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Kathmandu Valley

Nepal
Factors affecting the property in 1996*
  • Effects arising from use of transportation infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Need for restoration/consolidation works

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Collapse of the roof of the Patan Temple (issue resolved)
  • Landslide
  • Need to revise the implementation of the Action Plan
  • Need for restoration/consolidation works
  • Encroachment
  • Rebuilding
  • Traffic pressures 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1996
Requests approved: 7 (from 1979-1994)
Total amount approved : 173,910 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1996

The World Heritage Committee at its seventeenth session (1993), expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley. The Committee considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger following discussions on the findings of the November 1993 Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Review Mission to the Kathmandu Valley. Upon the request of the Director General of Archaeology of Nepal, the Committee decided to defer its decision on the placement of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. His Majesty's Government subsequently accepted to give priority attention to the sixteen points of concern raised by the UNESCO/ICOMOS mission to improve the state of conservation of this site.

In 1994, the eighteenth session of the World Heritage Committee received a Monitoring Report prepared by the Department of Archaeology on the progress made towards the fulfillment of the commitments made by His Majesty's Government and the Committee approved funds to enable the deployment of a UNESCO International Technical Adviser for six months during 1995-1996 to assist the Nepalese authorities to implement their new policies and in particular to support the training of professional staff of a Development Control Unit established within the Department of Archaeology. The training has resulted in enhancing the Department's capacities in documenting, monitoring and advising on the control of demolition, conservation and in the design of new buildings in the World Heritage site, and will serve to enforce the 5th Amendment to the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, enacted in February this year by Parliament. The continued employment of the trained personnel of the Development Control Unit after the exhaustion of international funds remains a matter of concern, in view of the uncertainty of whether the Department will be provided with additional staff posts.

The Department of Archaeology has also been actively implementing other measures to improve the management of the World Heritage Site. Amongst these, inconsistencies in the boundaries of the Site's seven constituent Monument Zones are in the process of being rectified and the boundaries themselves will be defined by stone markers. New norms for conservation practice are being defined, particularly the importance of repair in situ rather than by demolition and rebuilding and the revival of traditional building techniques, coupled with restrictions on the use of incompatible new materials, particularly cement.

To emphasize the increased importance being placed on the preservation of the World Heritage Site as a whole, rather than on individual monuments, the Department of Archaeology and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre are jointly hosting an information meeting on safeguarding and development needs of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site on 9 October 1996. Some nineteen project proposals focused on community participation, sustainable reuse of historic buildings and the economic revival of historic city centres will be presented for national and international donor support at this meeting.

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

The Bureau may wish to transmit the state of conservation report to the Committee and recommend the Committee to adopt the following:

"The Committee congratulates His Majesty's Government of Nepal for the tangible proof of its commitment to the World Heritage Convention and express its hope that efforts will be continued to strengthen the institutional capacities of the Department of Archaeology and the concerned municipal authorities to protect and develop the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site by officially adopting and publicizing regulations on building control and conservation practice. The Committee appeals to the national and international donor communities to finance the projects developed by the local authorities for the safeguarding of the site which are contained in the compendium of project proposals prepared with the support of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division and the World Heritage Centre."

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1996
20 COM VII.D.52/53
SOC: Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)

VII.52 Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)

The World Heritage Committee at its seventeenth session in 1993, expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley and considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger following discussions on the findings of the November 1993 Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Review Mission.

Since then, the Government has given priority to responding to the sixteen points of concern raised by the UNESCO/ICOMOS mission.

To emphasize the increased importance being placed on the preservation of the World Heritage site as a whole, rather than on individual monuments, an information meeting was held in October 1996 on the safeguarding and development needs of the si te. During this meeting some nineteen project proposals were presented for national and international funding support.

The Secretariat informed the Committee that the State of Conservation Report prepared by the Department of Archaeology of His Majesty's Government of Nepal, with the assistance of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, was received and would be made available to the Committee members.

The Committee took note of the Secretariat's report and expressed its appreciation for the progress made by His Majesty's Government of Nepal towards the fulfillment of the sixteen-point recommendations of the UNESCO/ICOMOS mission of November 1993, which was endorsed by the Committee at its eighteenth session. It expressed hope that efforts will be continued to strengthen the institutional capacities of the Department of Archaeology and the concerned municipal authorities to protect and develop the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage site by officially adopting and publicizing regulations on building control and conservation practice. The Committee noted the efforts made by the Government in convening the information meeting held in Kathmandu in October 1996 to solicit donors to finance the projects developed by the local authorities with the support of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Division and the World Heritage Centre.

Report year: 1996
Nepal
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2007
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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