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Angkor

Cambodia
Factors affecting the property in 1996*
  • Human resources
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Urgent problems of conservation

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Inadequate protective legislation;
  • Inadequately staffed national protection agency;
  • No permanent boundaries established and defined buffer zones;
  • Need for monitoring and coordination of the international conservation effort
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1996
Requests approved: 3 (from 1992-1994)
Total amount approved : 85,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1996**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1996

The International Coordinating Committee for Angkor (ICC) co-chaired by France and Japan, as well as the Special Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO for Angkor has received assurances from H.E. Mr Vann Molyvann, Minister of State of the Royal Government of Cambodia and from other senior government officials, that the instructions given by H.R.H. Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh, First Prime Minister and H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Second Prime Minister to enforce regulations for protecting the Angkor World Heritage Site will be strictly applied. These assurances follow ICC and UNESCO's interventions with regard to a number of hotel construction projects reportedly under consideration which, if approved, will be violating the zoning regulations adopted by the Royal Government of Cambodia following the inscription of Angkor on the World Heritage List.

Action Required

The Bureau requested the Chairperson of the Committee to write to H.E. Mr Vann Molyvann, expressing on behalf of the Committee, his appreciation for the commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia to the World Heritage Convention and to request the Government to keep the World Heritage Committee informed on developments that may be of concern to the Committee in accordance with Paragraph 58 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1996

In the framework of assistance provided by the UNESCO Secretariat to the Cambodian authorities, to enable them to honour the obligations made to the Committee at the time of the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, UNESCO continues to assist the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia to prepare the decrees necessary for the enforcement of the Law for the Protection of National Cultural Heritage which was promulgated on 25 January 1996.

The Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia confirmed, during the Technical Committee of 2 April 1996, its determination to respect the obligations related to the World Heritage status of the site of Angkor. Thus, APSARA (Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor), which was created in fulfillment of one of these obligations, was provided with human and financial resources necessary for its functioning.

The Royal Government has also informed UNESCO of its decision to have all economic development projects examined by APSARA in accordance with the related laws and regulations and in conformity with its commitment to the international community. In the light of this, tourism management projects have been carefully examined and numerous meetings were held on this subject. As a result, all projects which do not conform to the zoning plan have been refused. The Government of Cambodia has, furthermore insisted on the sacred character of the temples of Angkor which exclude, de facto, all activity or undertakings which do not respect the religious traditions of the area.

The International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor, created in October 1993 by the Tokyo Conference and for which UNESCO provides the secretariat, held a plenary session on 9 January 1996 and two sessions of the Technical Committee on 2 April and 27 September 1996. It was recalled that this Committee assures, in cooperation with the Cambodian authorities, the coordination and the monitoring of international activities to preserve the site, conserve its monuments and protect the environment.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1996

The Committee may wish to adopt the following:

"The Committee takes note of the report presented by the Secretariat and commends the Government of Cambodia for its actions to implement the obligations set forth by the Committee at the time of inscription of Angkor on the World Heritage List. The Committee requests the Government of Cambodia to keep it informed of the progress made in its efforts to ensure the preservation of Angkor, especially with regard to the promotion of environmentally sustainable tourism development in harmony with the socio-cultural character of the region. Recognizing the still-prevailing exceptional conditions at the site, the Committee decides to retain Angkor on the List of World Heritage in Danger".

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1996
20 BUR IV.7
Angkor (Cambodia)

Upon hearing the report provided by the Secretariat regarding the hotel construction projects and discussions surrounding a query from a member of the Bureau on the "son et lumière" at Angkor Wat, the Bureau adopted the following decision:

The Bureau requested the Chairperson of the Committee to write to H.E. Mr Vann Molyvann, expressing on behalf of the Committee, his appreciation for the commitment of the Royal Government of Cambodia to the World Heritage Convention and to request the Government to keep the World Heritage Committee informed on developments that may be of concern to the Committee in accordance with Paragraph 56 of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

20 COM VII.C.24
SOC: Angkor (Cambodia)

VII.24 Angkor (Cambodia)

The Committee was informed of the Secretariat's report to the Bureau on the progress made by the Government of Cambodia in meeting the obligations made to the Committee at the time of the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee was informed that it continues to assist the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia to prepare the decrees necessary for the enforcement of the Law for the Protection of National Cultural Heritage which was promulgated on 25 January 1996.

The Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor (APSARA), which was created in fulfillment of one of the obligations, was provided with human and financial resources necessary for its functioning. All economic development projects, including tourism, are now being examined by this authority.

The Government of Cambodia has, furthermore insisted on the sacred character of the temples of Angkor which exclude, de facto, all activity or undertakings which do not respect the religious traditions of the area.

The Director of the Cultural Heritage Division of UNESCO's Culture Sector reported to the Committee that assurances have been given by the Government that APSARA will vigorously screen all development projects and ensure that the zoning regulations are strictly adhered to. He also provided an update on the projects being carried out by the international teams, notably the Japanese team from Waseda University and the French team, from the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient. He also expressed his hope that the much appreciated training programme at the Fine Arts University in Phnom Penh which is funded under the Japan Trust Fund could be continued for the next academic year to ensure the development of a new generation of national experts. In the field of promotional activities he reported on the progress in the preparation of a major exhibition on Angkor being organized by UNESCO and the French 'Reunion des Musees Nationals' in Paris in 1998 as well as in the production of the CD-Rom on the exhibition. He informed the Committee that this exhibition will also be held in Washington D.C. He furthermore reported that the second edition of the successful publication '100 Disappeared Objects' is being updated with ICOM. The Committee commended the work of UNESCO in supporting the efforts of the Cambodian Government.

The Delegate of Japan added that Japan continues its support for the safeguarding of Angkor and emphasized the importance of training in this respect.

The Committee took note of the report presented by the Secretariat and commended the Government of Cambodia for its actions to implement the obligations set forth by the Committee at the time of inscription of Angkor on the World Heritage List. The Committee requested the Government of Cambodia to keep it informed of the progress made in its efforts to ensure the preservation of Angkor, especially concerning tourism control and promotion, and with regard to sustainable development, in harmony with the socio-cultural character of the region. Recognizing the still-prevailing exceptional conditions at the site, the Committee decided to retain Angkor on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 1996
Cambodia
Date of Inscription: 1992
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Danger List (dates): 1992-2004
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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