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Kathmandu Valley

Nepal
Factors affecting the property in 1997*
  • 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 1997
Requests approved: 11 (from 1979-1997)
Total amount approved : 270,879 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1997

The World Heritage Committee at its seventeenth session (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, His Majesty’s Government of Nepal has given priority to responding to the sixteen points of concern raised by this mission.

A state of conservation report prepared by the Department of Archaeology of His Majesty’s Government was made available to the Committee during its twentieth session.  Since this report was submitted, boundaries of the Monument Zones of Bhaktapur and Patan have been  redefined and gazetted.  The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has taken the decision that the Development Control Unit of the Department of Archaeology be a permanent unit from 15 July 1997. The Department of Archaeology is planning to prepare a guideline for private homeowners within the 7 Monument Zones to explain the legal obligations and rules they must follow.

The traditional architectural structures on the circular street surrounding the Bauddha Stupa within its Monument Zone are being demolished and new structures are being constructed. The Department of Archaeology has continued discussions with local residents to control development. However, this essential setting is loosing its integrity, and furthermore is currently threatened by construction plans of a new Buddhist temple which do not conform to the regulations set forth by the Department of Archaeology.

Action Required

The Bureau took note of the state of conservation report provided by His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and expressed its appreciation for the progress made towards fulfilling the sixteen recommendations of the UNESCO/ICOMOS mission of 1993.  In view of the information provided by the Secretariat regarding the state of conservation of  the Monument Zone of Bauddhanath, the Bureau requested His Majesty’s Government of Nepal to ensure the maintenance of the integrity of the Bauddhanath setting by implementing development control by the Department of Archaeology.  Finally, it requested the concerned authorities to keep the Committee informed of any progress made in further fulfilling the 1993 recommendations.


21st extraordinary session of the Bureau in 1997:
The World Heritage Committee at its seventeenth session in 1993 expressed deep concern over the state of conservation of the Kathmandu Valley site and considered the possibility of placing it on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following discussions on the findings of the 1993 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission (hereafter referred to as the 1993 Mission).

Since then, H.M. Government of Nepal has given priority to responding to the sixteen points of concern raised by the 1993 Mission. However, the Bureau, at its twenty-first session (June 1997), decided to consider recommending the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-first extraordinary session (November 1997), in view of the continued deterioration of the monument zones of Bauddhanath and of Kathmandu (two of the seven monument zones protected under the Convention).

In order to make a sound recommendation to the Committee in this regard, the Bureau examined the state of conservation report submitted by H.M. Governement of Nepal, summarized together with comments from the UNESCO International Technical Advisor in Working Document WHC-97/CONF.207/INF.2. This report provides full information on the progress made on each of the sixteen points of the 1993 Mission recommendations.

The Observer of Nepal thanked the Bureau, the Committee and the Secretariat for their consistent support since 1993. He expressed appreciation for the Bureau's recognition of the great efforts made by the Government, particularly the Department of Archaeology and the municipalities of Bhaktapur and Patan (Latipur) and stated that his Government will increase efforts to address the outstanding problems in the Kathmandu and Bauddhanath monument zones. He supported the Secretariat's recommendation for a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-Nepali Government mission for a thorough review of the situation before the Committee's decision for the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Bureau recommended the Committee to adopt the following:

"The Committee takes note of the information provided by H.M. Government of Nepal and the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the sixteen-point recommendation of the 1993 UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission.

The Committee expresses appreciation to H.M. Government of Nepal in establishing the Development Control Unit and in its efforts to ensure enhanced management of the Kathmandu Valley site as well as in mobilizing international assistance from the World Heritage Fund and other sources. The Committee takes note of the special efforts made by the Municipalities of Bhaktapur and Patan in safeguarding the monument zones under their authority.

However, in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu monument zones, effecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee requests the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and H.M. Government of Nepal, to study the possibility of deleting selected areas within some monument zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review should take into consideration the intention of H.M. Government to nominate Kokhana as an additional monument zone.

The Committee authorizes up to US $ 35,000, from the World Heritage Fund technical co-operation budget for a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-H.M. Government of Nepal team to conduct a thorough study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines. The detailed budget for this activity is to be submitted to the Chairperson for approval.

Furthermore, the Committee requests H.M. Government of Nepal to submit a report to the Secretariat for presentation to the Bureau, at its twenty-second session in June/July 1998, on the progress made with the on-going or new international assistance projects funded by the World Heritage Fund and other sources, and on further progress in implementing the sixteen-point recommendation.

