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Historic Town of Zabid

Yemen
Factors affecting the property in 2005*
  • Housing
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Deterioration of the traditional urban fabric

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Deterioration of the traditional urban fabric; loss of integrity and authenticity; socio-economic degradation.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2005
Requests approved: 8 (from 1994-2004)
Total amount approved : 159,167 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

Within the framework of the International Assistance Request submitted by the Yemeni authorities and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session (UNESCO, 2003), a Stakeholders’ meeting was organized in December 2004, aiming at widening the consultation at the local level, at bringing together decision makers, representatives of the civil society, and international experts. The presence of the Minister of Culture and of the Director of the World Heritage Centre during parts of the meeting highlighted its importance and strengthened the position of the local authorities as well as their will to act in favour of the old city. It is expected that the impact of this meeting and of its recommendations will generate a number of activities towards the rehabilitation and economic revitalization of the city, which is in a very serious state of deterioration.

A Report on the State of Conservation of the Historic Town of Zabid, prepared by the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY), was received by the World Heritage Centre in February 2005. As concerns the general state of conservation, this report declares that ‘compared with the previous UNESCO reports from 2001 to 2003, the situation has not really changed.’ It does predict, however, that the sewerage project will be completed by October 2005, that studies on the storm-water drainage and leveling of the streets and squares have been completed and that implementation of the works is due to start in April 2005. Restoration work is under way on a number of monuments (Bab El-Qurtub Gate, Al-Ashaer Mosque, Citadel). The local branch of GOPHCY is drafting a comprehensive action plan, due to be submitted for official approval before summer 2005, to solve the problem of illegal constructions by means of a long-term compensation scheme and the removal of such violations within the public spaces of the city.

The Urban Conservation Plan elaborated by UNESCO experts still misses some components, notably the implementation of the inventory. In the meantime, the Ministry of Public Works has finalized an Urban Development Plan which provides for a one km buffer zone, an articulation zone, and an area for the development of a new urban settlement on the north-eastern side of the city. This Plan has been adopted by means of a decree and it has to be completed with the detailed Conservation Plan within six months from the adoption of the decree (April 2005).

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2005
29 COM 7A.19
Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29. COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15A.20 taken at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party of Yemen on the progress it has made over the past year in halting illegal constructions,

4. Regrets, while appreciating the adoption of the urban development plan, that it does not integrate the urban regulations drafted for the historic core nor the conservation plan;

5. Strongly urges the State Party to complete and adopt the Conservation Plan;

6. Encourages the State Party to define, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, an action plan for the socio-economic revitalization of the city, thus helping in the safeguarding of the heritage, in implementing the recommendations of the Stakeholders’ Meeting for the safeguarding of the historic town of Zabid (Yemen, 13-15 December 2004);

7. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2006, a report on progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).

8. Decides to retain Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
29 COM 8C.2
New World Heritage List in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-05/29.COM/7A and WHC-05/29.COM/7A.Add),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Afghanistan)(Decision 29 COM 7A.20)
  • Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Afghanistan)(Decision 29 COM 7A.21)
  • Tipasa (Algeria) (Decision 29 COM 7A.16)
  • Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower (Azerbaijan) (Decision 29 COM 7A.28)
  • Royal Palaces of Abomey (Benin) (Decision 29 COM 7A.13)
  • Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Central African Republic)(Decision 29 COM 7A.1)
  • Comoé National Park (Côte d'Ivoire) (Decision 29 COM 7A.2)
  • Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea) (Decision 29 COM 7A.3)
  • Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Democratic Rep. of the Congo) (Decision 29 COM 7A.5)
  • Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Democratic Rep. of the Congo) (Decision 29 COM 7A.5)
  • Virunga National Park (Democratic Rep. of the Congo) (Decision 29 COM 7A.5)
  • Garamba National Park (Democratic Rep. of the Congo) (Decision 29 COM 7A.5)
  • Salonga National Park (Democratic Rep. of the Congo) (Decision 29 COM 7A.5)
  • Abu Mena (Egypt) (Decision 29 COM 7A.17)
  • Simien National Park (Ethiopia) (Decision 29 COM 7A.4)
  • Cologne Cathedral (Germany) (Decision 28 COM 7A.29)
  • Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Honduras) (Decision 29 COM 7A.12)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi (India) (Decision 29 COM 7A.22)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India) (Decision 29 COM 7A.9)
  • Bam and its Cultural Landscape (Islamic Republic of Iran) (Decision 29 COM 7A.23)
  • Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Iraq) (Decision 29 COM 7A.18)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Jerusalem) (Decision 29 COM 7A.31)
  • Kathmandu Valley (Nepal ) (Decision 29 COM 7A.24)
  • Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Niger) (Decision 29 COM 7A.6)
  • Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) (Decision 29 COM 7A.25)
  • Chan Chan Archaeological Zone (Peru) (Decision 29 COM 7A.30)
  • Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines) (Decision 29 COM 7A.26)
  • Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal) (Decision 29 COM 7A.7)
  • Ichkeul National Park (Tunisia) (Decision 29 COM 7A.8)
  • Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara (United Republic of Tanzania) (Decision 28 COM 7A.15)
  • Everglades National Park (United States of America) (Decision 29 COM 7A.10)
  • Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) (Decision 29 COM 7A.19)

Draft Decision: 29 COM 7A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29. COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15A.20 taken at its 28th sessions (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party on the progress that it has made over the past year in the halting of illegal constructions,

4. Regrets while appreciating the adoption of the Urban Development Plan, that it does not integrate the urban regulations drafted for the historic core nor the Conservation Plan;

5. Strongly urges the State Party to complete and adopt the Conservation Plan;

6. Encourages the State Party to define, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, an Action Plan for the socio-economic revitalization of the city, thus helping in the safeguarding of the heritage, in implementing the recommendations of the Stakeholders’ Meeting;

7. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2006, a report on the progress made on the implementation of the above recommendations, for the Committee's examination at its 30th session in 2006.

8. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2005
Yemen
Date of Inscription: 1993
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2000-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 29COM (2005)
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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