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Lower Valley of the Awash

Ethiopia
Factors affecting the property in 1996*
  • Human resources
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1996
Requests approved: 1 (from 1996-1996)
Total amount approved : 2,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1996**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1996

The Lower Valley of the Awash is inscribed on the World Heritage List for its archaeological excavations which modified our understanding concerning the origin of humankind: the skeleton of Lucy, dated approximately 3.5 million to 4 million years BC, introduced the definition of a new species of hominid. In spite of its location in the Afar depression and its difficult access, it appears that the site is subject to the uncontrolled visits of individual tourists seeking souvenir fossils. To provide better protection and in order to further enhance this site, several measures could be taken:

- the designation of a guide by the CRCCH, in consultation with the local authorities;

- the construction of a museum., a long-standing request of the local authorities to archaeological missions which have been active in the Hadar, would be a significant action towards the enhancement and protection of the site. A somewhat simple structure could serve as an information post for the visitors and inhabitants and would also help to protect and enhance the site and to make it better understood by the non-specialist;

- in the long run, it will be necessary to envisage the extension of the zone inscribed on the World Heritage List and to include also the Middle Valley of the Awash, the focus of intensive research since 1981. It is in fact the entire valley which constitutes one of the most important paleontological and prehistorical sites in the world.

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

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following recommendation and request the Committee to take note:

"The Bureau encouraged the Centre for Research and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (CRCCH) to implement the above-mentioned proposals, and to keep the World Heritage Centre informed of all progress accomplished."

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1996
20 EXT.BUR A.1.3
Annex 7-International Assistance requests approved by the Bureau-Ethiopia

CULTURAL HERITAGE

A.1 TECHNICAL CO-OPERATION

A.1.3 Lalibela; Fasil Ghebi; Lower Valley of the Awash; Tiya; Aksum and Valley of of the Omo (Ethiopia) (US$ 27,500 requested)

Considering the quality and the well-chosen small-scale activities which are already partly funded by the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (CRCCH) , and in order to backstop the remarkable achievements and commitments of CRCCH to conservation,

the Bureau approved an amount of US$ 27,500. Support from the World Heritage Fund will permit the funding of international experts to examine the studies and restoration programmes for Lalibela, to improve the presentation of Tiya and organize an in-situ training course in Gondar.
 

20 COM VII.D.63/64
SOC noted by Committee: Lower Valley of the Awash (Ethiopia)

VII.63 Lower Valley of the Awash (Ethiopia)

The Secretariat reported that in spite of its difficult access, it appeared that the site is subject to the uncontrolled visits of individual tourists seeking souvenir fossils. To provide better protection and in order to further enhance this si te, several measures were recommended, including the:

  • designation of a guide by the CRCCH;
  • construction of a museum;
  • eventual extension of the zone inscribed on the World Heri tage List.

The Bureau took note of the Secretariat's report and encouraged the Centre for Research and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage (CRCCH) to implement the above-mentioned proposals, and to keep the World Heritage Committee informed of all progress accomplished.

Report year: 1996
Ethiopia
Date of Inscription: 1980
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 20COM (1996)
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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