Based upon the information from the study and the report from H.M. Government, and recommendations from the Bureau, the Committee could consider whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1997

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

Since then, H.M. Government of Nepal has given priority to responding to the sixteen points of concern raised by the 1993 Mission. However, the Bureau, at its twenty-first session, wished that in view of the continued deterioration of the monument zones of Bauddhanath and of Kathmandu (two of the seven monument zones protected under the Convention), to consider placing the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-first extraordinary session. In order to make a sound recommendation to the Committee in this regard, the Bureau requested H.M. Government of Nepal to provide a full report on the progress made on each of the sixteen points of the 1993 Mission recommendation.

A draft report was submitted to the Secretariat by H.M. Government of Nepal in September 1997. The content is summarized in Information Document WHC­97/CONF.208/INF.14, combined with additional information from the UNESCO International Technical Advisor, who conducted a mission to Kathmandu Valley in September 1997 (within the framework of the preparatory assistance for the nomination of Kokhana as an additional monument zone of the Kathmandu Valley site). The full report on the state of conservation of the site, to be submitted by H.M. Government of Nepal, will be made available to the Bureau and the Committee.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1997
21 BUR IV.B.50
Kathmandu Valley (Nepal)

The Bureau took note of the state of conservation report provided by His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and expressed its appreciation for the progress made towards fulfilling the sixteen-point recommendation of the UNESCO-ICOMOS mission of 1993. In expressing its regret over the further delay in the integration of the Development Control Unit (DCU) as a permanent unit of the Department of Archaeology (DOA), the Bureau recalled that international assistance under the World Heritage Fund for the establishment of the DCU was not to provide salary support but for the training of the DCU staff. It therefore reiterated its hope that His Majesty’s Government will honour its commitment to make available the necessary resources to enable the DOA to maintain the DCU in function.

While having noted improvements in the enforcement of building regulations in the Monument Zones of Bhaktapur, and Patan, the Bureau expressed deep concern over the continued demolition of historic buildings located along the circular street surrounding the Bauddha Stupa and the construction of new structures, including the new Buddhist temple, which do not conform to the building codes. In view of the alarming situation in the Monument Zone of Bauddhanath, and the persisting problems in the Monument Zone of Kathmandu, the Bureau wished to consider at its twenty-first extraordinary session to be held in November 1997, the placement of the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site on the List of World Heritage in Danger. To enable it to make a sound recommendation to the Committee in this regard, the Bureau requested His Majesty’s Government of Nepal to provide a full report on the progress made in each of the sixteen points of the 1993 UNESCO-ICOMOS recommendation.

21 BUR IV.B.63
State of conservation

Following discussions of the looting of the site museum at Butrinti, Albania, the Secretariat recalled that illicit traffic was a severe problem at a number of World Heritage sites (Angkor, Baalbek, Petra, Kathmandu Valley, Saqqara, etc.) and that support could be provided by UNESCO in training, contact with other international networks such as INTERPOL and ICOM, and recovery (UNESCO press releases and Notices of Stolen Cultural Property). It also could support states to implement the UNESCO Convention on Illicit Traffic (1970) and the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Property (1995). There are 150 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention but only 86 to the 1970 Convention. Further information about participation of States in these conventions was requested and a table with information was circulated.

21 EXT.BUR V.3
Requests for International Assistance

NATURAL HERITAGE

TRAINING

Cameroon (Sub regional workshop on strengthening biodiversity conservation at the Dja Faunal Reserve) - US$ 29,900

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 29,900.

The Bureau requested the State Party to cooperate with IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to:
(i) revise the workshop programme to include themes and issues identified in the state of conservation report on Dja;
(ii) indicate the amount of national contribution provided by the State Party;
(iii) schedule the workshop at a time to allow for better planning; and
(iv) invite the participation of bilateral donors who are financing commercial and sustainable forestry projects in the forests surrounding the site.

Philippines (Training of a core-group of personnel on human scientific dimensions of managing Tubataha Reef as a natural World Heritage site) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 30,000.

Russian Federation (Training workshop for natural heritage site managers from Central and Eastern Europe and Russian Central Asia) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau decided to defer the consideration of this request as the workshop had been delayed until the summer of 1999.
The Bureau requested the State Party to cooperate with the World Heritage Centre to submit a revised proposal for consideration at the Bureau's 22nd ordinary session.

Tanzania (Support for 3 fellowships for African specialists in Protected Area/Wildlife Management to the Mweka College of African Wildlife Management for the Academic Year of 1998/99) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 30,000.

The Bureau urged IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to cooperate with Mweka and other regional training centres to review their curricula and propose measures for enhancing use of information for World Heritage site management.

