1.         Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal) (C 723)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1995

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(v)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/723/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-1994)
Total amount approved: USD 10,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/723/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

Joint ICOMOS/IUCN mission in 2001

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Lack of Management Planning; urban and tourism development pressure.   

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/723/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

In response to the Committee’s requests since 1995 and an international mission to the property, the State Party provided the first comprehensive Management Plan for the entire property since its inscription.  The document consists of both a phased action plan and an extensive map section.  Special attention is drawn to the increased risk of fire due to higher temperatures registered during previous years in the area. 

Following the Committee’s decision, a mission to the property will be scheduled for late 2005 or early 2006 to review the state of conservation of the property as well as the progress in restoration work and overall implementation of the recently submitted Management Plan.

At the time of inscription there was neither a Management Plan nor an overall management regime.  Being located near Lisbon, the property is under considerable urban development and tourism pressure.

In 2000, a joint ICOMOS/IUCN mission visited the site to discuss conservation and progress with management issues.  The mission produced nine recommendations which were accepted by the Committee at its 27th session (UNESCO, 2003).  The mission highlighted the serious condition of some structures and the urgent need for a Management Plan that could address conservation needs and prioritise repairs, restoration and maintenance.  The State Party was asked to submit a Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre by end 2001.  Only in January 2004, did the State Party submit a Conservation Inspection Report of the property together with Phase 1 of a Management Plan, and the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004) requested a comprehensive Management Plan (1st and 2nd Phases) by February 2005.

A Management Plan was submitted to the World Heritage Centre in March 2005. This document is in fact Phase 2 of the Management Plan, Phase 1 having been submitted in 2004.  Phase 2 is an Action Plan, to guide concrete activities for the 2004-2009 period and contains a detailed description of each action’s characteristics, goals, past and planned investments.  The Action Plan includes 13 main goals which cover not only the need to conserve the cultural landscape, but also the need to address the socio-economic context, to integrate the property into its surroundings, to use heritage as a means of generating benefits for the region, to ‘develop a sense of belonging by the various actors’, and to press for more benefits from tourism to be made available to the impoverished northern area of the buffer zone.  The Plan is divided into four sections: enhance the cultural landscape, make it more dynamic, promote the area, and set up appropriate financing.

The final section summaries the funding (both incurred and foreseen). The Action Plan however does not address building maintenance or repair.

The State Party provided details of the Action Plan that was submitted to complement the Conservation Report and Phase I of the Management Plan submitted in 2004.  The strategic aims of the Management Plan are to conserve and restore the property, give the area and its surroundings dynamism and produce benefits to those living around the property.  The Plan should include mechanisms for managing the property based on coordination arrangements, through the establishment of a group/committee, which could include representatives of local communities.  It is also suggested that monitoring and evaluation parameters are put in place and included in the Management Plan, so the Action Plan may be reviewed against the strategic aims of the Management Plan.  The Management Plan includes arrangements and resources for the routine maintenance and repair of buildings and the landscape, and needs to be clarified to include those activities that are generated by, or benefit directly the World Heritage property.  The Action Plan could be combined with Part 1 of the Management Plan to form an complete document that sets out approaches and background as well as actions, thus linking activities to the Outstanding Universal Value for which the property was inscribed.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.81

The World Heritage Committee,

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

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.77, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Congratulates the State Party of Portugal for having submitted a comprehensive management plan including a detailed action plan, financing and coordination mechanisms for the World Heritage property;

4. Requests the State Party to ensure that monitoring and evaluation indicators are put in place, and to better harmonize the aims of the action plan with the management plan (Phases I and II), as well as to foresee resources for ongoing maintenance of the built environment of the property;

5. Recalling that a mission to the property has been requested and noting that it is scheduled to take place in late 2005 or early 2006,

6. Asks the State Party to provide all arrangements for the joint UNESCO/ICOMOS/IUCN mission,

7. Requests the State Party to keep the World Heritage Centre informed on the implementation of the Management Plan and the progress made on the restoration work.