused by lack of an appropriate management system, continued deterioration of original wall structures, as well as inappropriate conservation measures which threaten the authenticity of the site;

3. Further notes, with regret, that despite the considerable efforts and the important international campaign funds provided to the site in the last 26 years, this World Heritage property is still lacking an appropriate management structure, conservation plan and conservation capacities;

4. Strongly encourages the national authorities to take all necessary measures to strengthen the administrative, management and technical structures for the property;

5. Requests the State Party to:

a) Establish an appropriate management structure and long-term conservation plan for the site;

b) Identify training needs so as to address the shortcomings of national experts;

c) Ensure the conservation programme at the site is undertaken according to international conservation standards;

d) Prepare and submit to the World Heritage Centre a revised Action Plan for the property;

e) Urgently review the boundaries and buffer zone of the property in close collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies; and

6. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission to the property to examine the current state of conservation and define, in close consultation with the responsible authorities, solutions and concrete actions to address the above concerns, including a clear timetable for implementation, and report to the Committee on the outcome of the mission at its 31st session in 2007;

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2007, a detailed report on the progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.

Draft Decision: 30 COM 7B.69

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Notes with concern the threats to the site caused by lack of an appropriate management system, continued deterioration of original wall structures, as well as inappropriate conservation measures which threaten the authenticity of the site;

3. Further notes, with regret, that despite the considerable efforts and the important international campaign funds provided to the site in the last 26 years, this World Heritage site is still lacking an appropriate management structure, conservation plan and conservation capacities;

4. Strongly encourages the national authorities to take all necessary measures to strengthen the administrative, management and technical structures for the site;

5. Requests the State Party to:

a) establish an appropriate management structure and long-term conservation plan for the site;

b) identify training needs so as to address the shortcomings of national experts;

c) ensure the conservation programme at the site is undertaken according to international conservation standards;

d) prepare and submit to the World Heritage Centre a revised Action Plan for the site;

e) urgently review the boundaries and buffer zone of the property in close collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies; and

6. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre-ICOMOS mission to the property to examine the current state of conservation and define, in close consultation with the responsible authorities, solutions and concrete actions to address the above concerns, including a clear timetable for implementation, and report to the Committee on the outcome of the mission at its 31st session in 2007; and

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2007, a detailed report on the progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 31st session in 2007. 

Report year: 2006
Pakistan
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 30COM (2006)
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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