India (Meeting of regional training centres and university training institutes for curricula and training materials development, Wildlife Institute of India) - US$ 41,000

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approve a sum of US$ 30,000.

The Bureau requested the State Party to consider bearing the costs of the participation of Indian natural World Heritage site managers and specialists.

TECHNICAL COOPERATION

Dominica (Revision of the Management Plan for Morne Trois Pitons National Park) - US$ 13,900

For approval by the Chairperson, subject to the inscription of this site on the World Heritage List by the Committee at its twenty-first session, and payment of dues by the State Party to the World Heritage Fund.
The Bureau encourages the State Party to use national expertise for revising the management plan.

Niger (Purchase of Equipment for W National Park) - US$ 75,000

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approve a sum of US$ 50,000 and request the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO's equipment unit and the State Party to purchase the needed equipment through competitive bidding and in the most cost-effective manner.

The Bureau suggested that the Committee decide that the funds should not be used for maintenance of vehicles and request the State Party to co-operate with the World Heritage Centre for submitting a progress report on project implementation, to enable the Bureau, at its 22nd ordinary session, to determine whether additional funds are needed.

India (Strengthening Protection of Kaziranga National Park) - US$ 50,000

The Bureau took note of its recommendation made at its 21st ordinary session to the Committee, that the Committee approve this request.

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

India (Contribution towards the implementation of an Emergency rehabilitation plan for Manas Wildlife Sanctuary) - US$ 160,000

The Bureau recommended that the Committee approves a supplementary allocation of US$ 90,000 for emergency assistance to cover: purchase of an additional 2 wooden fiber boats (US$ 50,000) and 400 patrolling gears (US$ 15,000), and contribution towards the construction of buildings within the site (US$ 70,000).

Democratic Republic of the Congo (Purchase of vehicles for 4 World Heritage Sites) - US$ 88,400

The Bureau, while fully recognising the need for vehicles for each of the four sites, expressed concerns over the current security situation in the eastern parts of the country and its impact on safe delivery, propser unse and maintenance of the vehicles.

Hence, the Bureau recommended that the Committee, as a first step, approves a sum of US$ 45,000 for 2 vehicles (of the US$ 90,000 requested for 4 vehicles) for any two of the four sites under consideration and request the State Party to cooperate with the World Heritage Centre to submit a progress report on project implementation to the Bureau's 22nd session.

In addition, the Bureau suggested that the Committee request the World Heritage Centre to cooperate with conservation NGOs to ensure the safe delivery and proper use and maintenance of the vehicles.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

TRAINING

Laos (Training programme for the Historic Town of Luang Prabang) - US$ 25,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 25,000.

Philippines (Training to enhance the management of the Baroque Churches) - US$ 22,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 22,000.

Russian Federation (Training workshop for staff and specialists in the fields of designation, protection, management and rehabilitation of Cultural World Heritage Sites in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia) - US$ 29,800

The Bureau did not approve this request. Detailed information on the use of the funds had not been provided by the State Party.

The Bureau decided that it will not consider any International Assistance requests submitted by States Parties without a detailed budget breakdown in the future.

Austria (Training Course for the examination and Conservation of Architectural Surfaces) - US$ 35,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

Brazil (Inter-regional postgraduate course on the conservation of Monuments and Rehabilitation of Historic Cities) - US$ 50,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

Ghana (Ashanti Traditional Buildings) - US$ 47,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

ICCROM (Development of a training strategy and procedural framework) - US$ 50,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

TECHNICAL COOPERATION

China (Research project for the protection of the Terracotta Warriors and Horse Pits of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor) - US$ 30,000

Chinese authorities will provide further information concerning this request. Therefore, the Bureau decided to consider this request at its twenty-second session.

Nepal (Studies on traditional architecture, construction and conservation technique, documenting Bhaktapur Monument zone building) - US$ 28,000

The Bureau approved this request on the condition that the State Party pays its contributions to the World Heritage Fund for 1997.
Furthermore, the Bureau requested the State Party to submit the results of this activity to the Bureau and stressed the importance of documentation for protecting World Heritage sites.

ICCROM (Technical Assistance Programme - TAP) - US$ 25,000

The Bureau approved an amount of US$ 25,000.

Vietnam (Revision of urban planning regulations of the Complex of Hué) - US$ 35,000

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

Zimbabwe (Preparation for a conservation plan for Khami Ruins National Monuments) - US$ 76,900

Transmitted directly to the Committee.

