1.         Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou (Morocco) (C 444)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (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/444/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2001-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 2,500
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/444/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban Pressure, Tourism Pressure; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation); Lack of human or financial resources. 

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/444/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

The State Party sent a report to the Secretariat in January 2004 with regard to the decision taken at its 27th session, where the Committee expressed its concern with regard to the state of abandonment and degradation, the lack of legal protection and the delay in establishing an administrative and technical structure responsible for the property, as well as in the elaboration of a management plan, and the finalization of the listing at the national level.


The State Party emphasized that the procedure for the inscription of the property is almost finalized. Following examination and rectification, the decree containing the inscription of the Ksar Ait Ben Haddou as a historic monument, has been signed by the different governmental authorities. It is in the process of being published in the Official Journal.


An environmental study of the property was elaborated at the request of the State Party in order to prepare a Management Plan.  In March 2004, the State Party called upon the World Heritage Centre to obtain further assistance for expertise in the elaboration of the Management Plan. 


An operational intervention unit comprising CERKAS, local delegates from the Ministry of Urbanism and Housing, and representatives from the local authorities and the rural community, was established. The responsibility of this unit is to note threats to the ancient ksar and to the new village and to order the demolition of all constructions that threaten the integrity of the property.


A consultative workshop for the safeguarding of the property of Ksar Ait Ben Haddou was organized by the UNESCO Bureau in Rabat from 29 and 30 November 2003, with the participation of the World Heritage Centre.  The objective of the Workshop was to bring together, for the first time, all parties concerned with the safeguarding of the Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, to define the expectations and examine the perspectives, taking into account the decision of the Committee. A “Pact for the Safeguarding of the Ksar Ait Ben Haddou” was signed by all the participants. The possibility for the creation of a Management Committee for the property was also foreseen.



The state of conservation of the property was evaluated during a reactive monitoring mission, organised to Ksar by the World Heritage Centre in close cooperation with the State Party on 11 and 12 September 2003.  The observations made during the reactive monitoring mission, taking into consideration the results of the mission carried out by the “Commission du Service des Etudes d’Aménagement des Forêts des Bassins Versants” (SEABV) which took place on 2 July, comprise:


a)  State of quasi total abandon of the property;


b)  Rapidly increasing infractions in the old ksar and its degradation;


c)  Divergence between the perimeter of the property inscribed on the World Heritage List and the perimeter proposed for the listing of the site at the national level;


d)  Delay in the establishment of a technical and administrative structure responsible for the property;


e)  Risk of erosion of the property illustrated by:

(i)  the development of nearly 28 ravines (length 100 to 200 m)

(ii)  the landslide of rocks which could cause the fall of large blocks of stone.


Despite the initiatives taken by the State Party to ensure the legal protection of the property, the state of conservation observed during the September 2003 mission corresponds to the conditions foreseen in the Operational Guidelines for the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, both with respect to ascertained dangers (serious deterioration of materials; serious deterioration of urban or rural space, or the natural environment; significant loss of historic authenticity)  as well as potential threats (lack of conservation policy).

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


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.46

The World Heritage Committee, 1. Having taken note of the report submitted by the State Party in January 2004 concerning the implementation of the recommendations made during the 27th session of the Committee (2003), 2. Congratulates the State Party for all the activities undertaken to coordinate the actions of the parties concerned with the safeguarding of the property and for establishing the required legal protection for the property; 3. Reiterates its concern in the light of the information concerning the state of degradation of the property; 4. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to create, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, an institution having a legal authority, adequate financial resources and means to ensure the preparation of a management plan of the property and its application; 5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2005, a progress report on the establishment of this institution and the preparation of the management plan so that the Committee may examine the state of conservation of the property at its 29th session in 2005; 6. Decides to reconsider the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 29th session in 2005.

Decision Adopted: 28 BUR 8.3

28 BUR 8.3

 The World Heritage Bureau, 

  1. Noting that no funds are available in 2004 for consideration of technical cooperation requests for cultural properties;
  2. Recommends that the Committee do not approve technical cooperation requests in advance on the 2005 budget; 
  3. Decides to approve, in principle, the request presented by Iraq: "Equipment for training on photogrammetry techniques for Iraqi experts", for an amount of US$ 30,000, on the understanding that an earmarked donation shall be made from a State Party to the World Heritage Fund in 2004 to support its implementation and expressing its concern regarding the fact that it had been asked to approve a contribution to an on-going programme which it had not approved, requests that similar cases should be avoided in the future; 
  4. Decides that the following requests:
- Uganda: "Kasubi Tombs World Heritage Property Uganda, Research Program on the thatched roofs"
- Morocco: "Elaboration of a management plan for Ksar Ait-Ben-Haddou"
- Sudan: "Elaboration of the Management Plan for Gebel Barkal and the properties of the Napatan region"

be submitted again in 2005 for decision by the Chairperson or the Bureau, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines in force at that time, provided the relevant States Parties have paid their dues to the World Heritage Fund as at 31 December 2004.

5.   Recommends to the Committee that the following request:

- Bangladesh: "Study of the drainage problems and monitoring of the internal moisture conditions of the monuments of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur"

be submitted again in 2005 for decision by the Committee, provided the relevant State Party has paid its dues to the World Heritage Fund as at 31 December 2004.