Mexico (Special course on the World Heritage Convention for Latin America and the Carribean) - US$ 30,000

The Bureau took note of its recommendation made at its 21st ordinary session to the Committee.

21 COM VII.C.52
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 site and considered the possibility of placing this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger, following discussions on the findings of the 1993 Joint UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission (hereafter referred to as the 1993 Mission).

Since then, H.M. Government of Nepal has given priority to responding to the sixteen points of concern raised by the 1993 Mission. However, the Bureau, at its twenty-first session (June 1997), decided to consider recommending the inscription of the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-first extraordinary session (November 1997), in view of the continued deterioration of the monument zones of Bauddhanath and of Kathmandu (two of the seven monument zones protected under the Convention).

The Committee examined the state of conservation report submitted by H.M. Government of Nepal, summarized together with comments from the UNESCO International Technical Advisor in WHC-97/CONF.208/INF.14. This report provides full information on the progress made on each of the sixteen points of the 1993 Mission recommendations.

The Committee emphasized the need for addressing the problems faced in the preservation of urban historic fabric, such as those of Kathmandu Valley, in the context of rapid urban development in Asia and urged the World Heritage Centre to take initiatives in conducting a research in this field, in co-operation with ICOMOS and ICCROM.

The Committee took note of the information provided by H.M. Government of Nepal and the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the sixteen-point recommendation of the 1993 UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission.

The Committee expressed appreciation to H.M. Government of Nepal in establishing the Development Control Unit and in its efforts to ensure enhanced management of the Kathmandu Valley site as well as in mobilizing international assistance from the World Heritage Fund and other sources.

The Committee took note of the special efforts made by the Municipalities of Bhaktapur and Patan in safeguarding the monument zones under their authority.

However, in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu monument zones, affecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee requested the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and H.M. Government of Nepal, to study the possibility of deleting selected areas within some monument zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review should take into consideration the intention of H.M. Government to nominate Kokhana as an additional monument zone.

The Committee authorized up to US$ 35,000, from the World Heritage Fund technical cooperation budget for a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-H.M. Government of Nepal team to conduct a thorough study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines. The detailed budget for this activity is to be submitted to the Chairperson for approval.

Furthermore, the Committee requested H.M. Government of Nepal to submit a report to the Secretariat for presentation to the Bureau at its twenty-second session in June/July 1998, on the progress made with the on-going or new international assistance projects funded by the World Heritage Fund and other sources, and on further progress in implementing the sixteen-point recommendation.

Based upon the information from the study and the report from H.M. Government, and recommendations from the Bureau, the Committee could consider whether or not to inscribe this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session.

The Bureau may wish to consider the information presented in WHC-97/CONF.208/INF.4, transmit it to the Committee for examination, and recommend the following for adoption:

"The Committee takes note of the information provided by H.M. Government of Nepal and the Secretariat concerning the implementation of the sixteen-point recommendation of the 1993 UNESCO-ICOMOS Review Mission.

The Committee expresses appreciation to H.M. Government of Nepal in establishing the Development Control Unit and in its efforts to ensure enhanced management of the Kathmandu Valley site as well as in mobilizing international assistance from the World Heritage Fund and other sources. The Committee takes note of the special efforts made by the Municipalities of Bhaktapur and Patan in safeguarding the monument zones under their authority.

However, in view of the continued deterioration of the World Heritage values in the Bauddhanath and Kathmandu monument zones, effecting the integrity and inherent characteristics of the site, the Committee requests the Secretariat, in collaboration with ICOMOS and H.M. Government of Nepal, to study the feasibility of deleting selected areas within some monument zones, without jeopardizing the universal significance and value of the site as a whole. This review should take into consideration the intention of H.M. Government to nominate Kokhana as an additional monument zone.

The Committee authorizes the approval of up to US $ 35,000, from the World Heritage Fund technical co-operation budget for a joint UNESCO-ICOMOS H.M. Government of Nepal team to conduct a thorough feasibility study and to elaborate a programme for corrective measures in accordance with paragraphs 82-89 of the Operational Guidelines.

Furthermore, the Committee requests H.M. Government of Nepal to submit a report to the Secretariat for presentation to the Bureau, at its twenty-second session in June/July 1998, on the progress made with the on-going or new international assistance projects funded by the World Heritage Fund and other sources, and on further progress in implementing the sixteen-point recommendation.

Based upon the information from the feasibility study and the report from H.M. Government, and recommendations from the Bureau, the Committee may wish to consider including this site on the List of World Heritage in Danger at its twenty-second session."

Report year: 1997
Nepal
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vi)
Danger List (dates): 2003-2007
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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